Lunch Box Recipes

Now that the eco-friendly school supplies have been purchased and the carpool or bus routes have been mapped out, it’s time to think about the healthy and undeniably satisfying school lunches you’ll want to pack in your kids’ lunch boxes!

When the bell rings for lunch break and your kids open their lunch boxes to find these delicious treats, their friends will beg them for a swap! Tell your kids not to fear, and instead offer to share the recipes with their parents. They’ll be so thankful they might pick up your carpool days!

Be sure to properly store perishable foods using freezer packs and insulated boxes or bags. Thermoses are great for hot and cold liquid items.

1. Pita Pocket Salad Sandwich

Add your child’s favorite salad greens topped with a tasty herb dressing to a pita pocket. A healthy sandwich, less mess served in a pita pocket and full of flavor! Check out this tasty dressing recipe for herbed dressing from Family Fun:

Ingredients:

1 cup sunflower or peanut oil

1 clove garlic, crushed

1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped

2 teaspoons dried dill weed

1 teaspoon dried chives or 1 tablespoon fresh, chopped

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup cider vinegar

Instructions:

1. Mix 1/4 cup of the oil in a blender or food processor with all of the ingredients except the vinegar.

2. Add the vinegar and another 1/4 cup of the oil and process for a few seconds. With the blender or processor running, slowly pour in the remaining oil until it is incorporated completely and the dressing is creamy.

Store in a covered jar in the refrigerator.

2. Pimento Cheese Sandwiches from Saveur

A bit of spice and a zesty taste might be just what an older school-aged child is looking for in their lunch! Definitely not boring, this sandwich can be personalized (or unzested a bit) by swapping the habanero chile with a red bell pepper and leaving out the Tabasco sauce.

3. Leftovers to Lunch from Laptop Lunches

Not only does Laptop Lunches make great lunch boxes (their lunch boxes are reusable, recyclable, dishwasher safe and contain no phthalates, bisphenol A [BPA] or lead) that come in many styles for kids and adults, but they offer all sorts of ideas for school lunches suited to their Bento Lunch Boxes, along with ideas for how to use leftovers in lunches.

4. Let’s Get Mediterranean!

Cooking Light has several great lunch ideas for kids. One in particular is a tasty couscous salad served with hummus, pita chips and fresh grapes (or swap grapes for another fruit favorite).

5. Mini Greek Pizza Muffins

Eating Well provides the recipe for what will be a treasured afternoon treat for your kids — all the flavors of a slice of pizza wrapped up in a muffin! And add their cinnamon oranges to lunch boxes for a sweet, healthy dessert.

6. Butternut Squash and Corn Soup

Perfect for the chilly fall weather, L.A. Times offers the idea for this creamy, tasty soup — the perfect way to sneak veggies into your child’s lunch if you need to. Keep it in a thermos so it stays warm and wonderful for lunchtime.

7. Beet Chips

Beets provide the perfect crunch for this idea from Whole Living. Beet chips are a colorful and healthy snack to include with lunch. Something different your kids will love!

8. Chocolate Chunk Cookies with Almonds

Also from Whole Living, these cookies will be sure to bring a smile to your child’s face and maybe even a hug for you when they get home!

image: Island Vittles