Back to School Lunch, Don’t be Basic

Sandwich with apple school lunch

Two words: school lunch. While cafeteria food isn’t as gross as the movies depict, where mystery meat is a daily staple on the menu, it’s still not the most appetizing or healthy. But you think having a peanut butter and jelly sandwich everyday isn’t a great option either because, boring. Have no fear! Jorey is here to save the day. Please hold the applause until the end.

MAIN DISHES
(prioritize protein!)

chicken salad sandwich for lunch

1.Noodles. Oh yes. I’m talking about spaghetti (can be GF too!) with marinara sauce, pesto, parmesan cheese, and some protein, whether it be meatballs or diced chicken or crumbled tofu. I can eat this cold, but if you don’t fancy that, a thermos will do the trick of keeping it hot.

2. Mediterranean turkey pita with hummus, cucumber, tomato, feta, and avocado.

3. Greek yogurt with peanut butter and topped with fresh fruit.

4. Quinoa bowl with sweet potato, beans, and corn.

5. Egg salad or tuna salad or chicken salad- make it a sandwich or eat it plain.

6. When it’s cold out, pack some soup- black bean, chicken noodle, lentil stew…

7. A great big salad with spinach, strawberries, blueberries, cranberries, granola, goat cheese, and pistachios. Or spring mix with corn, avocado, carrots, beets, chickpeas, edamame, slivered almonds and yam.

8. Why not vamp up the PB and Jelly sandwich by doing nut butter of choice, banana, cinnamon, raisins or currants, and coconut flakes?

9. Leftovers from dinner the night before can be the best meal. No ahead preparation required.

10. Pizza quesadilla. Fill with whatever your heart desires.

11. Assemble your own tacos. Corn tortilla, choice of protein, lettuce, tomato, cheese, and pineapple salsa.

So we have the main entree down, but we still need to address the sides. We are ravenous people when lunch time rolls around, or that mid-morning snack… I mean all that studying and working hard causes quite an appetite. Let’s stay on the healthier side because a balanced diet provides us with nutrients needed for us to function properly (acing those tests) and for growing (also important). Spin the wheel of healthy choices below:

SIDE CARBS

pretzels in lunch

Muffin
Pretzels
Popcorn
Granola
Crackers
Brown rice
Quinoa

SIDE VEGGIES

snap peas in school lunch

Carrots (or cucumber, celery, jicama) with hummus or lite ranch
Roasted broccoli
Sweet potato
Peas
Roasted spicy chickpeas
Sugar snap peas
Edamame

SIDE FRUIT

apples and peanut butter for lunch

Apples with peanut butter
Oranges
Diced watermelon
Berries
Grapes

The lunch containers with divided sections are the best, especially if you’re one of those picky eaters who doesn’t like their food to touch. That type of container is so cute and it keeps serving sizes in check.

Never again will you dread lunch time. You will be the envy of the group and all your friends will want to know your secret to having a truly wonderful and nutritious mid-day meal!

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