Back to school is right around the corner! Oversized book bags and five-subject notebooks are current flying off the shelves and getting prepped for the coming academic year. While kids are sad to be leaving the summer behind, it's pretty sweet to have them back on a regular day-to-day schedule.
One part of back-to-school that gets pretty mundane by the second day of the first week is packing lunch. Have no fear, we're here to help with that. According to Whole Foods, the perfect lunch box is a combination of color, protein, crunch, and a little bonus snack. The 'color' typically comes from vegetables and fruits. Apple slices, oranges segments, grapes, cherry tomatoes, bell pepper slices, watermelon, and blueberries are amongst classic lunchbox favorites.
Protein can be added with nut/seed butter, a hard boiled egg, hummus, black bean dip, edamame, or baked tofu. The crunch can come from whole grain crackers, celery sticks, baby carrots, cucumber slices, rice cakes, dried edamame, or air popped popcorn. Bonus treat favorites include yogurt, apple sauce, string cheese, trail mix, or a granola bar
We've rounded up some of the most scrumptious lunch recipes on the Internet to give you back-to-school lunch packing inspiration:
Back to school lunches
Back to school: 18 yummy lunch recipes your kids will love
Tacos are a crowd favorite because of the endless possibilities of fresh veggies and toppings that can be added - olives, tomatoes, avocado, greens, caramelized onions and peppers, etc. Tacos make it super easy to eat the rainbow in one sitting.
These Chicken Avocado Pitas can be whipped up in a jiff, served hot or cold, and will satisfy even the pickiest crowd. I love the bright colors of the cherry tomatoes and fresh avocado. Made extra creamy with greek yogurt sauce, you don’t need to feel guilty for enjoying this so much. Healthy meets delicious!
There are so many reasons to love this recipe. It takes 10 minutes to make, start to finish. It serves 4 and each serving has a serving of veggies and lean protein to help keep you fueled for your day.
You can add a grain to the bowl if you like (brown rice or quinoa would be yummy). For a paleo version, omit the feta and yogurt-based dressing and use your favorite paleo salad dressing (or oil/vinegar combo) instead.
Everyone knows a good sandwich starts with the bread, and this is particularly true when you decide to go the open-face route. You want something light and fluffy, but it needs to be hearty enough to stand-up to all the badass toppings.
The portabello acts as the meaty base, with a spread of homemade hemp seed basil pesto and topped with artichoke hearts, onions, and creamy avocado. It's got a ton of flavor and makes a great lunch, plus takes just a few to whip up.
Switch up the types of veggies you add to this Dairy Free Mac N Cheese recipe to introduce your little ones to new greens. Try peas, kale, or even spinach in place of broccoli for a nutrient-dense lunch option.
Making your meals fun doesn’t have to require a lot of work. Sometimes it’s not about cutting your entree into the shape of whatever you want to create but rather taking what it is and working with it from there.
Not only is this pizza freaking bomb because it has super fresh tomatoes and that sweet balsamic glaze, but it’s got THREE kinds of cheese! Fresh Mozzarella, Asiago, and Parmesan… the more cheese the better!