School lunch tips from VG Meats
Kids have spent a lot of time learning from home in recent weeks but now, most students have returned to the classroom. This means that parents are back to making school lunches—and if you’re like most families, you’re running out of inspiration for filling those backpacks each and every day. Fortunately, we have some ideas to keep you going—here are a few options your kids will love.
The classic brown bag lunch
Sometimes, the easiest option is the best of all. Forget the pressure to make Pinterest lunches—there is absolutely nothing wrong with sending a classic brown bag lunch containing a ham, roast beef or turkey sandwich, a fresh apple and a granola bar. If your kids have bigger appetites, add a yogurt cup and/or a cheese string. It’s quick and easy to make, it will fuel their bodies for the day and you won’t have to overthink it. That sounds like a winning strategy to us!
Hot meals on-the-go
A great thermos is the key to hot and easy lunches your kids will actually eat—and even better, it often starts with leftovers. Consider sending your kids to school with spaghetti and meat sauce, chicken noodle soup, beef chili or leftover hamburger casserole. You can even put together some camp-style weiners and beans for a hearty, kid-friendly hot lunch! Complete this meal by adding a banana or a small container of berries and grapes plus some nut-free trail mix in a reusable bag. (Pro tip: homemade trail mix can be as simple as mixing dry cereal like Cheerios or Shreddies, some dried berries, yogurt covered raisins, a handful of roasted pumpkin seeds and a few chocolate chips.)
If you take the time to make a few lunch-friendly items on Sunday evening, you’ll be thanking yourself later. We recommend mini ham and cheese quiches (start with some leftover country ham or even deli meat) or ham and cheese pinwheels. You can even make a pile of homemade chicken nuggets, which will stay warm in a thermos or taste great served cold (just add dipping sauce and you’re all set). Once you’ve got some make-ahead lunch items on hand, preparing school lunches is a breeze—just add a few extras like fresh or dried fruit, baby carrots or sliced cucumbers, a yogurt cup and/or a granola bar.
If your kids use a bento-style lunch container like a YumBox, Planet Box, Bentgo or similar divided container, approach lunch as if you’re building a hearty snack board. Start with rolled up deli meats, little VGs or pieces of cubed leftover chicken or ham for protein. Add some crackers or pretzels, sliced cheese, their favourite fruit, and some raw veggies with dip (carrots, celery, bell peppers, cucumber and snap peas all work well). Switch things up throughout the week by subbing in some of that nut-free trail mix, a mini croissant, veggie crisps, apple or banana chips, a hard-boiled egg or even pickles. You know what your kids like to eat, so raid the fridge and then pat yourself on the back for successfully making yet another school lunch. Well done, moms and dads!