This post is sponsored by iHerb.
Your kids are headed back to school and that means its time to start thinking and planning school lunch ideas. Kids need healthy and nutritious meals to keep their brains going through the long day at school, and many times this is the only meal they will have throughout the day. Parents want to make sure they give their kids balanced school lunches, but the typical sandwiches can get boring and often aren’t the healthiest. Here are 5 school lunch ideas that go beyond ham and cheese or peanut butter and jelly.
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5 Yummy and Healthy School Lunch Ideas that are Better than Peanut Butter and Jelly
Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Wrap and Goji Berry Yogurt
This is yummy wrap is a healthy, gluten-free alternative to the chocolate nut-butter wraps. Made with cinnamon coconut wraps and dark chocolate peanut butter, it will quickly become one of your child’s favorite lunches rivaling the classic PB&J. The Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter is high in protein, guaranteeing that your child will stay full and satisfied throughout the day. With a side of plain greek yogurt, also high in protein, splashed with organic vanilla and goji berries– which are full of disease fighting antioxidants- on top, it is a healthy yet sweet tasting lunch that is healthy and tasty.
Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Wraps
Place two tablespoons of the dark chocolate peanut butter on one cinnamon coconut wrap. spread evenly. Add fruit like strawberries or blueberries if desired. Wrap tightly.
Goji Berry Yogurt
Add desired amount of plain (or flavored) Greek yogurt in a container. Add 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Mix throughly. Add goji berries on top. You can add granola or other fresh fruit if desired.
Veggie Pasta with a Side Salad and Coconut Chips
Pasta doesn’t have to just be for dinner. Cold pasta seems to be a fan-favorite among kids, and this veggie pasta can be made in a variety of ways- classic with tomato sauce, al fresco with a bit of olive oil and seasoning, or topped with cheese. This veggie pasta is made with organic red beet, orange carrot, green spinach, and golden grain are high in vitamins A and C, calcium, iron, folate, magnesium, and more making it a healthy choice for your kids.
Coconut chips like these ones (or for mom, these espresso ones) make a delicious and sweet treat, while a healthy side salad round the whole thing out. They add a little bit of crunch like chips but they are healthier as they are loaded with good fats.
- Eden Foods Vegetable Spirals pasta
- Desired toppings such as:
- Organic pasta sauce
- Olive oil with seasoning
Cook pasta according to directions on the package. Add your child’s favorite sauce or topping such as organic pasta sauce, olive oil with seasoning, or shredded cheese.
Quinoa with Black Beans and Coconut Blueberry Muffins
Although quinoa is not a grain, many people see it as an alternative to rice and they treat it that way for many meals. So why not for one of your go-to school lunch ideas. Quinoa is high in protein, gluten-free, and full of antioxidants. It is also very high in fiber, even more so than some more commonly use grains. Black beans are also high in protein and fiber, and they have minerals such as folate, thiamine, and iron.
A great alternative to traditional white flour is coconut flour. Coconut flour is gluten-free and high in healthy MCT’s which have been found to help with brain development. These coconut blueberry muffins are a healthier alternative compared to traditional muffins, and will be one of your child’s favorite snacks (especially if you make them in mini version!).
Quinoa with Black Beans
*The black beans must be cooked prior to creating this lunch
- 1 cup of Bob’s Red Mill Black Turtle Beans
- 1 cup of Bob’s Red Mill Red Quinoa
- Simply Organic Chicken seasoning (optional)
- Shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
- Diced tomatoes (optional)
*Please note: The black beans need to cooked prior to the rest of this recipe.
Cook the black beans the night before by soaking them overnight, and then cooking according to the package directions on the back (1 to 2 hours of simmering). The black beans can be kept in the fridge in an air tight container for up to 1 week.
Cook the quinoa according to the package directions. Add 1 teaspoon for every cup of dry quinoa to the water to add extra flavor to the quinoa.
Top the black beans and quinoa with shredded cheddar cheese and diced tomatoes if desired.
