What to Pack for Lunch

August 30, 2007

Dreading the morning chore? A friend suggested an e-bite on packing school lunches. Here are a few lunch ideas and tips to help make the midday feed healthy and easy:

Black Beans and Rice with Shredded Monterey Jack, Salsa, and Corn Chips
Make the rice the night before, while the beans can be made easily in the morning. Simply rinse canned beans, place in a pan with a little olive oil and salt, and heat for about 3 minutes until hot. Mix the warm beans and rice in a thermos or serve as a burrito wrapped in foil.

Banana on a Bun
Spread peanut butter, sliced banana, and honey on a whole-wheat hot dog bun. Top with raisins, if desired.

The Club
Based on the classic sandwich, but made with no tomato (tomato will make the bread soggy) and no mayonnaise. Add a little fresh pepper and a drizzle of good olive oil instead. Baguette bread is preferred over toasted bread. Make the bacon a day before and keep in the fridge. Try smoked turkey.

Pita Stuffed with Anything
Try hummus with cucumber and sprouts, one of the most nutritious foods you can eat.

Fresh Tomato Soup with Cheddar Cheese Sandwich
This requires a thermos. And, don’t forget the oyster crackers.

Snacks, Sweets and Treats
-Sunflower seeds and roasted pumpkin seeds — both super-nutritious wonder foods.
-Steamed edamame – are a quick protein boost.
-Homemade power bars.
-Fresh fruit salad — try adding something more exotic papaya, guava or mango.
-Dried fruit — Goji berries, a long-respected health food from the Himalayan Mountains.
-Rice or pita chips — instead of potato chips.
-For a special treat, try Hershey’s Dark Chocolate Kisses.

Tips
-Involve your kids, let them make their own lunch or at least help.
-Include items that are salty and sweet (balance taste) and a raw food with every meal.
-Have a snack basket in the kitchen filled with healthy “lunch snacks” (whole grain crackers, chips, cookies, etc) that they can choose from each day.
-Experiment and continually discover new favorite foods for them to eat.

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