Five School Lunch Ideas to Add to Your Grocery List
September 26, 2019
As you and your child settle into the new school year, it’s easy to get lost in the chaos of juggling busy schedules and enrolling in after-school activities. Whether it’s trying out for the basketball team or picking up a new instrument for classes at Bach to Rock, the start of a new school year is nothing short of eventful for the whole family. And as you make the transition out of lazy summer days, you’ll come to find that it not only affects commute schedules and bedtimes, but it also alters your grocery shopping lists.
It’s likely that your weekly runs to the grocery store will now include less family style meals and more packable, on-the-go lunch items. However, scouting out foods that not only hold nutritional value but will also get the thumbs up from your picky eater is a challenge that many parents can attest to. Here are a few ways you can steer clear of monotonous PB&J’s and upgrade your child’s lunch menu to a fun and delicious variety for the week.
If you’re lacking lunchbox thermo packs, a pasta salad is a chilled and easy alternative to the hot Italian dish. This deli-style pasta salad only takes 20 minutes to prep and gives your child a full serving of veggies, too. Tossed with cheese, bell peppers, deli meat, basil and zucchini, your child will get a spoonful of zesty flavor in every bite. Serve it as a side dish or make it the main course and pair it with a side of fresh fruits and baked chips.
Spruce up the lunch menu with a change of cuisine at least once a week. Spring rolls, or in this case, rainbow rolls, are a delicious and colorful upgrade from the average salad. With ingredients like red and yellow bell peppers, purple cabbage, green sprouts and orange carrots, this menu item will not only be easy on the eyes but also an easy mid-day pick me up.
Cheese, chicken and a skillet is all it takes for this gooey goodness. Requiring few ingredients and minimal prep time, this Mexican course is a popular item on many kids’ menus, making it hard for even the picky eaters to hate. Pack guacamole and sour cream on the side for easy dipping and make it a full meal with a side of rice and beans for a full Mexican indulgence.
Deli Meat Roll-Ups
These easy-to-make, gluten-free wraps are a perfect substitute for the classic sandwich. Choose your child’s favorite deli meat between turkey, beef or ham, and stack their favorite type of cheese and greens before rolling it up for easy eating. Pair this entrée with gluten-free pretzels and some grapes for a well-rounded, allergy-free meal.
Take your own twist on the classic nachos Lunchable pack with healthier and more diverse toppings. Using corn chips as a base, this finger food lets your child choose more than just salsa and queso to keep them powering through the rest of the school day. Go bento-box style and pack each topping individually so your child is sure to enjoy a clean and crunchy meal by the time lunch rolls around.
Bagel and Spread
A little breakfast for lunch never hurt anyone. Whole wheat mini bagels make for an easy last-minute lunch for the busiest of days and can be paired with cream cheese or peanut butter depending on preference. Combine this with some string cheese and a banana for a filling meal.
Keep it Simple, Not Bland
While sandwiches are an easy fix for last-minute meal preppers, there are other ways to pack an easy lunch and still keep the interest (and appetite) of your child. With a little touch of variety, your child will look forward to lunch hour and power through the rest of the school day with confidence.
At Lake Mary Preparatory School, mealtime is not only an important part of the experience, it’s the basis for whole-child wellbeing. We offer a fresh salad bar daily, which includes greens, lean proteins, bean/legumes, whole grains and vegetable toppings, all served with freshly made dressings all prepared in house. Our lunch menus are based on the Creating a Healthy Plate program, which offers balanced meals for all the students.
Lake Mary Prep uses FLIK, who prides themselves in nourishing our students. They are more than a business—they are committed to building strong bodies and sharp minds. We go above and beyond by offering nutrition education programs that empower students to make healthy choices on a daily basis. By providing wholesome meals in conjunction with nutrition education, we are equipping students with the tools needed to live a happy, healthy life.