Posted on 18 Aug 2022
‘Tis the season…. no, not that season! It’s the season when your kiddos meet their new teachers and begin a new routine — it’s back-to-school time. With kids’ return to school comes a return to packing lunch boxes, and many parents are on the lookout for easy, healthy, and nourishing lunches for their kids. Thankfully, the spacious kitchens in Reunion community homes offer plenty of space to prep school meals — even a full week ahead of time! Here are a couple of ideas to make lunchtime the best time.
Wraps are a favorite choice for lunch and it’s easy to see why — they’re entirely customizable to your little one’s taste. Try thinly-sliced turkey with cheddar or American cheese slices, and sneak in some veggies with crunchy Romaine or spinach leaves — all wrapped up in a flour tortilla. For a fun twist, try wrapping turkey on the outside. Your kiddo might do a double take when they open their lunchbox! Sweet variations, like a PB&J wrap with bananas or apples, are also sure to satisfy.
Cold salads are an easy option to prep for an entire week’s worth of lunches at once, and they hold up well in a lunchbox. Kids can munch on chicken salad, tuna salad, or even a chickpea salad for adventurous eaters. Use bread for a traditional sandwich or pack a tortilla, lettuce cups, or crackers to mix and match.
Muffin tins may be primarily associated with sweet treats, but their possibilities for savory options are endless, too. With only 20 minutes in the oven, you can bake scrambled eggs into portable bites full of your kid’s favorite accompaniments like cheese or bacon. The muffin tin approach also works for kid-friendly favorites like mac and cheese bites or muffin cup pizzas (like these pepperoni mini pizzas). If a traditional muffin is more your style, consider new sweet or savory options to expand your kid’s palate — like cornbread or tamale savory muffins, or bran muffins packed with chopped fruit to give kids sustaining energy minus all the added sugar.
Pasta salads are a perfect choice for school lunches as they offer a balanced mix of carbohydrates, protein, and veggies. All you’ll need are some noodles (try fun, kid-friendly shapes like bowties or pinwheels), veggies, an optional cheese, and a dressing. A simple caprese-style salad is sure to satisfy: Just mix some cooked pasta, balled or shredded mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, and drizzle a little balsamic dressing on top. To make veggies more appealing, experiment with cutting carrots, cucumbers, etc. into cute shapes using cookie cutters.
No matter what ends up in your child’s lunch, the most important thing is that they’re happy and fueled with all the energy they’ll need for a challenging school day. Protip: You can bring some comfort from your Reunion home by tucking an encouraging note or joke into their bag to make them smile. Their back-to-school jitters (and yours!) will be gone in no time.