The kids are back to school – are you ready? Lunches, snacks and good nutrition, as well as more free time for parents, homework struggles and organization. Gina of Embracing Imperfect decided to gather a group of bloggers to share their best Healthy Back to School tips with you! We are all sharing different ways to make it easier on parents and kids when transitioning back to school. Today I am sharing some of my favorite easy and healthy lunch ideas.
As my boys get older they have more of an opinion of what goes in their lunchbox. When they were younger I could just throw in anything I want and they would be happy with it. Now with the pressure of friends and seeing the increasing amount of unhealthy choices they fight me more and more every year.
This year is a bit different for me personally. I went back teaching so my time from home is limited, especially in the morning. I actually leave before the kids go off to school so I need to be on top of things. We are all busy, whether you are a stay at home parent, work from home or work outside of the home school lunches can be challenging to make. I don’t want to fall in the trap of the kids ordering lunch all the time.
So I’ve come up with 5 healthy lunch ideas for busy parents that can easily be made ahead of time. Some of the choices may seem pretty traditional but with these healthy twists these sandwiches are better for you and more cost effective in the long run.
MAIN LUNCH IDEAS
PBJ – Always a hit in our house. To make it healthier use an organic ingredients such as bread made with no HFCS, Peanut Butter with a natural preserve such as Apple or Pumpkin Butter, honey works well too.
Smoked Salmon - Served with cream cheese on a bagel or even a wrap
Hummus - This can be served with cut veggies and crackers. Cut up pieces of cheese and fresh fruit as sides.
Some of our other favorites include: Breakfast for Lunch, Homemade Granola Bar, Cubed Chicken served with dipping sauce and Pasta Salad
TIME SAVER TIP: Make a few sandwiches and wrap tightly and throw in the freezer and then take out that morning. By lunch time the sandwich is defrosted and ready to eat.
Photo Credit: Family Fresh Cooking
The main lunch always needs a few sides. You can always throw in an apple, banana or orange into our child’s lunch box. Depending on the amount of time they have to eat lunch and their ability to peel fruit, it might be best to try these ideas. Not only are they fun and more eye appealing but easy to pop into their mouth.
* Fruit Kabobs
* Sliced apples with peanut butter/honey dipping sauce
* Sliced fruit with yogurt dipping sauce
* Fruit Leather
* Dried Fruit, seeds and nuts mixed together
* Veggies with a dipping sauce such as ranch or hummus
* Dried Veggies such as green beans or pea pods and call them “Green Fries”
* Stonyfield yogurt squeezers or even regular yogurt.
* Cubed cheese with grapes
* Muffins or bread – try adding some grated zucchini and carrots to the mixture
I cannot stress this enough….WATER! WATER! WATER!!!!! use a reusable BPA free water bottle and fill it with ice water so it stays cold. You can even place it in the freezer the night before and double it as a cold pack too.
Now I told you what my favorite school lunches are, I’d love to hear what ideas you have and for more healthy lunch ideas head over to my Pinterest Page. —>Oh Wait Don’t leave yet, you don’t want to miss the best part! I’ve got more ideas for back to school and an AMAZING GIVEAWAY!!! Here are more tips from my amazing bloggers friends participating in this Healthy Back to School Event.
More Back to School Ideas for 2015
Talking about healthy back to school eating, we have an amazing giveaway JAM PACKED with goodies and treats from our participating vendors! Take a peak at all the prizees one winner will have delivered:
Alfie the Allergic Alligator Goes to School: Alfie the Allergic Alligator Goes to School helps children begin to learn about food allergies and how to cope with the diagnosis. Alfie experiences several emotions as he deals with starting school among his non allergic peers. This book will encourage discussion and help children, parents, and teachers promote food allergy awareness and acceptance.
AllerMates: Lunchbox, choice of color
Beanfield Snacks: 1 case of chips (12 bags) in various flavors
Biena Foods: Biena Snacks variety pack, which includes a 5 oz bag of all of their 5 flavors
Blue Avocado: $50 (re)zip ultimate kit 10-piece reusable nontoxic storage bag kit
Boiron USA: $50 Cold & Flu Back-to-School Survival Kit
Don’t Go Nuts: one flavor, winner’s choice, of each of these: 16oz. jar of soy spread, 1 box of snack bars (12), 1box of dips (8)
Enjoy Life: 2 boxes of chewy bars, 2 boxes of decadent bars & box of pancake mix
Good Health Snacks: Mickey Shaped Veggie Chips – 24 pack pantry box
Peter Rabbit Organics: 1 case of pouches (10)
Red Plate Foods: Sampler pack of their new granolas (Dark Chocolate, Vanilla Berry & Swirl)
Skinny Pop: 5 SkinnyPacks
Sneaky Chef: Chocolate No-Nut Butter and Creamy No-Nut Butter
SunButter: Gift Box
Stationery Studio: $50 gift card
StickerKid: 50 + FREE SHIPPING coupons for labels and wall decals
Stonyfield Organic: $50 worth of coupons and a bag full of Stonyfield goodies.
Sun Cups: Variety Pack
Surf Sweets: 30 bags of assorted single serve treats for a class party
WOWBUTTER: 1 Case (6 Jars)
Disclaimer: The participating blogs were not compensated for this post. A special thanks to all the participating sponsors and their generosity!