In the spirit of the new year and resolutions galore, we're looking at interesting, healthy lunch box options. Add yours below:
Peanut butter and jelly gets boring. Nutella has been a great backup especially paired with some strawberries, but that gets old, too. Regardless, both options will be in my pantry for busy mornings but I need some more interesting solutions.
Do you have any good lunch box ideas?
I asked around and some other moms shared their tips with me.
Elise S., mom of two, told me how she brightens up peanut butter and jelly or tuna sandwiches with a little trick. “I sometimes cut them into different shapes with cookie cutters or use a little gadget that cuts the sandwich into a circle with no crusts.”
Kids love the “no crust” sandwiches, but did you know that crust may be the healthiest part of the bread? Check this article out.
My sister, Jackie B., saw a tip on television for salad lovers that she shared with me. “Make a salad in a Ziploc bag for ease. Kids dump in dressing, close bag and shake. Open, fold down top, and dig in. The whole thing can be thrown away. That is a mommy time saver (hate to have to clean out dirty lunch bags at night).”
Of course, you can use reusable containers that kids can shake, too. That would be better for the environment but moms will endure the “cleaning up” which can be horrific, especially if the containers are left in book bags on a Friday night! Wish there was a green way to avoid the clean up without using plastic bags.
Maryellen R., a mom of teenagers, needs to be creative because her girls don’t eat meat. She sends hummus and pita or pretzel chips many days. One of her girls likes “cold roasted veggie wraps with roasted zucchini, yellow squash and roasted red peppers with a little bit of Italian dressing on them.” That sounds yummy!
Maryellen's other daughter enjoys “cold quesadillas with salsa to dip.” She also sends pasta salads with white beans or chick peas and Italian dressing and includes cut up cucumbers and tomatoes. When her girls were younger, they did eat meat but her youngest, Tess, didn’t like sandwiches so Maryellen would pack a couple of cheese sticks and some pepperoni slices. Tess became known as “Tesseroni “ with her lunch bunch.
Danielle D., a friend who lives in Florida with two children (already back in school), gave me some great ideas for lunches that make you think a little outside the lunchbox. “My oldest loves burritos and doesn't mind eating them cold, we put heated black beans, rice and chicken in a warmed tortilla and wrap it in foil, sometimes it is warm and sometimes it isn't but she is happy with that. They both like tacos the same way, just heat up the meat and tortilla, wrap it and send lettuce, salsa and sour cream in a small container.” Another idea she told me about was a cold chicken wrap with Caesar dressing. She wraps leftover chicken or those Perdue short cuts in a tortilla with hearts of romaine, a little shredded cheese, and Caesar dressing. That sounds delicious, I think I’d like that in my own lunch box.
Share your healthy lunch tips in the comments.