Breakfast is notoriously known as the most important meal of the day: it gives you the fuel to wake up and kick-start your day. However, so little credit is given to the meal that keeps you motivated and focused throughout the afternoon: lunch! Join us as we explore easy school lunch ideas for your tyke, as well as how to prep a healthy lunch for work (or home!).
With the chaos that ensues every morning, including remembering backpacks, signed forms, your purse (and hopefully your sanity), planning easy school lunches is a necessity. If you are worried about your little one having a filling and enjoyable meal that will get them through the day, try one of these ideas for quick school lunches!
Banana Burrito’s are a great way to sneak in a serving of fruits while still serving a fun and easy lunch! There are numerous variations of this recipe, but our favorite is the classic PB&J remixed into burritos! Start with a whole wheat wrap and spread with peanut butter and jelly— as little or as much as you like! Unpeel a banana and place it at the edge of the tortilla, fold in the tortilla, and you’re ready to roll! This quick lunch for school can be paired with your child’s favorite snacks, or another healthy serving of fruits or veggies.
Tired of sending a hot dog for lunch? Try taking it to the next level by creating Crescent Roll Hot Dog Pockets! Use your family’s favorite brand of hot dogs and pick up a pack of crescent roll dough to make this easy to cook school lunch. Prepare your hot dogs how you normally would, whether its browning in a skillet or tossing them on the grill. Pop open the can of rolls, splitting into squares instead of the traditional perforated triangles. Cut hot dogs in half and place two halves onto a square of your dough, securing the dough over the top and tucking in the sides. Cook the pockets in a skillet, or for easy clean-up, in a sandwich maker!
Ready to spice up the basic turkey sandwich? Try this take on these easy school lunch sandwiches: Deconstructed Sammy’s! Roll your favorite sliced lunch meat around cheese sticks, asparagus, greens or even tomato segments! Looking for quick vegetarian school lunches? Ditch the lunch meat, and support your wrap with cucumbers sliced with a vegetable peeler. Add toppings such as cherry tomatoes, cheese and thin peeled carrots!
The little ones aren’t the only ones who need healthy and filling lunches! Teens and young adults often forget how important it is to eat lunch, leading to a mid-afternoon burn out. Avoid this by checking out these easy school lunches for the more refined palate (read: high school and college kids).
- Mini Deep Dish Pizzas are the perfect lunch for teens on the go! This is an easy school lunch to make the night before, so it is convenient to pick up on the way to afterschool practice, or to scoop up before heading to class. You will need flour tortillas, shredded cheese, pizza/red sauce and, based on your taste, mini pepperonis. To make these pizzas, carve small circles out of the tortilla, and place into a muffin tin. Add desired amount of sauce, cheese and peperoni and pop in the oven 425 degrees for 10-12 minutes.
- We continue our list of easy high school lunch ideas with Nutella and Banana Sushi bites. It’s not very often that your high schooler will opt for a banana over a prepackaged snack—but these sushi bites just may change that! This quick snack for school lunch is prepared similarly to the banana burritos. Instead of spreading peanut butter and jelly, spread a hefty serving of Nutella hazelnut spread to a tortilla. Add your banana to the upper corner of the tortilla and roll! Cut your banana-tortilla into bite sized segments for sushi-like snacking on the go.
- Grilled cheese serves as a college staple—it’s both cheap and easy to make! Put a spin on this practical meal by making Grilled Cheese Roll Ups. Much like a traditional grilled cheese, all you need is bread (but trim off the crusts!), cheese and butter. Using a rolling pin (or, for struggling college students, a sturdy cup), flatten your slices of bread. Place a slice of cheese on your bread, and then roll the bread tightly. Grab a skillet and melt about 2 tablespoons of butter. Begin adding your grilled cheese roll ups, rotating them to ensure every side is golden brown and voila! You have an easy school lunch, college-style.
By nothing short of a miracle, you’ve packed a lunch for your tot, your teen, and texted a recipe idea to your college kid. Now all you’re missing is a healthy lunch for work! Don’t worry, at this point we know you’re tired, so we’ll keep it quick and easy!
- One of our favorite healthy lunch options for work is the Chicken Apple Wrap! For this recipe, you’ll need cooked chicken breast, your favorite apple (we love Fuji!), a handful of grapes, 2 Tbsp. peanut butter, 1 Tbsp. lite mayonnaise or Greek yogurt, honey to taste and iceberg lettuce. Start by chopping all of your dry ingredients, including the chicken, apple and grapes and mix together. Next, blend your wet ingredients together (the peanut butter, mayo/Greek yogurt and honey). Once all ingredients are mixed well, spoon into a large leaflet of iceberg lettuce and roll!
- Another healthy lunch to bring to work is a Bacon Berry Salad! Though it may be tempting to stop at a to-go restaurant and pick up a salad because it’s a “healthy option,” your wallet and waistline may not agree with this choice. Between added dressing, croutons and cheese, many salads contain more calories from fat than you may expect. Take out the middleman by crafting a healthy ingredient packed salad yourself! Include ingredients such as mixed salad greens, baby spinach, sliced strawberries, blueberries, crumbled blue cheese and, everyones’ guilty pleasure, cooked bacon. Just like that, you have the makings for healthy lunch salads without the financial strain!
- Our final suggestion for a healthy lunch to pack for work is a Quinoa Salad. You can pick up a box of quinoa at most grocery stores, and for first timers, the boxes come complete with easy preparation instructions. This recipe is extremely versatile, as you can add a large range of ingredients, ranging from meats to veggies to cheeses!