Mornings are usually busy so it’s easy to pack the same things for lunch over and over again. Today, ONIE shares easy and healthy ideas for school and work lunch boxes that will freshen up your lunch routine.
When packing lunches for your kids remember to try to get them involved in the process. Even from a young age, kids can help with things such as washing fruits and vegetables, choosing items at the grocery store, and planning meals. By helping, kids learn about healthy food choices and are more likely to eat their lunch at school.
Here are ideas for stress-free, healthy and inexpensive lunches that you can add to your lunchbox routine:
Casseroles are a simple, healthy and quick option for busy weeknights. They can be easy to prep, make a few ingredients go a long way and they feed a crowd. Casseroles can also make healthy eating easier by including all or most of the food groups in one dish for a complete meal. You can swap out ingredients such as different proteins, vegetables, or herbs for a simple twist on family favorites.
Another way casseroles rule weeknight dinners is that these dishes are a quick way to get dinner and lunch in one recipe! Here are some of our favorite casserole recipes:
Cheesy broccoli and rice casserole is perfect for busy weeknights. Simply combine all ingredients in a baking dish, mix, and bake. It takes 15 minutes to prep then you let the oven do the rest! This recipe serves 8 so you can take the leftovers for lunch the next day!
ONIE’s No-noodle lasagna serves 9 and is ready in 30 minutes, that’s less time than it takes to bake most frozen lasagnas!
Beef and veggie mac is a hearty meal that serves 6 and is ready in 25 minutes! Substitute your family’s favorite vegetables for different flavors.
Breakfast for lunch
Another easy lunch idea is breakfast! Whether it be a breakfast burrito, sandwich, or a frittata, these meals can be prepared in the morning (if you have a little extra time) or the night before. Try baking this ham and veggie frittata the night before and taking it for lunch the next day, simply serve it with whole-grain bread and a side of fruit.
For a vegetarian option, try our garden veggie frittata. Or if you are really in a time crunch, swap the frittata for hard-boiled eggs!
A hearty bowl of soup is a perfect way to both fill and warm you up. Any soup from dinner can be packed for lunch the next day. Pack it in a thermos if there is no microwave available at school or work. Visit our recipes page for simple and healthy soup recipes! This beefy taco soup is one of our favorites. It takes about 10 minutes of prep time and serves 8!
Sandwiches are always an easy option for lunch. However, we know that ham and cheese can get boring! Check out some of these ideas for quick and healthy sandwiches that can be assembled right before you eat!
Apple tuna sandwiches and curried egg salad sandwiches both combine quality protein with olive oil mayo and nonfat greek yogurt, making them lower in saturated fat than typical tuna or egg salads. Prepare the salad ahead of time and simply assemble the sandwiches before you eat.
Fruits and veggies for snack
For snacks try to add more fruits and veggies. Combine these with a protein to help satisfy your hunger until the next meal. You can pack your favorite veggies such as bell peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, celery, cucumber, and tomatoes in a bag and dip them in ONIE’s homemade ranch dip made from a combination of sour cream and Greek yogurt for added protein. Another great and healthy alternative for dip is hummus. You can also combine veggies with cheese for protein and calcium. Fruit can be combined with cheese, nuts, or Greek yogurt for a more satisfying treat!
Lunch doesn’t have to be boring, complicated or expensive. From leftovers to breakfast and different twists on sandwiches, these are just a few simple ideas to freshen up your lunch routine. Comment below and tell us some of your family’s favorite lunchbox ideas!