At last, temperatures are dropping, summer is coming to a close, and in nearly every part of the country, school is back in session. With every new school year comes a laundry list of about a thousand other activities too – everything from lengthy homework assignments and martial arts to gymnastics and dance class. Doesn’t it feel like every waking moment during these school months is consumed with some extracurricular activity?!
With so much to do and so many places to be, sadly, it becomes way too easy to start turning to quick meal fixes and unhealthy convenience foods for our kids’ lunches instead of healthy and freshly prepped food. It’s human nature – the busier we are, the easier it is to let those seemingly little (but really big) things slip. For the Powell Pack, making sure all of my littles are getting the nutritious lunches they need to fuel their full day is imperative…and sometimes, that means planning those school time meals days in advance! It also means breaking away from the white bread sandwich norm and prepping yummy, creative, healthy foods that my picky eaters won’t crinkle their noses up to! Here are a few Powell Pack tried-and-true lunchtime favorites! And don’t think your kiddos have to be school-aged to enjoy them – Cashy boy gives his stamp of approval too!
The kids have SO much fun with these finger favorites, I mean, it’s a meal on a stick – what’s more fun than that?! These sturdy lollipop sticks make them easy to prep too! Our go-tos are fruit kabobs, breadless sandwich kabobs, and one of my faves – salad on a stick! Round up your favorite bit-sized ingredients, stack them on a lollipop stick, and you’re good to go! Easy to make, easy to clean up, and hands-on entertainment for the kids. Total win!
Meat and Cheese Roll Ups
Ever get that drowsy feeling after eating a big bowl of pasta or a thick, hearty sandwich? Those sugar-rich carb bombs are slump inducers for your little ones too! Instead of packing them a standard sandwich, try taking a couple of pieces of deli meat and rolling cheese inside for a yummy meat and cheese roll up! Better yet, throw a few slices of cucumber or tomato in the middle and wrap the entire roll up in a piece of iceberg lettuce for a mini lettuce sandwich! Add a side of mustard or flavored hummus for dipping, and your kiddos won’t even miss that carb-loaded bread. You could even get decorative toothpicks, like these swords, that make the roll ups extra cool and ensure they don’t unravel while they eat. Lunch AND a toy!
Speaking of dipping… if your kids are anything like mine, they’ll eat just about anything they can “dip”! Try sending an entire dipper lunch! For the main course, pack tuna or chicken salad prepared in a light mayo with some crackers for scooping. For sides, send them with apples and celery with peanut butter, carrots and broccoli with hummus, or berries with yogurt dip. These finger foods are not only good for your kids, but a whole lunch of dips?! You’ll make the grade as a “cool mom” too! These containers are perfect for Dip Day – there are so many perfectly portioned compartments, and they’re completely dip-friendly! 🙂
Other quick, healthy snack ideas:
Frozen fruit smoothies
So when it comes time to pack lunches for your littles this school year, break out of the brown bag blues and try your hand at some of these creative lunches. They’ll keep your kiddos’ tummies full and their bodies moving! What are your family’s lunchtime favorites?!
For more awesome container and lunch box ideas, see below!