A week’s worth of easy lunch recipes

For many parents, the last thing we have time for is packing a lunch. But we’re here to say, don’t give up just yet! Of course, there are standby favorites like PB&J, but if you’re looking to mix it up, here’s a week’s worth of meals you can knock out in a hurry.

To get started, try these flexible recipes. Be creative and substitute ingredients as necessary to accommodate your child’s eating habits. The goal is simple, healthy and delicious!



  • Hard boil enough eggs to use in 2 lunches.
  • Scoop watermelon and honeydew balls; toss with pineapple juice to retain color and freshness.
  • Cook one serving of shell-shaped pasta and then drain, cool and store in an airtight container. (2 oz. is about one serving.)
  • Make mini meatballs using your favorite meatloaf recipe; bake and then freeze in single layer.  When fully frozen, store in airtight bag.
  • Chop red, yellow and green bell peppers (one each).  Store in airtight container
  • Trim a small handful of broccoli florets into bite-sized pieces.
  • Make cashew butter in food processor by blending 2 1/4 cups of raw, unsalted cashews, 1/4 teaspoon salt and about 1 tablespoon of canola oil. (You want just enough to make a thick paste. You could also use a splash of lemon juice or orange juice.)
  • Make 1 cup of trail mix by tossing together various nuts, coconut flakes, dried blueberries, cherries and other favorite dried fruits; add a few chocolate chips for extra flavor.

Monday: Mexican Black Bean Pinwheels

  • Spread cream cheese on whole wheat tortilla. Sprinkle black beans, diced bell peppers and cheddar cheese over the top.  Roll tightly and cut on bias.  Wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  • Include 1 serving of Salsa for dipping.
  • Add melon balls and blueberries drizzled with honey for dessert.

Tuesday: Shells and Veggie Pasta

  • Toss 2 oz. of pasta, bell peppers, corn kernels (frozen is fine), broccoli, halved cherry tomatoes, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper.  Drizzle with scant amount of Italian salad dressing.
  • Add melon and strawberry skewers with a single serving of vanilla yogurt for dipping.

Wednesday: Italian Meatball Soup

  • Sauté one onion, 4-5 carrots and 3 celery stalks in soup pot until softened.  Add a bag of chopped kale or spinach until wilted.  Add meatballs and enough low sodium beef broth to completely cover (about 1/2 cup per serving).  Simmer until heated through.  Season to taste with parsley, salt and black pepper.
  • Make a chopped salad by tossing mixed greens, chopped hardboiled egg, cheddar cheese, grated carrots and sliced green onions.  Drizzle lightly with favorite dressing.
  • Pack with apple wedges tossed with pineapple juice to prevent browning.

Thursday: Turkey and Swiss Pinwheels

  • Spread roasted red pepper hummus on tortilla; cover with thinly sliced roasted turkey breast. Top with Swiss cheese slices and chopped lettuce. Roll tightly, chill overnight and then slice into 1” pieces in morning.
  • Peeled hardboiled egg, rolled in lemon pepper seasoning.
  • Use half of the trail mix (1/2 cup serving) for dessert or snack.

Friday: Banana, Cashew Butter Bagel

  • Spread toasted bagel with cashew butter; top with thinly sliced bananas. Slice into quarters.
  • Pack celery and carrot sticks with ranch dressing for dipping.
  • Use the other half of the trail mix and combine with vanilla yogurt parfait for dessert or snack.
    • Layer yogurt and trail mix in container, starting with yogurt and ending with trail mix

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