It’s that time of year again! Summer’s drawing to a close, the yellow buses are out, and kids with backpacks and lunchboxes congregate on corners. Even though I no longer teach, I still get so excited – so many things to learn and so many possibilities!
You know what else offers possibilities? Lunches! No longer need you rely on the tired old sandwich. This list of creative options will help you kick the kids’ lunches up a notch. Pick and choose, mix and match, and have fun with it!
Some people shy away from crepes. They have a reputation for being hard or only for sophisticated gourmets. With this simple recipe from The Baker Upstairs, crepes are as easy as pancakes. Whip a up a batch at the beginning of the week, then spread them with cream cheese, jelly, fresh fruit, peanut butter, nutella, or whatever your imagination leads you to try.
This one was my favorite growing up. When my mom would pack these, I could be sure everyone would want to trade. This idea is genius in its simplicity. All you do is spread peanut butter and jelly on a hot dog bun, then place a peeled banana inside – just like a hot dog! Pack the banana and bun separately to keep everything fresh, and assemble just before eating.
Homemade or frozen bread sticks work great for this pizza-inspired dip. Just pour some pizza sauce in a container, top with cheese, and let the kids dip bread sticks in. These work great heated or at room temperature, so no need to worry about microwave access.
Slice open an applesauce muffin and spread peanut butter on it for a winning lunch. Applesauce muffins are amazing on their own, but adding the peanut butter makes them filling enough to qualify as a meal.
No microwave needed for these nachos. Just put some picante sauce in a container, then add grated cheese. Throw a few tortilla chips in a bag to use for dipping, and your kids can have instant nachos right in their lunch box!
There’s just something about food on a stick that makes it so much more fun! Cut the pointy end off a wooden skewer (safety first!) and push on pieces of cheese, hot dog, fresh fruit, veggies, or anything else that strikes your fancy. My family loves cheese and hot dog kabobs, paired with strawberry and blueberry kabobs.
This recipe for apple pie salsa and cinnamon chips screams back-to-school! A sweet twist on a savory classic, it’s also pretty healthy and easy to pack.
Cereal, raisins, chocolate chips, mini marshmallows, popcorn, or nuts – trail mix can be made of anything you want. Find a combination that works for you and fill a Ziploc bag as a side. It’s healthier than chips, and super cheap too. Check out this recipe for S’mores Trail Mix to get those creative juices flowing.
With very little effort, school lunch can go from boring to awesome! Try a few ideas out – I’m certain you and your kids will love them!