With so many of our kids requesting the same thing for lunch on the daily (in our house it’s turkey on white bread, no crusts), it can be tough to liven up lunchtime while still staying healthy. Food blogger and Weelicious founder Catherine McCord has been there, but after tons of experience packing delicious meals for her own kids, she’s learned a thing or two (or 160 to be exact) about the art of filling a lunchbox. In her newest cookbook Weelicious Lunches: Think Outside the Lunch Box, Catherine shares her ingenious tips and tricks, amassed through her gigantic food empire, for packing that perfect school lunch.

Using her experience as a culinary school grad and high-end restaurant chef, Catherine founded the Weelicious site in 2007 in the hopes of inspiring her community to expose their little ones to healthy and flavorful food. Just as in her first super-successful cookbook,  Weelicious: One Family, One Meal, Catherine’s recipes, ideas, and tricks aim to promote nutritious meals that will ensure an empty lunchbox by the afternoon. With her clever ideas on getting kids excited about healthy eating, combined with her delicious recipes that combat packed-lunch boredom, Catherine’s book is an awesome go-to guide for nourishing our growing girls and boys.

While Catherine’s website is an amazing guide for feeding our hungry hooligans, her cookbook provides tons of new lunch recipes that are both easy and fun. The fabulous foodie offers over 160 suggestions for that pesky midday meal, with recipe sections including salads, sandwiches, veggies, snacks, and even desserts (they can be healthy too!). Plus, with her super insightful School Lunch Solutions section, which offers tips ranging from Engaging All the Senses to Strategies for “Picky” Eaters (she doesn’t believe in them), Catherine’s book is a definite necessity for your kitchen counter.

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You’ll find creative recipes, like Peanut Butter Pancake Sandwiches, to traditional recipes with a twist, like Chicken Salad Roll-Ups. The only thing that all of Catherine’s dynamic recipes have in common is their simplicity. The busy mom knows how valuable your time is so she makes sure you don’t have to sacrifice nutrition to save time. Catherine’s jam-packed cookbook also includes dozens of gorgeous photos of her unique recipes as an easy reference.

With all of her recipes and her pragmatic advice on getting kids eating right, Catherine’s cookbook provides essential insight to beating the lunchbox blues. Happy packing!

Available: starting Sept. 3, $17.99 at amazon.com.

What’s your go-to lunch to pack your kiddo? Share your recipe in the comments section below! 

— Claire Schillings