Healthy Lunches to Pack

In my last article, I talked about how our students deserve better lunches. That they deserve better options. But what better way is there to give them better options than to do it firsthand? After all, a healthy lifestyle should start at home – that is the place where most of our time is spent eating anyway. To send your kids to school, knowing that they have good, healthy food in their bags, provided they don’t trade the entire menu away, is priceless.

Quinoa is a great healthy substitute for starches like rice! (photo by net_efekt)

Quinoa is a great healthy substitute for starches like rice! (photo by net_efekt)

1. “Southwestern” Quinoa

– Quinoa
– Basil
– 2 C. Chicken Broth
– Sun-dried Tomato Pesto
– 1/2 Onion, minced
– 1 Clove of Garlic, minced
– Salt and Pepper to Taste

– Boil quinoa in chicken broth
– Add the rest of the ingredients to the quinoa after cooked
– Toss evenly
– Add salt and pepper to taste

2. Balsamic Chicken

– Balsamic Vinegar
– 2 Cloves Garlic
– 2 Tbsps Maple Syrup
– Chicken, fully cooked

– Reduce balsamic vinegar, garlic, and maple syrup to boil
– Cook chicken to liking
– Smother chicken with sauce

Just saying, the first two recipes compliment each other very very well! This would be a good lunch idea for those who have early lunches – so the food can still be warm. If not, perhaps you’ll have a microwave available for use for the quinoa! The chicken can go either way.

3. Vietnamese Spring Rolls

– Mint, minced
– Rice Paper
– Lettuce
– Chicken breast, boiled or grilled
– Peanut sauce

– After cooking chicken, slice into strips
– Wet the rice paper for a few seconds on both sides
– Set on plate, then layer lettuce, mint, and chicken in a straight line off-centered from the middle of the paper
– To fold, grab both sides of the rice paper, pulling into the center
– From there, you may grab the closest side to the food (usually the bottom of the rice paper) and begin to roll

The best thing about this recipe is that it is very filling, and very calorie conscious. They run roughly 82 calories per roll.

4. From Fablunch, “Cranberry Feta Wrap”

– Spinach Wrap
– 1 Green Onion
– 60 Grams of Cream Cheese
– 1 Tsp of Green Pepper Jelly
– 40 Grams of Dried Cranberries
– 1/4 Cup of Feta Cheese

– Combine all ingredients, excluding the wrap and the jelly in a small bowl
– Mix ingredients with a fork until well combined
– Spread green pepper jelly all over the tortilla
– Now add the combined ingredients on the tortilla as well
– Wrap the wrap, cut in half

Olga from Fablunch served this entree with cherry tomatoes, fresh broccoli, a fruit salad, and two of her favorite holiday cookies. Definitely sounds so good!

5. But in case you’re the person who is extremely pressed for time… My go-to lunch is this:
– Peanut butter on one slice of whole wheat bread
– A handful (or two!) of gluten free Vanilla Chex or Frosted Mini Wheats
– Various on-the-go fruit, such as a peach, plum, or apple
– and just so I get enough protein in (so I feel fuller!) celery sticks with peanut butter as well!

If none of those helped you, stay tuned for the next couple of posts, because there will be a Healthy Lunches to Pack Part Two!


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