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Healthy Make-Ahead Lunches for Back-to-School

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With summer drawing to an end (though you'd never know it from the weather!) and the busy school year starting, it's time to look for healthy school lunch ideas that you can make ahead. Putting in a little advance planning and prep time is a great way to make sure that your mornings aren't too hectic and prevent your kids from resorting to vending machine fare when lunchtime rolls around.

Yummy Ideas for School Lunches

Looking for some super-simple, kid-friendly lunches that won't slow you down during the hectic morning rush? Check out these tasty options!

  • Peanut Butter and Berry Wrap Sandwiches - If you're kids love peanut butter and jelly, see if you can interest them in a slightly healthier version that pairs whole grain tortillas with sliced strawberries (instead of jelly) paired with organic or natural peanut butter. You can't make Peanut Butter and Berry Wrap Sandwiches too far in advance, but you can easily put them together the night before, just after dinner. Plus, they're so simple that your kids can make their own!
  • Tortilla Pinwheels - You aren't limited to wrap sandwiches if your kids enjoy eating tortilla based meals. You can also make kid-friendly tortilla pinwheels with many different combinations of ingredients. Kid-friendly pinwheels include cream cheese paired with apples and cinnamon inside a whole wheat wrap, or BLATs (bacon, lettuce, avocado and tomato) wraps with leftovers from your dinner salad. Let kids take the whole pinwheel to school, or cut it into bite-size finger-food chunks - whichever option they prefer!
  • Kid-Friendly Dips - If you want your kids to eat fresh fruit and veggies at lunch time, consider putting together a few batches of tasty kid-friendly dips that you can add to their lunch bags. They're much more likely to eat the produce portion of their meal if they have something fun and great-tasting to dip it in. This is even better if you use recipes that pack a protein punch such as child-approved favorites like peanut butter and honey dip, herbed ranch veggie dip and even white bean hummus.
  • Freezer Meals - For the ultimate in fix-it-and-forget-it convenience, prepare some of your child's favorite dishes ahead of time and freeze them for school lunch treats. Let your child select whatever he or she wants from the freezer each morning and it'll be thawed by lunch break. See Favorite Freezer Foods for yummy frozen sandwich ideas and Once a Month Meals for 31 yummy freezer-friendly back to school lunch ideas if you need some new recipes that freeze well.

Lunch Prep Made Easy

These are just a few of the many great options for healthy school lunches you can make ahead. Your mornings will be much less hectic and you child's tummy will be much happier when you get in the habit of making healthy school lunches ahead of time!

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