This is the time of year when the school year starts to wind down and you find yourself at a loss for new, healthy, packable lunch ideas. Don’t just resign yourself to making PB&J’s for the next six weeks. Here are some quick and easy ideas that your kids will love all the way through to the last day of class:
Mini-veggie quiches: Spray a muffin pan with olive oil and make this crustless vegetable quiche recipe, filling each muffin cup about two-thirds full. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until quiches are set and lightly golden on top. Run a knife around edges to loosen then let cool in the pan. Pack with apple quarters tossed with pineapple juice (to prevent browning) and a couple of pretzel rods.
Colorful roll-ups: Spread 2 tablespoons roasted red pepper hummus on a spinach tortilla. Top with enough oven-roasted turkey slices to cover completely, sliced tomatoes and low-fat American cheese. Take one stalk of celery and place it at one end of the tortilla. Roll tightly, making sure not to squeeze out the filling. Slice in half on a sharp angle and wrap each half in tin foil to help keep sealed. Pack with yogurt and a slice of Angel Food cake or granola bar.
Sticks in a jar: Salads in a jar are extremely popular, and this is a way to use the same idea in your child’s lunchbox. Instead of an entire salad, give them a veggie-and-dip snack to go. Using a glass mason “jelly” jar (4-ounce size), add 2 tablespoons of your favorite homemade dressing to the bottom of the jar. Then cut celery, yellow and red bell peppers, carrots and zucchini into 2 ½-inch strips. Place veggie “sticks” upright in the jar so that ends are in the dip. Close with tight fitting lid. Pack with a cheese sandwich and low-fat pudding cup.
Photo credit: Hilary Woodward