Thursday, August 16, 2012

Back-to-School (or Take-to-Work) Lunch Ideas

Back-to-school season is officially upon us. And in the nutrition world, this means everyone is talking about fun & healthy ways to create back-to-school lunches.  But, packing a lunch isn’t just a good idea for kids – it’s great for adults too! We’re big fans of packing our own lunches and snacks at home because we can rest assured that the food we'll be eating is delicious, nutritious, and completely satisfying.

Whether you're heading back to school, need ideas for lunches to take to work, or... are going on a one hour car ride and have a tendency to be overly prepared (note the picture below), here are some of our favorite back-to-school (or take-to-work!) lunch ideas.

#1. Be creative with leftovers! Make last night's roast chicken into a chicken sandwich, and turn roasted veggies into a roasted veggie salad.

#2. Raw veggies are nature's perfect finger food. Include a dipping sauce to make snacking more fun. Ideas include avocado smashed with Greek yogurt, hummus, or a cucumber-yogurt dip.

#3. Try making your own whole grain pita chips. Cut up whole grain pita bread into small triangles, cover with a little olive oil and sprinkle with some salt. Cook in the oven at 350 until they come out crispy.

#4. Homemade trail mix. Need we say more? Some of favorite ingredients: walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, dark chocolate chips and dried tart cherries.

#5. Take a spin on the classic PB & banana sandwich. Spread some nut butter on a whole wheat tortilla and wrap up a banana. Its way more fun to eat this way. You could even cut this into slices for some cute PB & banana “sushi.” Kids will love it.

#6. Thirsty? Brew some homemade iced-tea. Freeze lemonade in ice-cube trays the night before and toss the frozen cubes into your tea. It helps keep the tea cold while also adding a hint of sweetness.

#7. Cookies are A-Okay occasionally, but don't forget fruit as a dessert! Super sweet fruits like strawberries, mangos, and peaches make a delicious end to lunch. You can even dip them in dark chocolate for a special treat!

#8. Candied ginger is our other favorite way to end a meal. It's just the right amount of sweetness and also helps with your digestion.

#9. Consider packing your own cloth napkin and reusable plastic ware. It's good for the planet (and you'll look so sophisticated).

#10. Don't forget about snacks throughout the day either. Pack some homemade granola or muffins for snacks in-between meals.

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