Back to School Breakfast & Lunchbox Ideas

I cannot believe it’s back to school time! It feels like we just got into the summer camp groove and, bam! Now it’s time for busy mornings filled with sleepy eyes, messy hair, and plenty of quick, on-the-go meals.

As a mom of two little ones, I get the time crunch. But as a dietitian, I want you to know how important sticking to a healthy diet is for your children, especially during the school year. Eating right improves mood, boosts energy and promotes focus – the perfect ingredients for a great day at school.

Children should have 2 – 3 fruits, 3 vegetables and 0 sugary beverages every day (offer water or plain milk instead). A healthy balance of protein, fat and fiber at each meal is the goal. Wondering how you’ll get their buy in? Consider these “pro” tips:

  • Involve the kids with planning their meals, shopping for ingredients and packing their lunch.
  • Kids love to dip and dunk, so get creative with their snacks to make it fun.

I hope these ideas and recipes help ease you back into the school year!

Breakfast

  • Monday – A fruit and yogurt parfait layered with berries and nuts or seeds, or a fruit smoothie made with whole milk, frozen berries, and nut butter.
  • Tuesday – Egg bites (see recipe) with fresh fruit
  • Wednesday – Fruit with scrambled eggs and breakfast sausage
  • Thursday – Peanut butter pancakes (see recipe) topped with cream cheese, raw honey, or nut butter and chia seeds. (sub Sunbutter for peanut allergies)
  • Friday – Egg bites (see recipe) with fresh fruit ... because it's definitely okay to eat the same thing more than once each week!

Lunch

  • Monday – Homemade lunchable with preservative free deli meat, cheese cubes, raw carrots and cucumber with hummus or guacamole, and apple slices
  • Tuesday – Pasta salad made with chickpea pasta topped with grilled chicken, cherry tomatoes, diced bell peppers, parmesan cheese, and olive oil with a side of cut up peaches or nectarines
  • Wednesday – Chicken salad with plantain chips, cherry tomato and cucumber skewers, and grapes
  • Thursday – Boiled eggs, unsweetened applesauce cup, dark chocolate square, veggie chips or raw broccoli or cauliflower with hummus cup
  • Friday – Meat and cheese roll ups stuffed with pesto or seasoned cream cheese and spinach and yogurt topped with berries and chia seeds

Snacks

  • Trail mix made with nuts, coconut flakes, unsweetened dried fruit and just a handful of chocolate chips
  • Fruit with string cheese
  • Plantain chips with hummus or guacamole cup
  • Banana with peanut butter or almond butter
  • Cheese cubes and olives
  • Raw veggies (carrots, celery, cucumber, bell pepper slices, etc.) make great dippers for hummus, guacamole, onion dip, or peanut sauce

Kristen West
Registered Dietitian
Baton Rouge General Health & Wellness Center

August 6, 2019