Healthy School Lunch Ideas

A Better Sandwich:

An easy fix for a healthier lunch is to use healthier bread choices.  Spelt, Sprouted, or Whole Grain Breads have less sugar and more nutrients.  Whole Grain Pitas or Tortillas are also good alternatives.

 For fun fillings between the slices, try hummus with shredded vegetables or even a revamped tuna salad; this works great in a pita. 

                   Tuna Salad Remix:  Instead of mayo, try using mustard, hummus, or even cottage cheese to mix up your tuna sandwich.  Add chopped carrots, bell peppers, cabbage, zucchini, cucumber, green onions, or spinach to liven it up.

A healthy burrito or quesadilla is a nice change in the lunchbox, using whole grain tortillas, refried beans and roasted vegetables, flavored with garlic, cumin, and yummy salsa.  With creamy refried beans, they won’t even miss the cheese!

A good time saver is to recycle dinner’s leftovers into the next day’s lunch.  Roasted chicken or pork is a much healthier and tastier sandwich meat than processed sliced meats.  Turn leftover brown rice, whole grain pasta, or quinoa into a nice cold salad, adding whatever veggies you have on hand and making a quick vinaigrette with olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, Bragg’s liquid aminos, and salt and pepper to taste.  Leftover roasted vegetables from the night before are also an excellent filler for sanwiches. 

Bring back the thermos with tasty soups, expecially as we move into winter.  Creamy carrot soup or butternut squash soup paired with whole grain crackers or a whole greain roll is delicious (and remember there are lots of great creamy soup recipes that don’t require dairy).

For a restyling on the classic peanut butter and jelly, try using almond or cashew butter and honey.

A Better Snack:

Part of the fun of bag lunches is eating with your fingers.  Hummus with sugar snap peas, carrots, celery, cucumber, or sliced bell peppers is lots of fun.

Instead of chips, offer crunchy nuts and dried fruit.  Celery and almond butter is also a crunchy alternative. 

Popcorn can also be an exciting lunch addition, try popping the kernels old fashioned style on the stove for better flavor (Air popping is fine as well, avoid microwave popcorn).  Once popped, toss with cashews, cinnamon, and a little agave nectar for a sticky, sweet treat.

For an occassional suprise, try making a batch of homemade cookies, looking for recipes that use whole wheat flour, applesauce, and oats – healthier and just as tasty.

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