Do the kids groan when they see a PB&J or turkey sandwich every day in their lunch? You would too after weeks of eating the same thing! (Plus, some schools don’t allow peanuts, making things a whole lot trickier.) Kick off the school year in good taste by thinking outside the lunchbox and putting together a meal that is healthy, fun and surprising.
We’ve put together a list of some fun and easy ideas that you can make with ingredients made at home or bought at a good quality grocery – like hummus or chicken salad. All our suggestions can be eaten cold or at room temperature so you can prepare lunch the night before and avoid the a.m. rush.
-Sliced apple, cheddar and mustard
-Sliced hard-boiled egg and babaganoush (eggplant spread)
-Goat cheese and roasted beets
-Roast beef, swiss and caramelized onions
-Turkey, lentils and mayonnaise or aioli
-Bean and cheese quesadillas
-Chicken salad in lettuce cups (eat like a taco!)
-Hummus “platter” with pita, veggies and cheese
-Cold soba noodle salad (use any dressing and vegetables)
-The “Butters”: Almond, apple, peanut, or sunflower seed butter on brown rice cakes or a mini bagel with a banana on the side
-Meatball or meatloaf sandwich with chunky marinara on baguette
-Pulled chicken with BBQ sauce on a bun
-Chicken drumsticks with roasted veggies
-Vegetable and cheese polenta triangles
-Pureed soup in a thermos or airtight container
Breakfast and Brunch Leftovers
-Banana or blueberry pancakes
-Fried egg, ham and cheese sandwich
-Cream cheese and lox bagel sandwich
-Granola and yogurt parfait
-Quiche with cut fruit on skewers
-Olive oil or air-popped popcorn
-Grape and cherry tomato mix
-Roasted seaweed (aka the new potato chip!)
-Homemade snack mix of kamut puffs, raisins and nuts dusted with cinnamon
-Edamame (soybeans in pod)
Check out Vegan Lunch Box, Lunch in a Box, and The Healthy Lunchbox for more lunchtime inspiration and find the perfect carrier for all these yummy ideas by reading our article about cool lunchboxes here.
What “out of the lunchbox” ideas are a hit with your kids? Red Tri wants to know! Log in and share a comment with us!
-Sarah K. Choi