Healthy Back-to-School Lunches

HEALTHY BACK-T0-SCHOOL LUNCHES

Back-to-School time is just around the corner, and amid a global pandemic, there is a lot of uncertainty about the days to come. For some, that might mean sending their little ones off each day with a mask and cleaning supplies. For others, it might mean participating in an in-home learning curriculum while working from home themselves. While there are still many questions about the upcoming days, one thing is for certain, your children are still in need of a hearty, healthy lunch each day to fuel their brains!

In-home learning lunches

Participating in a virtual learning process from home can be a great opportunity to get the kids involved in lunch time. Ask them what kinds of things they would like to eat each week and try to include some of their requests. Then, have them help pick out the ingredients and even prepare the dishes. This will give them a sense of autonomy and creativity as they learn what goes in to making a healthy lunch. Here are a couple easy recipes, packed with lots of flavor and nutrients!

 

Chicken Salad Wraps

Ingredients:

  • 3 cup rotisserie chicken
  • 1 cup red grapes
  • 2 stalk celery
  • ½ cup sliced almonds or pecans
  • ½ cup non-fat yogurt
  • ½ light mayonnaise
  • 1 tbs parsley
  • ½ tsp dried dill
  • 1 medium lemon
  • 1 tbs Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 6 medium whole wheat tortillas
  • 2 cup romaine lettuce leaves

Instructions:

  1. Shred chicken and place into mixing bowl. Slice grapes into quarters, dice celery. Add to chicken.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, mix yogurt, mayonnaise, parsley, dill, juice of the lemon, mustard, salt, and pepper. Add to the chicken along with the almonds or pecans. Toss to evenly coat.
  3. Spread chicken salad onto tortillas, top with lettuce, roll tightly and slice in half.

 

 

Veggie Pizza

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium tomato
  • 1 medium red bell pepper
  • 1 medium yellow bell pepper
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • ½ medium red onion
  • 4 hoagie rolls
  • 1 ½ cup pizza sauce
  • 6oz mozzarella cheese

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Dice tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, and red onion.
  3. Slice bread in half lengthwise and place on baking sheet.
  4. Spread sauce on each half. Sprinkle with cheese and add veggies.
  5. Bake for 10 minutes or until cheese has melted.

Each of these would be great paired with a side of fruit for a well-rounded, quick and easy lunch that the kids can be involved in preparing! Have the kids mix their chicken salad and spread it on the tortilla, or decorate their pizzas with all of the colorful veggies.

 

Packable School Lunches

While we don’t know exactly what schools will look like in the fall, it may give you peace of mind to send your child with a lunch from home that you know will give them all of the balanced nutrition they will need throughout their day. Since the kids have been at home for the last several months, having a little piece of that familiarity might bring some comfort to their day.  It is generally a good idea to include the following in each lunch; vegetables and/or fruit, grains, a protein, and a surprise snack or dessert. Here are a few ideas for balanced packable lunch items!

Fruits:

  • Grapes
  • Apple slices
  • Bananas
  • Orange slices
  • Berries

Vegetables:

  • Carrot sticks
  • Bell pepper slices
  • Cucumber rounds
  • Snap peas
  • Cherry tomatoes

Proteins:

  • Hummus
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Almond or peanut butter
  • Yogurt
  • Tuna or chicken salad

Grains:

  • Mini bagels
  • Whole wheat pita bread
  • Whole grain tortillas
  • Snack crackers

After adding the essentials, throw in a piece of candy or some gummies to sweeten the deal! The best thing about these lunches is that they are all easily prepared the night before so there is no hassle or rushing around in the mornings before school. You can have these ready to go for a quick grab as you walk out of the door.

    Author: 
    Jenna Simmons