In my last post, I provided you with 5 tips for a better school lunch. Here, I am putting my plan into practice.
I use this container daily for lunch.
Most of the time, each section contains a specific food group. I try to include a fruit, vegetable, and main (which has a protein and a carbohydrate, and typically a healthy fat). Our school does heat lunches for the children, so if I need something heated, I usually put it in a small glass container, but I don't use this option too frequently.
Here are some of my favorite school lunch ideas.
This usually includes a protein and carbohydrate source (sometimes veggies too) and a healthy fat. Occasionally this will resemble more of a meal, or sometimes I include the protein and carb separately. Here are some ideas for each.
All in one:
Turkey and cheese sandwich on whole wheat bread or english muffin
Cheese quesadilla with beans
Sunflower butter and jelly on whole wheat bread (our school is nut free, any sort of nut butter would work here depending on restrictions of your school)
Vegetable stirfry with sausage, chicken or beans
Egg and cheese sandwich on whole wheat bread
Any leftovers from the night before! (like this curry
"Fried rice" with peas and egg
Quinoa salad with chopped vegetables
Pasta salad with frozen peas and carrots
Chili (like this lentil chili)
Separate the protein and carb:
I try to include at least one vegetable at lunch time. A tip: make a list of the vegetables your child typically eats, and try to include these at lunch time. Our two staples are tomatoes and cucumber (thank you Trader Joes!). However, I vary when I can and try to sometimes include something new. Keep in mind there are many ways to provide vegetables: fresh, cooked or frozen.
Fresh and chopped:
Roasted or steamed with spices and some oil or butter:
My daughter tends to eat her fruit daily. I love providing her with frozen fruit: lots of options (does not depend on seasonality), it helps keep some of the other foods cold and is thawed by lunchtime.
Fresh and chopped or whole:
Berries (strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries)
A healthy fat might be something separate from the rest of the meal (like avocado), or something that's part of the prepared meal. Including a healthy fat is great to help for filling and nourishing power on little tummies.
Oil from veggiesDressing or dip from veggies