PB&J, ham and cheese, and bologna sandwiches all have one similarity…they are the most common sandwiches that get packed into a kid’s lunchbox. But, after weeks of eating the same 3 sandwiches, lunchtime is bound to get boring.
With the school season quickly approaching for most and already started for others, we thought it might be fun to share some of our favorite and unique brown bag school lunch ideas to spice up your kid’s lunchbox.
And not to worry…all of these recipes are easy to make, can be prepared ahead of time, and are good for your kid’s growing body.
Try some of these recipes out…
Pasta Salad Recipe
Pasta salad is a great alternative to packing a sandwich every day. When made with tri-color veggie pasta, this meal will keep your kid energized and free from carbohydrate-induced blood sugar crashes throughout the day.
- 1 pound tri-colored spiral pasta
- 6 tablespoons salad seasoning mix
- 1 (16 ounce) bottle Italian-style salad dressing
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes, diced
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1/2 yellow bell pepper, chopped
- 1 (2.25 ounce) can black olives, chopped
1. In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook pasta until al dente, rinse under cold water and drain.
2. Whisk together the salad spice mix and Italian dressing.
3. In a salad bowl, combine the pasta, cherry tomatoes, bell peppers and olives. Pour dressing over salad; toss and refrigerate overnight.
Recipe Source: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/14385/pasta-salad/
Crunchy Veggie Rice Paper Wraps Recipe
If your kids are a fan of Asian-inspired dishes, they will love to find these crunchy veggie rice paper wraps in their lunchbox. The best part…these wraps can be made a few days in advance and will keep fresh in your fridge.
- 15 rice paper sheets (6 inch)
- 1⁄2 cup green cabbage, finely chopped
- 1⁄2 cup fresh carrot, finely chopped
- 1⁄2 cup sweet onion, finely chopped
- 1⁄4 cup celery, finely chopped
- 1⁄4 cup sweet green pepper, chopped
- 3 tablespoons black sesame seeds
- 5 ounces imitation crabmeat (optional) or 5 ounces shrimp, chopped (optional)
- Oriental sweet chili sauce (or any other favorite spicy sauce, allow 1/2 – 1 tsp per roll)
1. Mix all the ingredients except rice paper and Chili sauce. Shortly before serving soften each rice paper wrap separately. Do this by submerging the wrap in a bowl of warm water for a minute of two.
2. When it is pliable it is ready, so remove that one from the water and drop in another one.
3. Lay out a couple of paper towels and place the softened wrap on the towel.
4. Don’t rub it; just place it on the towel. Place 1-2 tbsp. of the veggie mix in the center of the wrap and add 1/2- 1 tsp. sweet chili sauce.
5. Fold up the bottom and then fold in the sides and roll to form a sealed roll.
Whole Wheat Waffle Strips Recipe
Breakfast foods are one of our favorites. So, we thought, why not pack them for lunch? This whole wheat waffle recipe is easy to make and is a treat any kid would love to take to school. Throw in some cut-up fruit and a yogurt as sides, and you’ve got a well-balanced meal in a box.
- 1 1/2 cups King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour or Gluten-Free Measure for Measure Flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 1/2 cups lukewarm milk
- 1/3 cup melted butter or vegetable oil
1. Preheat your iron while you make the waffle batter.
2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, and butter or oil.
4. Mix together the wet and dry ingredients, stirring just until combined. The batter will be a bit lumpy; that’s OK.
5. Cook the waffles as directed in the instructions that came with your waffle iron.
6. Cut waffles into strips, put the strips in a container, and throw the container into your kid’s lunchbox. Option to add a smaller container of maple syrup if desired.
Do you have any unique lunchbox recipes your kids love? Share them with us in the comments below!