NO-STRESS SCHOOL LUNCH IDEAS

MAKE PACKING YOUR CHILD’S LUNCHBOX OR BROWN BAG EASIER WITH SMART TIPS AND HEALTHY RECIPES THEY’LL LOVE

School lunch is often the only meal moms don't get to supervise, and many parents worry that their children are filling up on junk at lunchtime. To make matters worse, it’s not always easy to pack a healthy and tempting school lunch when you’re trying to get everyone out of the house in the morning. These recipes and strategies will help you solve the lunch problem.  

STOCK UP ON LUNCH STAPLES
 
Every time you go to the grocery store, make it a habit to take a look through your pantry, freezer and fridge first and be sure you have the basics, such as bread, nut butter, tuna, fruits and vegetables.

GET YOUR KIDS INVOLVED
 
Your child will be more likely to eat the nutritious lunch you’ve packed if he or she has helped decide what is in it. Shop for lunch ingredients together. Ask about his or her favorite lunchtime treats, and together, come up with healthier versions. Try homemade trail mix (with ingredients your child picks out!) instead of granola bars and Baked Tortilla Chips instead of the fried kind.

PREPARE IN ADVANCE  
 
Designate one day a week (perhaps Sunday) to clean and chop all the fruits and vegetables you’ll need for the coming week. This will make it easy to toss a few carrot sticks or fresh berries into your child’s lunchbox. You might also whip up some Mediterranean Hummus and keep it on hand; it’s great as a dip for vegetables.

PACK MULTIPLE LUNCHES AT A TIME
 
Make your life easier by assembling two or three days’ worth of lunches at once. Put together the “side dishes” (containers of cut fruit, cheese cubes, crackers, etc.) in advance. Then all you have to do each morning is make the “main dish.” To save money and eat healthier at work, you can even make a brown-bag lunch or two for yourself.

THINK OUTSIDE THE LUNCH BOX   
 
Dinner leftovers can make a yummy hot midday meal. Reheat last night’s Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes filling and pack it in an insulated container with a hamburger bun on the side. Send your child off with leftover Mexican Beef & Corn Casserole. Or use cold leftovers to make a Hearty Meatloaf Sandwich.

GET CREATIVE WITH SANDWICHES
 
There’s more to life than PB&J. How about a Zippy Ham Salad Sandwich, a Smokin’ Egg Salad Sandwich or an Apple ’N Cheddar Tuna Pita?
 
 
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