Inspired Lunch Boxes for the New School Year!

It’s that time of year again, summer is over, and school has started. You may be asking yourself and wondering what am I going to pack in my child’s lunch this year? The classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich is always a great choice, but your child can become sick of it quickly. Keep reading if you want to learn about and have more healthy well-balanced school lunch ideas in your back pocket to mix up your child’s lunchbox!


  1. Taste of Mexico: Quesadillas are a quick and easy lunch that can be packed with nutritious fillings. You can stuff them with chicken and beans for protein to keep your little one satisfied until their next meal or snack. A classic cheese quesadilla is a great choice for the picky eaters in your family. Serve it with a side of guacamole or sour cream to dip!


  1. “Do It Yourself” (DIY) Lunchables: You can really be creative with this one and it is healthier than the store-bought boxes. Include your child’s favorite deli meat and cheese. Get your child involved and have them help you make this simple, easy lunch. Pack whole grain crackers to add a little extra fiber. Add fruit and vegetables with a yummy treat to finish off this well-balanced inspired lunch.


  1. Say Goodbye to the Sandwich: Sometimes lunches can become a ritual that consists of putting two slices of bread together with some sort of filler in between. But wraps are a fun twist on the traditional sandwich. Wraps can be cut into pinwheels which transform them into an easy-to-eat alternative. Spreads can add more flavor and help the wrap stay together. Some spreadable options could be mayonnaise, hummus, or guacamole. You can also add shredded or sliced cheese for a source of calcium to help your child’s bone growth.


  1. Breakfast Can be Eaten Anytime of the Day: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and one of the tastiest, I think. So why not serve breakfast foods for lunch and/or dinner? Packing your child’s lunch with pancakes and bacon for example could be a game changer. This is also a hassle-free lunch for the beginning of the week since you can easily pack those Sunday breakfast pancakes you ate as a family this morning. Don’t forget to pack maple syrup in a well-sealed container so it doesn’t cause a sticky mess.


  1. Experience the Lunchbox Pasta Salad: Pasta salad is a versatile idea and another approach to add carbohydrates to your child’s lunchbox. Pasta is a staple in my household and this dish is easy and a fun way to add all your child’s favorite ingredients. Toss pasta with your child’s choice of favorite meats, vegetables, cheese, and dressing for a tasty “outside the box” lunch. This tasty lunch is full of color and flavor and your child will be asking for it in their lunchbox again.

Written by Nicole Michehl, MS, RDN, LDN, CNSC

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