Recently one of our readers commented that she would like to see easy, healthy lunch ideas on our blog. I can honestly say that both Karen and I struggle with this when we are planning lunches for our kids, so I totally understand the request! Our swimmers love to eat healthy food but neither of them are really keen on sandwiches...here are some of the approaches we take to creating a quick, healthy brown bag lunch.
Wraps - the only type of sandwich my swimmer will eat...we use Flat Out brand wraps which are available at the wholesale club. These wraps are higher in nutrients and fiber than a standard tortilla. We fill these with lean meat and cheese and then add vegies. Usually just lettuce or sprouts for my daughter, but tomatoes, avocado, cucumber and onion can turn a boring turkey sandwich into something a little more interesting! Regarding sprouts, look around, you can buy different kinds of sprouts which will change the taste of the sandwich. Right now we have broccoli sprouts which have a distinct broccoli flavor...it provides some variety. Regarding sandwich meat, which spoils quickly! I buy top quality deli meat and then freeze sandwich packets. I no longer throw out deli meat and we don't feel like we have to eat sandwiches every day.
Left overs - 3 out of every 5 days my daughter takes left overs for lunch. Whatever we have for dinner, she takes for lunch the next day. This is quick and easy, it is already cooked and we pack it as we clean up the kitchen after dinner. If you don't have access to a microwave, invest in a thermal food container...I preheat these with hot water in the morning, heat the food and then place it in the container. It stays hot until lunch.
Salads - Grilled vegies for dinner can become vegie pasta salad for lunch. Chop the vegies, cook the pasta and add a vinaigrette dressing of your choice(we like greek)...sprinkle with feta or parmesan cheese and your creation will rival any deli pasta salad. Another favorite is asian chicken salad...I grill a chicken breast, add lettuce, chow mein noodles, sliced almonds and an asian style dressing.
Those are our stand bys...as I think of more creative lunch ideas I will be sure to pass them on...keep the comments coming, they spark creativity!