School lunch ideas

lunch

 

School lunch ideas are the hardest for me to come up with! Why? Because one of mine doesn’t eat any kinds of veggies or fruit except apples, bananas and grapes, both of them would rather not eat eggs, and salads are definitely a no no (can you believe they are my children??!) To minimize the struggle, here are some school lunch ideas I’ve come up with.

 

 

 

Menu 1:

Monday – Peanut butter and jelly sandwich
Tuesday – Turkey/chicken sandwich on flat bread
Wednesday – Home made pancakes
Thursday – Wrap sandwich
Friday – home made pizza on naan bread or whole wheat pita rounds

Menu 2:

Monday – Bento box lunches
Tuesday – Raw tortilla soup and home made tortilla chips (see below)
Wednesday – Quinoa and vegetable turnovers
Thursday – Petite lasagnas
Friday – PBJ wrap on whole wheat tortilla

Menu 3:

Monday – Peanut butter/almond butter and apple sandwich (see below)
Tuesday – Pizza rolls (see below)
Wednesday – Low fat, low sugar granola with almond milk
Thursday – Breakfast burritos
Friday – Home made pancakes (pumpkin, beet, ricotta, cottage cheese, Finnish oven etc)

Menu 4:

Monday – Avocado whole wheat wrap with tomato, lettuce and graded cheese
Tuesday – Egg salad sandwiches
Wednesday – Ham & Cheese quesadillas
Thursday – Vegetable fried rice
Friday – Homemade Mac & Cheese

Notes and recipes:

PBJ: organic, no sugar added to either, the jelly or peanut butter. Instead of peanut butter, I have started to use almond butter but you could also use other spreads.

Raw tortilla soup: I use my handy Blendtec blender to make this soup with fresh vegetables. My kids love it! Go here to get the recipe. For the homemade tortilla chips, I punch out shapes from a tortilla with a cookie cutter. Spray with spray grease and bake in the oven at 400F for about 4-5 min. You could also make these sweet by sprinkling cinnamon & sugar on top. I do not salt my chips but if I did, I’d use Himalayan crystal salt or Real salt.

Turkey/chicken sandwich: Make it the way your child likes! I use Boar’s Head for the deli meat option, because it is less processed than the other meats.

PBJ wrap: I use whole wheat tortillas and again, organic & as little sugar as possible for both PB & J. This is my kids’ favorite by far!

Peanut butter and apple sandwich: Make like a PBJ except use apple instead of J. Apple can be either grated or sliced but do remove the core and peel unless your child is ok eating the peel.

Pizza rolls: You can make a whole wheat pizza dough or use puff pastry sheets. Roll into a square or rectangle, cover with pizza sauce & cheese, and roll up & cut into 1″ slices. Bake at 400F until golden brown on top (abt. 15 min). Voila, you are done! (ps. You will want to let the puff pastry thaw a little. It doesn’t need rolling because it’s already the right shape) A word of warning: puff pastry dough is high in calories & fat so you’ll want to use it less frequently. Also, read the label; if it has high fructose corn syrup or transfats (hydrogenated oils) I would stay away from it!

Home made pancakes: If you do a search on my other blog, you will find the recipes for many of the pancakes I mentioned above.

Side dishes:

For drink I recommend sending water. I know it doesn’t sound very exciting but it has no sugar and no calories! Juices and chocolate milks are ok but only occasionally. Please note that even regular milk has a lot of sugar (abt 12 grams / one cup) but it’s certainly healthier than juice or soda. Soda should NEVER be found in the lunch box!

Here are some other ideas:

  • Whole wheat tortilla with peanut butter/almond butter sprinkled with dried cherries or raisins rolled up and cut in 2
  • Whole wheat tortilla with peanut butter/almond butter with a sliced banana and sprinkled with low sugar granola
  • Pizza quesadilla
  • Tomato cheddar soup, tortilla soup, pea soup, potato soup, chicken noodle soup, etc. Options are endless
  • Hummus and spinach wrap
  • Baked corn chips with black beans
  • Oriental: whole wheat or buck wheat noodles with peanut sauce
  • Tuna salad served on crackers, whole wheat tortilla, pita or sandwich
  • Mini sandwiches (cut out of slices of bread with cookies cutter) with non-nitrate containing deli meats
  • Oriental: vegetarian brown rice sushi rolls
  • Smoked salmon, cream cheese and cucumbers on a mini bagel or flat round bread
  • Oriental: pot stickers
  • Oriental: vegetable fried rice
  • Homemade pizza or mini calzone
  • Ham or turkey sandwich on whole wheat bread
  • Homemade lunchable type of lunch
  • Omelette
  • Breakfast burritos with egg, cheese, ham/turkey and salsa
  • Pancakes or waffles
  • Leftovers from dinner (yes, totally acceptable!)
  • Pigs in a blanket with homemade dough and nitrite free dogs
Sides and snacks:
  • Fruit cabobs
  • Fresh veggies cut bite size with or without dip (dip should be very small amount like 1 TBSP or so)
  • Chocolate almond butter with crackers
  • Finger fruits: strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, pineapples, grapes, cherries, grape tomatoes
  • Fruit: apple, banana, clementine/mandarin (can be already peeled in a snack container), orange, pear, plum, pluot etc.
  • String cheese, cheese cubes, slices of cheese and hopefully not the processed kind!
  • Yogurt
  • Hard boiled eggs or deviled eggs made with greek yogurt instead of mayo
  • Nuts, seeds, trail mix
  • Cereal, granola
  • Granola or cereal bars — Organic!
  • Popcorn
  • Whole wheat crackers
  • Baked chips
  • Pita chips
  • Apple sauce or pureed fruit
  • Fruit leather
  • Dark chocolate (only about 1 oz)
  • Celery with peanut butter and raisins
  • Baby carrots
  • Homemade muffins or rolls
  • Hummus and whole wheat crackers
  • Greek yogurt dip with either veggies or fruit
  • Fruit pizza occasionally
  • Apple with peanut or almond butter
  • Jicama sticks with pico de gallo
  • Fortune cookies (check for trans fats!)
  • Wonton wrappers with peanut, almond, sun flower etc. butter, folded and baked
  • Melons
  • Fig newtons
  • Fruit salad
Drinks
  • Water
  • Milk
  • Juice occasionally
  • Almond milk
  • Chocolate milk occasionally
  • Home made green juice or smoothie

I can’t believe the summer is over but at the same time I’m excited for the upcoming holiday season! Enjoy your last few days of sleeping in little ones and moms!