That is me crying because summer is unofficially over.
That is me cheering because the kids go back to school this week which means I will get some sort of schedule back in my life.
That is me thinking about all of the lunches I will have to start making when I’m half asleep at 7 AM.
My kids aren’t huge fans of school lunches. On the one hand I’m kind of happy because the lunches I pack them are healthier than the ones they get at school. On the other hand, I have to actually MAKE those healthier lunches which gets to be pretty tiresome.
Over the years I’ve come up with a few tips and tricks to make lunchtime less of a hassle:
Now that school has started, I will start making significantly bigger portions of dinner on the days I cook my kids’ favorites.
For example, one of my easy, go to dinners is turkey bolognese. All I do is saute some ground turkey, add Rao’s marinara, and serve it over whole wheat pasta. Usually about one pound of ground turkey suffices, but now that school is starting, I will start using 1 1/2 pounds or even a little more to guarantee leftovers and boom – lunch the next day is served.
Breakfast for lunch:
By now many of you know that I am a huge oatmeal fan. Well, so is my son! Serving him oatmeal is now a once per week occurrence. I throw in some ground flaxseed and goji powder and it’s a very nutritious meal. He has no idea that healthy stuff is in there since I also use raw, organic honey, a slab of butter and some almond milk to sweeten it and make it creamy. Now that school is starting, I will continue to prepare it and send it for lunch in a thermos.
Another breakfast for lunch idea is to serve up a whole wheat waffle with some peanut or almond butter and even some sliced bananas on top.
For this type of lunch I use one of those lunch containers with compartments (which fits right into their lunchboxes) and pack them a variety of snacks. My kids admit it’s fun to open their lunch and see a wide array of food waiting for them! Here are the food items typicallly found in smorgasbord lunches (I choose three to five):
- turkey roll ups (I literally roll up turkey slices)
- sliced cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, and/or red peppers with dressing to dip
- sliced fruit
- cheese stick
- hummus and carrots (My kids are actually allergic to hummus but if they weren’t it would be a perfect addition)
- Beanitos (chips made out of beans)
- hard boiled egg
- greek plain yogurt with some honey mixed in
- nut mix (obviously if your kids aren’t allergic!)
- brown rice cakes or crackers
You get the idea. Shake it up and create a lunch out of healthy snacks.
- Veggie hummus roll up: whole wheat tortilla with hummus, sliced cucumbers and shredded carrots (Hummus can easily be substituted with a salad dressing your kids like.)
- Whole wheat english muffin pizza: Take a whole wheat english muffin, spread some jarred marinara on top and sprinkle with mozzerella cheese. Melt in oven for 10 minutes.
What do you guys pack for your kids lunches? I’m always looking for fresh ideas so please leave a comment below and let me know!
Happy unofficial end of summer, everyone!! (Waaa! Woot! Ugh!)