Barefoot by the Sea: School Lunches: Keep the Color and Keep it Interesting!

Monday, September 28, 2015

School Lunches: Keep the Color and Keep it Interesting!

As we've settled into the new school routine, I'm starting to hear rumblings that some kids are already getting tired of the same old lunch!  I've been there, trust me!  I try to mix it up, with new and inventive spins on old classics.  I focus on a colorful lunch with a nice balance of protein, veggies, fruit and carbs.  As the seasons change, so do our lunches.  While blueberries, watermelon and cantaloupe are everywhere in late August and September, we're heading into our heavy pear and apple time.  Soon there will be clementines and lots of citrus! That's just an idea to keep it seasonal!  I find that seasonal items are often the most economical and tastiest! Here are a few of our favorites right now:

Veggie Sandwiches with Avocado
Pizza Rolls (a favorite!)
Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwiches
Almond Butter and Jam
Grilled Cheese and Tomato (it's still good cold!)
Our homemade "lunchables" featuring hummus, veggies, fruit, pretzels or some seed sprinkled crackers. Take a look at some of our favorites here!
Turkey or Veggie and Avocado or Veggie and Cheese rollups 
Pasta Salad (all varieties)
Tabouli
Lentil Salad
Black Bean Salad
Chicken Salad (all varieties)
Yogurt parfaits with fruit and granola
Rice wraps with veggies and avocado
Pita "Pizzas" with hummus, olives and peppers or Marinara, cheese and veggies
Salads with nuts and fruit - keep it interesting! 

Since it was warm for the first few weeks of school, we did a lot of cold treats. Frozen grapes are something my girls love and since my daughter, Sydney loves her yogurt, I decided they would be a nice addition to this frozen treat!

Easy as dunking your grape in your favorite yogurt (we used vanilla Greek) and putting them on a plate.  Freeze and you'll have a tasty snack!  These Frozen Yogurt Drops were a huge hit too!
As the weather gets cooler, we will be incorporating more soups and stews into the lunchbox.  I invested in a good thermos last year and it was great.  The girls really enjoy having something different to take and the element of surprise (a fancy way of saying leftovers!)

One of my favorite tips regarding school lunches?  Keep it interesting!  There are dozens, thousands probably of websites dedicated to keep you out of that school lunch rut!  I love Weelicious for inspiration and ideas! 

6 comments:

  1. My girls were never sandwich lovers so I had to get creative with their lunches. Leftovers were great in the thermos! Those yogurt dipped frozen grapes sounds so good!

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    1. Sandwiches get so boring! I'm glad my girls are adventurous - makes it easier!

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  2. When I first saw the picture, I thought you had dipped pomegranate seeds in yogurt, and was wishing I had a fraction of your patience! Glad to read that it is grapes, and love that idea!

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    1. Ha! That would require A LOT of patience! Grapes are easy but I'm not that patient!

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  3. Great ideas! My boys loved when I packed them Chicken Noodle Soup :-)) in their cute Crayola Crayon thermos.

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  4. These are great ideas! I ordered a thermos online last year for my daughter because they were a peanut free school and it really limited my options. It was so great to have all of the hot food choices that I went ahead and got another one for my son this year.

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