It’s that time of year again… packing kids lunches (or our own) and trying not to repeat the same old recipes. Even with the best intentions, I tend to get in a rut for L… I like sending her the things I know she’ll eat (anything nut butter related) but I also want her to get a variety of nutrients.
Here are some lunch ideas to help spark your creativity:
Roll-ups (our favorite, with endless combinations)
- Hummus and shredded Veggies (carrot, zucchini, beet)
- NB &B (peanut, almond or sunflower seed butter with sliced bananas)
- Melted Cheese and Tomato
- Black Bean + Spinach Spread +Cherry Tomatoes
- Avocado (mashed) and shredded cheese
Finger Food Leftovers
- Leftover spring rolls or California sushi rolls
- Jamie’s Tofu and Kale Dumplings
- Mini Corn Quinoa cakes from Healthy in Candyland
- Veggie pizza
- Spinach Spanokopita Triangles
- Katie’s Caprese Salad on a stick
Breakfast for Lunch
- Mini- frittatas with spinach or broccoli
- Healthy muffins, such as Gina’s Carrot-Raisin “Everything” Muffin or Angela’s Zucchini Muffin and a pb-banana “hot dog”
- Pancakes spread with nut butter
- Hardboiled eggs + homemade granola bars or cheddar crackers + Smoothie
- Mini-bagel and egg salad sandwich
We created a new favorite granola bar this week, using sweet potatoes, dates and nuts. The measurements make enough to fill a bread pan, or 12-14 squares.
Sweet Potato Energy Bars (print recipe)
- 1/2 c. oat groats (steel cut oats)
- 1 c. walnuts, almonds or peanuts (I combined almonds and peanuts)
- 1 1/4 c. dates (or combination of dates and raisins)
- 1/2 c. mashed, cooked sweet potato
- 1 tsp vanilla
- dash of salt
Combine steel cut oats, nuts and dates in a food processor and combine until chopped finely. Add sweet potato, vanilla and salt and continue to blend until the mixture is well blended and begins to pull away from the sides.
Line a bread loaf pan with wax paper, and spread mixture in the bottom of the pan. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes, until done.
The steel cut oats give the bars a little crunch, and the dried fruit is sweet enough that no additional sugar is needed. This recipe is gluten and dairy free, and an excellent project for little hands to help dump in the ingredients. It’s also a safe batter to eat straight from the bowl.
Final tip: If do-it-yourself bars and snacks are are intimidating, remember that the freezer is your friend! Make large batches at a time and freeze the rest to have for the month. Recipes that freeze well include muffins, granola bars, pancakes, mini-frittatas, homemade pizza dough, spanokopita triangles, homemade crackers, etc).
What are your go-to lunches?