I received a request to write a blog post about packing lunches for kids (and kids-at-heart!) that are a step above the traditional sandwich and very easy to put together. Instead of recreating the wheel, here is an awesome post from Katie Serbinski, MS, RD at Mom to Mom Nutrition (momtomomnutrition.com). Katie is a registered dietitian, mom of two boys, and expert on family nutrition. Her recipes are easy, fun, and worth checking out. Katie and her innovative lunch ideas were featured on Fox 2 News Detroit.
While sandwiches are the easiest lunch option, if your child won’t eat them, YOU need options. Here are 4 healthy non-sandwich school lunch ideas!
You might remember my stance on packing school lunch: your child WILL survive and actually THRIVE by eating the same meal every day. However… if your child is asking for something new and different than their “usual,” I think parents can use this to their advantage and expose their children to new healthy foods! So if that’s the case when it comes to packing lunch in your house, I have 4 non-sandwich lunch ideas that combine old favorites in healthy and colorful ways! The best part? These non-sandwich lunch ideas are easy enough for kids to make! So get them in your kitchen and packing lunch with you. Let’s get packing!
1. Customizable Pizza Kabobs [click for the full-recipe]: This is a favorite of my pizza-loving kids. Pizza night isn’t just for Friday’s anymore… it can be for school lunch too! Just mix and match your pizza toppings based on what your kiddos like on their za and serve with their favorite dipping sauce. I’d go for ranch, but my kids like marinara.
2. Apple Cheese Wraps: Except there’s no bread! Slice your favorite apple and thinly slice your favorite cheese and wrap the two with a thin strip of deli meat. Joey LOVES gala apples with cheddar cheese and turkey. But I’d dig granny smith with cheddar and salami! Again, you can customize this recipe based on your child’s preference.
3. Hummus Snack Plate: It’s exactly that. Kids love dipping, and you can give them a variety of veggies to dip in hummus. If your kids shy away from hummus, you can give them Greek yogurt too!
4. Banana Sushi Rolls: This one is too fun…. Take a piece of whole wheat bread and using a rolling pin roll it flat. Spread your favorite nut butter or sun butter on the bread. Lay a whole banana in the middle and carefully roll up the bread around the banana. Slice into six pieces that are 1.5 inches thick.
Whether I’m packing a lunch or making one at home, I always make sure there are 4 things: a fruit, a veggie, a whole grain, and a protein. Hence that’s what you’ll see in all of these non-sandwich lunch ideas. You can always mix and match the sides, but your kids will be coming back for more if you add a few chocolate chips in their lunch like I did. Who wouldn’t?!
Head on over to my products page to see what lunch boxes and serving cups I used to make these lunches! Here’s to a healthy and happy school year for both parents and kids!
I recently shared these lunch ideas with viewers of Fox 2 News Detroit. Hope you enjoy the clip as much as I loved sharing it!