Back to School Lunches!

Posted by: on August 13, 2012

The same scene plays out every weekday morning in kitchens across the country: a tired parent leans forward with one arm holding the refrigerator door open, eyes scanning the shelves for something to pack into a lunch box. What do we have in the house? What do we have that’s healthy? What do we have that he will eat?

Carbs/Tummy-fillers

whole grain crackers
pretzel sticks
mini-muffins
goldfish crackers, cheddar bunnies or other snack crackers
pretzel thins
bagel chips
mini-rice cakes or rice crackers
cooked ball of rice
leftover pasta — toss with some chopped veggies and vinaigrette or a little olive oil, garlic salt and parmesan.
granola bars
banana bread, zucchini bread, or other quick breads
cereal bars
dry cereal
mini-bagels
hot dog buns, hamburger buns or dinner rolls
garlic toast
pita bread — I usually toast these so they don’t get soggy. Mini pitas are fun or you can cut a big one into wedges.
leftover pancakes or toaster waffles — mini-waffles go over especially well.

Fruits

apples slices or chunks (dip in pineapple juice to prevent browning)
berries — strawberries, blueberries, raspberries
cherries
grapes
bananas
melon chunks — watermelon, honeydew or cantaloupe
dried fruit — raisins, dried cranberries, dried apples, banana chips, etc.
canned peaches or pears — drain and rinse with water to remove excess sugar.
applesauce
pineapple chunks
orange or clementine wedges

Veggies

carrot sticks
sugar snap peas
red bell pepper strips
cucumber slices
celery sticks
grape tomatoes
steamed green beans
steamed broccoli spears
frozen peas — run them quickly under warm water to start them thawing
frozen corn
edamame

Proteins

leftover meat from dinner cut into chunks — you can send almost anything: roast chicken, pork roast, chicken legs and carne asada leftover from tacos are all things my kids have enjoyed.
chicken or turkey sausage with bbq sauce or catsup for dipping
deli meats — turkey, ham, salami
beans
peanut butter “sandwiches” made with crackers or graham crackers
taquitos with salsa for dipping
baked tofu
quesadillas
mini-burritos
mini-pizzas — top mini-pitas with sauce, cheese and pepperoni
hard boiled eggs

And, of course, sandwhiches!

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