Healthy School Lunches

School is in session! That is to say, whatever that looks like right now. Still, planning is key when it comes to making healthy lunches for your children. Therefore, for time-crunched families, that means scheduling time for grocery shopping—try weekends when there might be more downtime—and enlisting your kids to help pitch in on prepping. Most importantly, Healthy nutrition and taking responsibility for it are good lessons to learn early on. Likewise, time spent together making healthy school lunches is an added bonus.

As a result, some good rules to follow when planning healthy school lunch menus: For starters, try to pack a vegetable, protein, and “healthy” fat and limit the “empty calories” such as cookies, chips and candy. See below for some sure-to-be-popular simple and nutritious suggestions, no matter where the “lunch room” is located.

PB&J

Firstly, since it’s a favorite, all-natural peanut butter and jelly sandwich on 100% whole wheat or whole grain bread with carrot sticks, apple or pear or berries

Sandwich specifics

Peanut butter Simple Truth Organic from Ralph’s

Jelly No high-fructose corn syrup like St. Dalfour

Bread Ezekiel 4:9 or Dave’s Killer Bread


Mediterranean Platter

Simarly, it’s super popular so try chicken breast in pita with hummus and vegetables of your child’s choice

 

Yogurt Parfait

Organic low-fat or 2% yogurt and a handful of granola and berries

Parfait specifics

Siggi’s or Wallaby yogurt or if dairy-free, try Kite Hill plain unsweetened

 

Chicken Fun

Homemade chicken tenders with cucumber/tomato salad

 

Wrap It Up

Egg or tuna salad in a 100% whole wheat wrap such as Ezekiel 4:9 or gluten-free Rudi’s, Siete or a serving size of Mary’s Gone Crackers

 

Turkey to Go

Nitrite/nitrate-free turkey sandwich with avocado, mustard, lettuce and tomato

 

Super Salad

Romaine, arugula or spinach salad with vegetables of your choice and a protein like chicken, turkey or tuna or vegan nuts such as cashews, almonds or walnuts

 

Chicken Salad Crunch

Similar to a Chinese chicken salad with iceberg lettuce, grilled chicken breast, mandarin orange slices with a healthy sweet/tangy sesame dressing

 

Greek Goodness

Romaine lettuce with feta cheese, olives, cucumbers and balsamic vinaigrette

 

Leftovers for Lunch

(easily repurposed or heated up for those online school lunch breaks)

  • Kabob plate/hummus, pita and Israeli salad
  • Turkey burger or grass-fed burger, fries (try Alexia brand) and carrots
  • Chicken teriyaki bowl with a seasonal fruit and vegetables
  • Chicken tacos/fajitas

 

Shellee Dyne is a certified nutritionist and wellness expert. Learn more about Shellee and her practice at dyneamicnutrition.com or follow her on Instagram, @dyneamicnutrition.

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