Coconut Blueberry Muffins
- 3/4 cup of Nutiva Coconut flour
- 6 eggs
- 1/2 cup of coconut oil, melted
- 1/3 cup of coconut milk
- 1/3 cup of Wholesome Organic Stevia
- 1 teaspoon of organic vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon of Bob’s Red Mill Baking Powder
- 1/2 cup of fresh blueberries
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Mix all the ingredients together into a bowl except for the blueberries. Blend well. Fold in blueberries slowly. Line a muffin tin (mini muffins are fun for kids!) with paper liners or spray with coconut oil cooking spray. Fill each section 3/4 of the way full. Bake for 25 minutes or until the tops are browned.
Lentils with Grape Tomatoes and Strawberry Yogurt Parfait
Lentils are one of those super foods that are usually forgotten about, especially when it comes to kids school lunch ideas. Packed with protein and fiber, and low in fat, these little legumes are nutritious and healthy. They are easy to make in bulk, too, so you can make serving and use it throughout the week in soups or simply by themselves. In this recipe we add grape tomatoes and feta cheese for extra flavor. Coupled with a strawberry chia seed parfait, your kids will love their lunch.
Lentils with Grape Tomatoes and Feta Cheese
- 1 cup of Bob’s Mill Green Lentils
- Grape tomatoes (optional)
- Feta cheese (optional)
Cook lentils according to package directions. Once cooked and cooled, pat dry with paper towels. Add desired amount to a container, and add sliced grape tomatoes and sprinkles of feta cheese if desired.
Strawberry Yogurt Parfait
- Plain Greek yogurt
- 1/2 teaspoon of organic vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons of Natierra Freeze-Dried Strawberries
- 2 tablespoons of granola (optional)
Place two tablespoons of Natierra Freeze-Dried Strawberries at the bottom of a cylinder container or bowl. Add desired amount of plain Greek yogurt mixed with 1/2 teaspoon of organic vanilla extract to taste. Add 2 tablespoons of granola if desired.
School Lunch Ideas Pro-Tip:
Add the Sahale Snack packs for some added crunch and protein, and you have a perfect lunch!
Shredded Chicken with Almond Butter Chia Seed Smoothie
Another school lunch idea that you can make ahead of time for the week is shredded chicken breasts. Cooking 3 to 4 chicken breasts in a slow-cooker over the weekend will give you options for meals for the entire week. A simple lunch of shredded seasoned chicken and a peanut butter chia seed smoothie is not only delicious but also very healthy. Chia seeds are high in fiber and protein, keeping kids fulls throughout the day while they are at school. It is also loaded with antioxidants, calcium, zinc, vitamin B3 (niacin), potassium, vitamin B1 (thiamine), and vitamin B2. Chia seeds can easily be added to several different school lunch ideas including smoothies and yogurt bowls, making it a great staple to have on hand.
- 3 to 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 tablespoon of Simply Organic Chicken seasoning
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
Mix together the seasoning and the olive oil until well blended. Place the chicken breasts in a slow cooker, and drizzle the olive oil/seasoning mixture over top. Cook for 4 hours on high. Shred chicken using two forks or shredding scissors. Chicken can be kept in the fridge in an air tight container for up to one week.
Almond Butter Chia Seed Smoothie
- 1 tablespoon of Bob’s Red Mill Chia Seeds
- 1 frozen or raw banana
- 3/4 cup of almond milk
- 1 tablespoon of Barney Butter Almond Butter
Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Optional add-ins include blueberries, cocoa powder, or leafy greens.
School Lunch Ideas Pro-Tip:
Add the Yum Earth Organic Fruit Snacks for a special treat, especially if this is the end of the week!
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A new school year is exciting, and shaking up what’s for lunch every day with some healthy options like these 5 back to school lunch ideas will make the day that much easier for your kids. Healthy and nourished brains means better academic success and these superfoods from iHerb can get you there.
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