lunch

Lunch Ideas to Switch it Up!

Tired of the same old lunches? Here are some nutrient-rich ideas and product tips to switch up lunches either for yourself or the little ones in your life! Happy lunch packing!

Crunch + Protein

When you are looking to add something crunchy to a lunch, rethink-it and add-in roasted chickpeas. They come in a wide variety of flavors and some treat-like flavors too (e.g. milk chocolate!). What I love about these - each serving is about 130 calories plus it delivers 6 grams of fiber and 6 grams of protein. The fiber is important because it will help to slow down blood sugar level increases, in turn providing better long lasting energy.

Click here to buy some today or check your local stores like Target or Wegmans for them as well!

Click here  to buy roasted chickpeas!

Click here to buy roasted chickpeas!

Add a Protein Boost

Pack along a milk box to add a boost of 8 grams of protein to lunch! I love these Horizon Organic milk boxes, they are also available in flavored options like chocolate and strawberry, which are perfect for refueling after practices, workouts and games. Plus for an added bonus these milk boxes are shelf-stable and they don’t have to be refrigerated, which makes them really portable and easy to bring along.

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Salads for Lunch

If your little ones are tired of sandwiches, switch it up with a salad! They can be really quick and easy to make. Start with a base of leafy greens, then top it with sliced veggies or fruit, sunflower seeds for crunch, and some sliced cheese. Or even add some baked chicken or tofu for a protein boost. Drizzle it with your favorite salad dressing.

Note - also pictured here is a mini yogurt parfait, which are great to pack along with a salad or even with a sandwich. Check out the Back to School Lunch Favorites for more on parfaits - click here.

Warm Up with Soup

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Soup can make a great addition to lunches. Plus choosing a vegetable-based soup like Tomato Soup, is a great way to squeeze in extra vegetables. Remember to send the soup warm in a thermos style container so it will still be warm to enjoy at lunch time. Send along the soup with a half of sandwich, salad, or a parfait to complete the meal.

Pictured here is Pacific Foods roasted red pepper & tomato soup, a favorite at our house! Also check out the Pacific Foods new line of bone broth soups.

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Back to School Lunch Favorites

Packing lunches is back on the to do list of many people! Here are some tips and products to help keep school lunches interesting! 

Opt for Fun Lunch Boxes

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Lunch boxes like Yumbox (pictured here) are perfect, especially for little guys and girls. These would be best for ages K - 5 as far as portioning and the amount of food you can fit into the box. 

One of the best parts of this design is there is just one easy to use flap that they need to open to get into their meal! And the Yumbox is truly is leak proof; we have been using this style lunch box for two years without any leaking issue.

Check out the Yumbox site for different styles, colors, and designs, visit: https://www.yumboxlunch.com/

Wrap it Up

Wrap it Up!

Wraps for lunch are a great way to use up leftovers and have a lot of variation in a lunch. For example, grill extra chicken the night before, then cube that up for lunch the next day.

Opt for whole grain wraps and also load the wrap up with plenty of veggies for filling!

To make lunch preparation easier in the morning, start the week with a container of chopped wrap fillings like cucumbers, carrots, peppers, onion, and spinach. This will help lunch come together quickly in the morning. 

Pack a Parfait

Yogurt Parfait

A fruit and yogurt parfait can make a filling lunch or addition to a lunch! Fill reusable containers with layers of Greek or Icelandic yogurt (e.g. Chobani, Siggis), fruit, and granola (e.g. KIND Snacks Healthy Grain Clusters).  Even consider a drizzle of Barlean's Omega Swirl Oil for a boost of healthy fats. 

Try parfait combinations like:

Vanilla yogurt + blueberries + oats & honey granola
Vanilla yogurt + banana + peanut butter granola
Mango yogurt + diced mango + maple granola

On the Go Lunches

Fueling the Athlete

Creating a winning combination for lunch to fill and fuel up an athlete can be a challenge! Check out the Fuel2Win for On the Go lunch ideas! Click here to download the handout. 

Also check out delicious recipe ideas like PB Chip Energy Bites which could be a great addition to a lunch! 

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Lunch Box Quick Tips

With back to school comes packing lunches! Here are some quick tips for quick, easy, and tasty (healthy too!) lunches.

Tip 1: Simple Sides/Snacks

Stock up on simple sides and snacks that require minimal preparation like: grapes, baby carrots, whole grain pretzels, cheese sticks, trail mix, or popcorn.

Check out snack size reusable lunch bags from lunchskins, which are a perfect size for packing sides and snacks!

Tip 2: Sandwich Fun

If you have little ones that get tired of 'regular' sandwiches, try sandwich cutters (pictured right). Somehow this seems to turn the basic sandwich into something more fun! 

Check out sandwich cutters from pottery barn kids

Tip 3: Use leftovers

Making wraps out of leftovers is a great sandwich option. Pictured right are baked chicken fingers, simply slice them up and wrap them in a wheat tortilla. Finish the wrap with some sliced veggies, cheese, and a drizzle of dressing.

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