This post was originally featured on Beyond Meat's blog.
Back to School. It’s a phrase that gets tossed around by everyone: kids lamenting the end of summer, retailers outfitting little learners with new everything from clothes to pencils, and parents anticipating (either tentatively or enthusiastically) the grind of carpool and soccer schedules. To me, “Back to School” means one thing: ‘tis the season to chug coffee at 6am while packing lunch boxes stuffed with mid-day meals and after-school snacks. As an educator and children’s culinary expert, I want to fuel my own kids with healthy, nutritious eats that fuel their bodies and their brains.
This year, I’m vowing to mix and match combinations of fruits, proteins, veggies, and grains to last my kids all day long. Keeping my fridge and pantry stocked with various options of each category will make putting together lunch and snacks a breeze.
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When I’m looking to get creative, I’ll mix and match some of these favorite recipes below:
Pop these delicious bites into a lunchbox and you’ll be confident your child is eating a healthy and energy-packed lunch. Bonus: they freeze well and cook quickly, so make a big batch!
Italian Meatball Sub-on-a-Stick
Kids can spear Beyond Beef Italian Meatballs and fresh balls of mozzarella cheese onto toothpicks, then dip them into tomato sauce. Or serve them traditional-style in a whole grain bun.
What’s that hiding between two tortillas? Why, cheese, grilled chicken, and red bell peppers of course! Served alongside a bowl of black beans, a quesadilla is the perfect lunch or before-sports snack. In our house, it’s often dinner and breakfast, too.
Crunchy colorful veggies, orzo pasta and a tasty vinaigrette make this dish a lunchtime delight for kids of all ages. Aka: pack this one for the office.
These are fun to make and eat! Start with this Greek variety, but mix and match your kids’ favorite combos. Better yet: let your kids make them themselves!
These are just slightly sweet and perfectly portable. They make the ideal lunchbox dessert or after-school snack.
Hummus is always a favorite snack for my kids. They love to help make it and experiment by adding other ingredients, like roasted red peppers or pitted olives. When paired with salad bites, pita, and string cheese, hummus makes the perfectly balanced lunch.
I’ve never met a kid that didn’t love slurping down a refreshing smoothie. Add chia seeds or oats for an added punch of protein. Pour into a well-sealed thermos with a straw, and pack with an ice pack to make a delicious and healthy treat.
Written by Samantha Barnes, Raddish Founder
Raddish is a cooking club for kids! Created with a mission of bringing families together in the kitchen and at the table, our monthly thematic cooking kits take the guesswork out of cooking with kids while creating delicious kitchen memories along the way. Raddish is designed by a team of educators and chefs who believe the kitchen classroom is the tastiest place to learn. Join today!