Many Healthy ways to eat your fruits and veggies
- Apple (good with peanut butter)
- Banana (good with peanut butter)
- Carrots (good with hummus or ranch dip)
- Celery (good with peanut butter and raisins a.k.a. “Ants on a Log”)
- Strawberries (good with yogurt)
- Blueberries (good with yogurt)
- Raspberries (good with yogurt)
- Peaches (good with yogurt)
- Avocado (good with soy sauce and brown rice)
- Star Fruit
- Figs (good with goat cheese)
- Honeydew Melon
- Edamame (good with soy sauce)
- Raw Sugar Snap Peas (good with hummus)
- Cooked Green Beans
- Mashed Sweet Potato (good with butter and cinnamon)
- Raw Sliced Bell Peppers (good with hummus or ranch dip)
- Cucumber Slices (good with ranch dip)
- Cherry Tomatoes (good with ranch dip)
- Cooked Snow Peas
- Frozen Peas (frozen…no cooking necessary!)
- Raw Cauliflower
- Raw Broccoli (good with ranch dip)
- Unsweetened Raisins
- Fruit Leathers
- Freeze Dried Fruit (like mango, banana, blueberries or strawberries)
- Dried Apple Rings
- Canned Fruit like Mandarin Oranges (Native Forest brand does not use sugary syrups in their cans)
- Whole Grain Crackers (like Triscuits, Multi-Seed, Ak-Mak, Whole-Wheat Matzos, Brown Rice Crackers/Snaps, Whole-Grain Rye Crackers topped with cheese, peanut butter, or a cream cheese and jelly combo)
- Popcorn (make it using “The Popcorn Trick”)
- Oatmeal (served warm in a Thermos if sending to school)
- Shredded Wheat (look for brands that contain 1-ingredients)
- Arrowhead Mills Puffed Whole Grain Cereal (corn, brown rice, wheat or millet variety)
- Brown Rice Cakes
- Whole-Wheat Pretzels
- Whole-Grain Toast
- Small, Cooked Whole-Grain Noodles
Nuts and Seeds…
- Pine Nuts (they are good lightly toasted)
- Sesame Seeds
- Pumpkin Seeds
- Nut Trail Mix including Dried Fruit
- Hard-Boiled Eggs
- Garbanzo Beans
- Cheese (cubes or sticks…with or without crackers)
- Plain Yogurt (flavored with a little honey or maple syrup and vanilla extract)
- Organic and/or Local Bacon
Homemade…I got lots of good recipes
- Homemade Granola Bars
- Homemade “Larabars”
- Whole-Wheat Toaster Pastries (a.k.a. Pop Tarts!)
- Smoothies or Smoothie Pops
- Whole-Wheat Banana Bread
- Zucchini Chips
- Whole-Wheat Zucchini Bread (made into muffins)
- Whole-Wheat Pumpkin Bread (made into muffins)
- Whole-Grain Cornbread(made into muffins)
- Whole-Wheat Berry Muffins
- Pecan Maple Breakfast Cookies
- Easy Cheesy Crackers
- Kale Chips
- Homemade Powerballs
- Whole-Wheat Biscuits (good with butter and jelly) or Buttermilk Cheese Biscuits
- Cinnamon Glazed Popcorn
Cinnamon Glazed Popcorn Mix
- 4 cups plain popcorn (about ¼ cup of kernels)
Hint: We use “The Popcorn Trick”for easy plain popcorn
- ¾ cup raw cashews
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons honey
- ½ teaspoon dried cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Parchment paper recommended for baking
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
- In a small pot over low heat melt the butter and honey together. Mix in the cinnamon, ginger, and salt.
- Put the cashews in an extra large mixing bowl. Coat them with about a tablespoon of the butter/honey mixture.
- Spread the coated nuts onto a baking sheet covered with parchment paper and bake for 6 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in the same large bowl evenly coat the plain popcorn – minus any unpopped kernels – with the remaining butter/honey mixture.
- After the cashews have been in the oven for 6 minutes, take out the tray, add the popcorn to it, and mix it all up together. Stick the tray back in the oven and set the timer for 4 minutes.
- After 4 minutes open the oven and stir or shake the mixture around on the baking sheet. Set the timer for 2 more minutes.
- Once again open the oven and stir/shake the mixture so there are no hot spots that could get burnt. Set the timer for 1 more minute at which point the mixture will once again need to be checked/stirred.
- Repeat the process of checking/stirring the popcorn mixture every minute then take it out of the oven once it turns a dark brown (it can burn easily toward the end!). My total bake time was 6 minutes for the nuts then an additional 7 or 8 minutes once I added the popcorn.
- The popcorn and nuts will be slightly wet right out of the oven, but will harden as they cool
Think Beyond the Sandwich Bread…
- Pinwheels (pictured)
Rolled up whole-wheat tortillas filled with:
- Cream cheese*, thin cucumber slices, and dill
- Goat cheese* and roasted red bell peppers (sold as pimentos)
- Peanut butter* and banana slices
- Sunflower butter* and all-fruit spread (similar to jelly)
- Egg salad
- Hummus, cheese, and grated carrots
*Easiest to spread when the tortilla is warm…don’t forget the fun toothpicks!
- Apple Sandwiches (pictured)
I got this idea from Williams-Sonoma and all you have to do is slice the apple*, cut out the core with a small round cookie cutter, knife or corer, and fill with:
- Peanut or sunflower butter
- Raw rolled oats (optional)
*Can also squirt apple with a little lemon juice so it doesn’t turn brown
Top with all the usual sandwich fillings or use two crackers to make little sandwiches.
Any of these options would be a fun stand-in for the typical sandwich bread. The waffles and banana bread would be especially delicious with some plain or flavored cream cheese in the middle.
- Whole-Grain Muffins
Forget a sandwich all together and send in some homemade whole-wheat muffins – like zucchini(pictured) or blueberry – in place of bread. Most muffins can be made in advance and pulled out of the freezer the night before school.
Other Lunch Ideas…
- Whole-Wheat Non-Deep Fried Donuts (pictured at top)
I like my donut maker it saves frying in all that Oil. You can also make an extra big batch of these mini-donuts and freeze the extras for later. If you buy one try this recipe for 28 donuts: 1 cup whole-wheat flour, 3 tsp baking powder, 1 egg, 1/2 cup milk, 1/4 cup pure maple syrup, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, 4 tablespoons oil (I used coconut oil).
- Fruit Kabobs
Incorporate fruit and cheese that you know your child likes as well as one new item. Everything is more fun on a stick!
- Whole-Wheat Pizza Toast
This is much faster than making regular pizza from scratch and just as delicious. Simply top regular whole-wheat sandwich bread with sauce and cheese then pop it in the toaster oven….and voila!
- Warm Lunch in Thermos
A Thermos is a great way to switch things up when it comes to packing lunch. Trysoups, oatmeal, brown rice or whole-grain pasta dishes, and leftover dinners.
- Homemade Freezie Pops or “Gogurts” (pictured)