Back to School Healthy Lunches

school lunches

So my kids are those kids; they never buy school lunches, but carry their own. They always have a variety in their lunch bags, use real forks and recyclable containers, including glass, and a real napkin. Yea, their friends always made smart comments, until they beame super jealous. (Did I mention they have made it all the way to their senior year in high school this way?) I’m not sure what I’ll do next year when I don’t have to pack lunches anymore. Well, I still have my hubby’s lunch…

This year will be a bit different in my home, as the twins can come home for lunch and will bring their friends. They are always at our dinner table anyway; late night snacking at my counter and up early for foggy bottom pancakes on the weekend. My daughter even came up with the bright idea that I should make a weekly menu, so everyone knows what’s for lunch. What have I created????

As back to school is here and my beloved summer is gone (sigh), it means back to creative and healthy lunches. So, I will be sharing with you what I have planned for senior year (again, sigh, but even bigger – empty nesters out there can relate). But for now……

Here are the TriWives reminders for packing wonderful school lunches. Just remember that you are in charge, so really try not to buy pre-packaged, processed food.

Fruit & granola, buttermilk chicken leg, and hummus & veges.

Fruit & granola, buttermilk chicken leg, and hummus & veges.

  1. Keep it simple, but change things around. Pack the lunch differently, switch out breads (use leftover pancakes or waffles) – get creative and keep the kids surprised. Don’t over think it. Sometimes a yogurt parfait and apple (remember lemon juice on sliced apples) with almond butter tastes so good.
  2. Get a lunch box or bag your kids like and hopefully, not embarrassed to carry.
  3. Stock up on reusable bags, containers of all sizes and shapes, or get a bento style box. Check @momsgoodeats lunch box ideas for options. I use reuseit website a lot.
  4. Overcook. Make sure you have dinner leftovers for lunch later in the week.
  5. Premake dips like hummus, yogurt, edamame, and white bean for dipping.
  6. Home cooked or store bought rotisserie chickens can be used in a variety of ways from sandwiches to wraps to pasta salads.
  7. Make and bag cookies or bars for the week to make them easy to grab. See our recipe on Easy Homemade Granola bars.
  8. Prep veggies ahead and keep in the frig.
  9. Make sure you have 2 of your child’s choice of water bottles; one will always be missing.
  10. Start loading the lunch box while you clean up from dinner.
  11. Don’t forget to keep it cool. I freeze my reusable bags and have freezer packs always in the freezer.
school lunches

And don’t forget the after school snack boxes…

There you have it. Simple tips that work.

– DANA