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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Healthy Lunch Ideas to Help You Go Green

By Scarlet


school lunchSchool lunches can create a huge amount of packaging waste. You are likely familiar with low-waste lunches and the idea that to go green, the majority of what you send to school should be reusable. If you’re like me, you pack your kid’s lunch in a low-waste lunchbox, but you may be asking yourself what to put it in! There are unlimited ideas for eco-friendly and healthy lunches, but somehow we all get into ruts and need some fresh, easy ideas of what to pack.  

Healthy Lunch Ideas:

Sandwiches are your classic lunch cornerstone. You can start with your traditional lunchmeat or peanut butter and jelly, and get creative by adding slices of brie and pear. Salad sandwiches, such as tuna, egg, salmon, and chicken, are easy to prepare the night before. Wait to place them on the bread until the next morning and add a piece of lettuce on each side to prevent the bread from getting soggy. Cheese sandwiches with avocado, sprouts, and/or cucumbers are also delicious and add variety.

Leftovers are another easy and yummy way to go green. My daughter loves it when there are enough leftovers from dinner for her to take to school the next day. From pasta, to pizza, to chicken with rice and grilled vegetables, I just put part of the leftovers straight into her Ziploc® Brand Containers with the Smart Snap® Seal.

Experiment with sandwich alternatives such as bagels, pita pockets, burritos, or wraps to freshen up your lunchbox meals. Choose unusual protein options such as dips like hummus, black bean, and nut butters. Tofu diced plain, or cooked up in many different ways, is another popular lunchbox choice at my house. Baked stuffed potatoes are a delicious lunch that you can cook with dinner the night before.  Even breakfast items such as pancakes, or boiled eggs, can be a fun way to get out of the normal lunch routine.

If you usually run low on time in the mornings, you can always resort to grabbing a mix and match of green convenience foods, like whole fruit, cold cuts and vegetables, out of the fridge that you can make and pack into reusable containers over the weekend. Remember that even chores like making your own convenience foods are a fun way to get your kids to help out and bring the family together.

What are some green lunches that you pack for your kids?

Photo courtesy of Scarlet Paolicchi.

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