On a busy weekday morning, packing a school lunch that is both appealing to kids and healthy can feel like an impossible task. But today Katie Sullivan Morford, author of Best Lunch Box Ever, shares how a little pre-planning can go a long way in putting together tasty, nourishing lunches with a minimum of time. Even if you don't have kids, you just might want to make this veggie-packed, 10-minute lunch for yourself!
If you only had 10 minutes in the morning to pack a lunch for a child, what would you make?
Here's what I would pack:
- Turkey and Hummus Cuties from Best Lunch Box Ever (mini whole-wheat pitas filled with hummus, sliced turkey, sliced cucumber, and romaine)
- Sliced red peppers, carrots, radishes, jicama, or other favorite crunchy vegetables with a side of Healthier Homemade Ranch Dip (made the night before)
- A piece of fresh, seasonal fruit. Right now, I’d probably choose a Honeycrisp apple, little bunch of Concord grapes, or a ripe pear.
- A piece of Coconut Granola Bark made over the weekend
What makes this a good kid's lunch on the go?
This lunch strikes a nice balance between having plenty of “kid appeal” while at the same time being very wholesome. Plus, all the foods included will hold up well for a couple of hours in a lunch box. For the pear, I’d tuck a napkin around it so it doesn’t bruise.
By doing a little bit of the “work” ahead of time, this lunch can be pulled together in the morning in about five minutes. Planning is the key to easy lunch packing.
By including a fruit and a vegetable as well as whole grains, fiber-rich foods, and protein, it’s nutritionally well balanced in addition to being colorful and delicious. I’d recommend picking up a carton of milk at school to go along with this lunch or at snack time for added calcium.
What is your best tip for packing a satisfying school lunch?
Plan for leftovers. Make more than you need at dinner so you have something ready to go for lunch with little or no effort.
(Images: Kzenon/Shutterstock; Katie Sullivan Morford)