5 Healthy Lunches that Won't Get Traded in the LunchroomWith back to school comes that worst challenge of all for caring parents: packing a lunch that our children will actually eat. While stocking your shelves with potato chips and chocolate chip cookies might make you a hit mom in the short term, we can, and should, do better for our children. Here are some ideas for healthy lunches that your kids will want to eat.

  1. Pita Pizza Sandwiches

Ingredients:

1 pita loaf
4 tablespoons of marinara sauce
shredded cheese
sliced turkey or ham

Slice the pita in half, creating two pockets.
Gently open each pocket and spread the marinara sauce inside both sides of each pocket.
Lay the slices of meat inside each pocket.
Sprinkle the cheese evenly on one side of each pocket.

Wrap each pocket in a Press n Seal type wrap, or place in individual sandwich bags.

What makes it healthy:

Pita bread is a whole grain product, low in calories and fat, and high in fiber.

The marinara sauce makes the sandwich both taste great and healthy – tomatoes are higher in lycopene when cooked and turned into a sauce. It’s a sneaky vegetable that most kids love.

In one pocket a child will get a serving of vegetables, healthy grains, protein and dairy.

  1. Healthy Mac

Ingredients:

1 box of Easy Mac
½ cup of vegetable pasta sauce

Take the pasta sauce from the jar and freeze it in ½ cup portions in plastic containers. When placed in a child’s lunch box, the sauce will remain cold (as if refrigerated) but be thawed by lunch. Your child can prepare the Easy Mac according to the directions, but instead of adding the cheese powder, he can stir in the pasta sauce.

What Makes it Healthy:
A full serving of vegetables in a fun kid friendly package.

  1. Healthy Homemade “Happy Meal”

Package pre-cooked grilled chicken strips with a small tub of your child’s favorite dipping sauce and slices of apples dipped in lemon juice to keep them from browning.

What makes it healthy:

Grilled chicken strips are a healthy alternative to the breaded, fried chicken fingers and nuggets on the market. Served with the dipping sauce, your children won’t even notice the lack of breading and won’t suspect that they’re eating a healthier alternative to their favorite “window meal.”

  1. A Leg Up On Lunch

An entire bag of chicken drumsticks can be shaken in seasoned bread crumbs and baked at one time, then frozen individually in zipper bags. When packed in a lunch they will remain cold, but be thawed by lunch time.

Freeze 100% juice boxes, and your child will have a healthy slushy drink that provides a serving of fruit.

Together it will feel like lunch at a fair.

What makes it healthy:

Chicken legs are a healthy source of protein that children need as they grow, and are inexpensive to purchase. Baking or grilling them at home make them a healthy alternative to take-out.

  1. Lettuce Wraps

Ingredients:

2 Large leaves of lettuce
Fried brown rice

Lay the leaves flat and place two scoops of fried rice in the center of each leaf.
Fold the ends over the rice, and then roll like a burrito.

What makes it healthy:

Vegetables, brown rice, need I say more?

5 Healthy Lunches that Won't Get Traded in the Lunchroom

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