By Nazima Qureshi
Back to School Lunch Made Easy – Lunch Ideas for the Whole Family
September marks the end of summer and the beginning of the back to school season. Back to school means getting back in to routine, which includes packing lunches everyday. As you are starting to get into your new school routine for the family packing lunches may be a constant worry at the back of your mind. Rather than packing separate lunches for everyone in the family, try packing similar for you and your kids. Packing similar lunches for the whole family is a great way to save on time you can ensure everyone is getting their required nutrition everyday.
Check out these 5 lunch ideas easy enough to pack for the kids but delicious enough for parents too:
This colourful lunch option is a great way to get your kids to help you with making lunch. Cut up a variety of veggies and let your kids choose what they want to add to their jar. If layered correctly to ensure the salad dressing doesn’t touch the softer veggies, these salad in-a-jars can be made a few days in advance.
Click here to watch a video and a recipe for my version of salad in a jar.
Beef kababs are basically burgers with a lot of South Asian flavour and spice! Use lean ground beef instead of regular ground beef to decrease the saturated fat. Make a batch of the kabab mixture and shape them into individual kababs before freezing. Pull them out of the freezer throughout the week and cook them on the stovetop or pop them in the oven. Place them on a bed of greens for a hearty salad for your lunch and place them in hot dog buns for the kiddos! Click here for the full recipe.
- Chunky Monkey Wraps
Gone are the days you could send your kids to school with a simple PB&J sandwich. Many schools have a no-nut policy or your child may have a nut allergy. Swap peanut butter with sunflower butter or a “no-nut butter” to use in classic sandwiches. For a fun wrap that you and your children can enjoy, try this Chunky Monkey wrap featuring classic flavours of banana and chocolate. Look for whole grain tortillas to pack in more fibre, which will help the whole family feel more satisfied.
For each Chunky Monkey Wrap, you will need:
- 1 whole grain tortilla
- 2 Tbsp sunflower or “no-nut” butter
- 1 Tbsp dark chocolate chips
- 1 banana
- Spread a thin layer of the sunflower or no-nut butter on the tortilla. Peel the banana and place on one side of the tortilla. Sprinkle on dark chocolate chips. Fold in ends of tortilla and roll up.
- Place wrap on a hot skillet with seam side down and heat for 1-2 minutes or until seam is sealed.
- Veggie Packed Bagel
Bagels are usually a quick grab-and-go lunch for days you didn’t have enough time to pack a lunch. A quick bagel from your local coffee shop can be devoured within minutes leaving you feeling hungry soon after. Here is a simple way to make your own bagel that will be nutritious and filling enough for you and the kids.
For each Veggie Packed Bagel, you will need:
- 1 whole grain bagel
- 2 Tbsp of cream cheese, flavour of choice
- 1 tomato slice
- 1 leaf of lettuce
- 3 cucumber slices
- Spread a layer of cream cheese on each side of the bagel. On one side of the bagel, add a tomato slice, lettuce leaf, and cucumber slices. Top with second bagel slice. Wrap with clear plastic wrap.
Quick tip: pat lettuce, tomato, and cucumber slices with a paper towel to remove excess moisture. This will prevent the bagel from becoming soggy.
- Avocado Smash
This avocado smash sandwich is a twist on avocado toast. This simple sandwich idea packs in a lot of flavour and even more nutrition.
For each avocado toast you will need:
- 2 slices of whole grain toast
- 1 avocado
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- ¼ tsp cumin powder
- ¼ tsp coriander powder
- pinch of salt and black pepper
- In a bowl, add avocado, lemon juice, and spices. Mash well with a fork until you form a smooth paste. Taste and adjust with seasonings. Spread in between two slices of whole grain bread.
Quick tip: be sure to use lemon juice to prevent the avocado from browning.
How do you simplify lunches for you and your kids? Let us know in the comments below !
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