Many thanks for all the messages, calls and texts filled with feedback and support from last weekend’s television appearance on WISN’s morning news. For those of you who missed it, here is the clip (it may take a minute to load):
Many of you wanted to know what I put IN all those lunch boxes so I thought I’d share some of my favorite back-to-school lunch ideas this week.
For cold options these are some of my favorites:
- Sprouted rolls w/ nut butter & honey – mix it up by adding fresh berries/seeds
- Nut butter on celery w/ raisins or dried cherries
- Sprouted bread w/ seasoned chicken slices (leftovers from dinner)
- Whole wheat wraps w/ thin layer of cream cheese & veggies – mix it up with a variety of nuts and seeds or honey & bananas
- Quinoa salads (the combinations are infinite!)
- Watermelon salsa (or bean salsa, or mango salsa) w/ chips, cucumber slices or veggies
- Cucumber sub (peeled cucumber, cut in half, w/ meat and veggies tucked inside)
- Waffle stacks – homemade waffles w/ fruit or maple syrup
- Pizza rolls ups – whole wheat wrap w/ organic tomato sauce & cheese w/ fresh basil
- Pizza dippers – whole wheat pita cut into pieces that can be dipped into sauce and topped w/ cheese & veggies
- Hard boiled egg
- Bean salads (infinite combinations)
- Hummus & veggies – mix it up w/ different flavored hummus
- Tuna sandwich w/ cumber, onion, sundried tomato, mustard, olives – or put this all in a lettuce wrap
- Turkey sandwich w/ avocado, tomato, honey, mustard, pear & sprouts – or put in a whole wheat wrap
- Cheese sandwich w/ lettuce, tomato, apple, balsamic vinegar, and turkey bacon crumbles
- Smoothies (in the reusable silicone freezie pop molds from my previous post)
Warm lunch suggestions include:
- Quinoa/farro/brown rice combinations (topped with chicken & veggies)
- Brown rice pasta & turkey meatballs with sauce
- Pizza pockets – make a pizza in a whole wheat pita
- Sweet & spicy stir fry
- Brown rice bowl
- Tacos w/ organic corn shells
- Egg wraps – omelet style w/ veggies/fresh herbs rolled inside
- Quesadillas – infinite combinations!
- Quinoa salad – in finite combinations – use your imagination!
- Stuffed peppers
- Soups – lots of options here
And for a few suggestions of what to put on the side or in for dessert:
- Raw/cooked veggies
- Veggie kabobs w/ yogurt dipping sauce
- Fresh fruits
- Nuts/seeds – bake w/ a variety of spices to mix up flavors and spice up your child’s life a bit 😉
- Homemade muffins
- Homemade granola
- Homemade scones
- Homemade jello
- Dark chocolate squares
Most of my lunches are made with whole foods and home cooked components. When I’m cooking something that I know my boys really like, I usually make a really big batch and freeze leftovers to thaw when needed for lunches. This saves TONS of time and makes prepping daily lunches much more manageable. For example, many muffin recipes are easy to freeze and they can be thawed the night before you are going to use in a lunch box. Same for my homemade spaghetti sauce that I make (and don’t tell my boys but there is actually some cauliflower pureed into that secret sauce!).
It’s also very easy to prep a large batch of quinoa, brown rice, or farro...or whatever the grain of choice may be for your child…at the beginning of the week. Take out a scoop and add your fixing on a daily basis. This keep the grains and final meal feeling fresh and tasty.
Many of my lunch ideas also incorporate leftover dinner options – again, cook once and eat 2-3 times. Makes life easier!
At a loss of where to start with back-to-school lunches and redesigning some of your family’s favorites to be more healthy options? Don’t hesitate to contact me. I am offering a ONE month family meal makeover package which includes FOUR, 30-minute sessions. We will revamp some of your family’s favorite meals and develop a great list of back-to-school lunch options specific for your household. September special – $179.
With a little bit of pre-planning and preparation, making back-to-school lunches does NOT need to be crazy, chaotic and stressful.