The end of summer often marks a bag of mixed emotions. The kids cry as they head back to school, and then squeal in delight as they are reunited with their school friends. You sigh in relief as they get off your back, and then come to terms with the impending hectic family school-routine of Monday through Friday. It’s really not surprising. With all those sports games, dance rehearsals, math quizzes and field trips scribbled onto the family calendar, sometimes finding the time to pack a healthy lunch can be tough!
Our tip? Pick yourself up an organic free-range Yorkshire Valley Farms chicken, roast it off in a 375 F oven on the weekend, and enjoy adding a healthy protein into meals throughout the week. Here are some of our favourite school lunch ideas!
BBQ Pulled Chicken Sandwiches: Mix some shredded cooked chicken with a low-sugar BBQ sauce, and throw it onto a whole grain Kaiser with a little cabbage slaw!
Waldorf Chicken Salad: Mix together a few ounces of cooked chopped chicken with diced celery, grapes, diced apple, toasted walnuts, a squirt of yogurt or mayonnaise and a squeeze of fresh lemon.
Mango Chicken Quesadillas: Throw a few ounces of shredded cooked chicken onto half of a whole grain tortilla, top with diced bell pepper and mango, and shredded Monterrey Jack cheese. Fold over and panfry on medium high until the cheese is melted and the tortilla is brown on both sides. Serve with salsa or guacamole in side containers.
Pesto Chicken Pasta Salad: Mix together some cubed cooked chicken, cooked rotini pasta, store bought pesto, halved cherry tomatoes, and a handful of cubed mozzarella cheese.
Leftover Chicken Fried Rice: In a pan heated to medium high, stirfry some leftover brown rice with a handful of mixed frozen veggies, cooked shredded chicken, a beaten egg and a little soy sauce. Toss until the egg is cooked and broken into bite size pieces.
Easy Chicken Noodle Soup: In a large stockpot, heat a tablespoon of oil over medium low heat, then add in a handful each of diced celery, onions and carrots, stirring until they are tender. Add in 8 cups of chicken stock, along with 3 or 4 cups of whole wheat egg noodles. Cook until tender, then add in a few cups of cooked cubed chicken and a handful of frozen peas. Once warmed through, transfer to thermoses for lunch.
See? Packing up healthy school lunches doesn’t have to be such a hassle. And while we probably can’t help you with the math homework editing or the school science project, we hope having a few go-to healthy lunch ideas will make back-to-school time mean what it should- more, not less, free time!