Back-to-School Lunch Ideas
Avoid PB&J boredom with these fresh ideas for school lunches.
Web2Carz Contributing Writer
Published: August 9th, 2012
As the school year rears its ugly head, parents everywhere are jumping for joy that their precious angels/little devils will be heading back to class, out of their hair for a full seven-ish hours each day. Simultaneously, though, those same parents may be worried about the perpetual battle against their kids' lack of interest in their lunchbox contents. Turkey sandwiches with a Fruit-Roll-Up may be the easiest way to go, but there are certainly some quick, easy, and healthy options that go beyond the simple sandwich. Try one of these options to stave off lunch-table fatigue.
Okay, okay, bear with us for a second. We get it, your kid is probably kind of picky and sushi is usually out of the question. But wait! If you make it with non-fish ingredients, you might have a winner. You can also leave the vinegar out of the rice to avoid any "this tastes weird" complaints. Make veggie sushi with avocados, cucumbers, carrots, and radishes, or branch out and use a little bit of grilled teriyaki chicken in the rice. To round out the meal, you can send your child with one of each. It's a little untraditional, but a lot of kids will get a kick out of eating with their hands (if they haven't learned how to use chopsticks yet, that is).
This one is super simple, and even though it has pizza in it, you can feel good sending your child to school with it, since the backdrop is ultra-healthy spinach. It's great for busy nights when you order pizza or make a frozen one and have leftovers. All you have to do for this one is combine a few handfuls of spinach (baby or regular) with a slice or two of chopped up pizza. You can add more veggies if your kid will have it, but if not, it's pizza in spinach. Sound kind of weird? It's not. Bring it for lunch yourself one day, you'll see. Pizza salad—the next big thing.
This idea comes from the idea of packing several different things into a picnic basket, as if you were spending the day grazing on various foods. Things like crackers, cheese, some lunch meat, maybe some olives, hard-boiled eggs, chopped vegetables, fruits. The options are nearly limitless and are extremely customizable to your kids' preferences.
Cold Noodle and Rice Dishes
These are great for schools that don't allow food to be reheated (which, if schools are anything like they were when we were all kids, that's all schools). This option also lets you use up leftovers, as you can just mix together leftover rice or noodles (though we'd advise against using rice noodles, as they just get mushy when refrigerated) with some vegetables and meat or tofu (depending on preference), then pour on a little sauce.
Tortilla Rollups or Wraps
These have all the appeal of a sandwich (plenty of interesting ingredients) but offer your child a change of pace from plain old bread. Make sure you choose healthy tortillas, as some use trans-fats, though. Some of our favorite fillings are turkey, avocado, and lettuce, or hummus and veggies.