It’s that time of year again! Back-to-school! Are you ready to pack a lunch five days a week once again? Are you hoping that your kids will actually eat what you’ve packed? Skip the sandwich and add these easy ideas to your lunchbox packing repertoire.
Kids know that everything is more fun to eat when served on a stick. Flat, blunt-edged bamboo sticks can be found at most major grocers. Prep Honey Chicken Kebabs or Marinated Beef Kebabs the night before and serve with a side of hummus for dipping and a fruit salad for dessert.
Kids love quesadillas. Apple Cheese Quesadillas take minutes to make and are a guaranteed healthy kid favorite. Cut up some jicama in sticks for a side and add a cup of pineapple chunks for a tasty dessert.
Go beyond the bun by substituting a wrap or flour tortilla for you fave slice of bread. Make a Chicken Caesar Salad Wrap (and an extra one for yourself too as this recipe is kid- and adult-friendly) or a Buffalo Chicken Wrap. If your kids aren’t as adventurous, just roll your favorite deli slices with sliced cucumber or shredded carrots for a bit of healthy crunch. Sprinkle cinnamon on some apple slices for an easy, healthy dessert.
Pack a colorful pasta salad for a healthy main lunchbox course that promises to satisfy even the pickiest eaters. Tortellini and Broccoli Salad and Penne Edamame Salad are two easy pasta salad recipes that can be prepped the evening before. Invite your kids to help with pasta salad prep and they can add the veggies they love to the mix! Serve some cute clementines or cut up strawberries and nectarines for a vitamin-rich dessert.
A can of crescent rolls is the perfect base for a variety of lunchbox-ready main courses: Ham and Cheese Crescent Rolls and Chicken Bacon Ranch Rolls are both tried-and-tested kid favorites. They are easy enough for a kid to prep, so recruit your little chefs to be your kitchen helpers. Add carrots as a side and a crunchy apple for dessert.
Breakfast for Lunch
Ask your kids what their favorite meal of the day is, and they’ll likely respond “Breakfast!” Whip up some easy-peasy 2-Ingredient Banana Pancakes and pack along with a hard-boiled egg and a jam jar filled with plain Greek yogurt and blueberries. Add an orange juice box to make your breakfast-for-lunch complete.
Cooler days call for a belly-warming lunch, and thermos-ready chili is a lunchbox solution for both kids and adults. Prep Simple Turkey Chili or Insanely Easy Vegetarian Chili and pack into a Thermos. Add shredded cheddar and oyster crackers for toppings, and apple slices with cinnamon for dessert.
Smoothie and Sides
Smoothies are a great way to encourage kids to get their fill of fruits and veggies. Blend a lunchbox smoothie and serve with an assortment of healthy sides: crunchy carrots, sugar snap peas, pretzels with nut butter, cauliflower with French dressing for a dipping sauce, apple slices. An Almond, Kale and Banana Smoothie and Chia-Berry Shake promise protein and vitamins to fuel your kids’ busy days.