Whether your kids are going back to school in person or distance learning from home this year… the daily lunch dilemma will remain the same. Try this healthy and simple school lunch hack and thank me later!!
School Lunch Snack Drawer
What is this magical school lunch hack you ask? Let me introduce you to the snack drawer. Everything you need to create a healthy and simple lunch for your kids, all ready to go in one place. With lots of healthy options like fresh fruits, pre-cut veggies, and protein your kids are sure to make good choices all on their own. In fact, our whole family eats healthier with this handy hack!
What to stock in the snack drawer
The options are endless really. Pick from your families faves and stock up! Here are a few examples of what our family likes to keep in ours.
- celery sticks
- mini bell peppers
- Simple Truth applesauce pouches
- Hard boiled eggs
- Simple Truth yogurt tubes
- Simple Truth hummus cups
- Guacamole cups
- Simple Truth cheese sticks
- Nut butter pouches
- Greek yogurt ranch dip
School Lunch Rules
Each morning I prepare the main dish and let my 10 year old build out her lunchbox with items in the snack drawer. My rules are simple… one fruit, one veggie and one sweet treat. Giving her the power to choose healthier options has been a game changer for us.
When it comes to main dish ideas I try to think outside the lunch box. Kids tire easily of the same old thing so we try to be creative and recreate favorite menu items or even utilize dinner leftovers for a hot lunch. We love breakfast foods for lunch too.
Chicken and Waffle Sliders
Chicken and waffles. One of our favorite splurge worthy menu items. This is a kid-friendly healthier version of the southern classic your whole family will love. Crispy baked chicken fingers sandwiched between fluffy mini waffles and served with a tangy honey mustard dressing on the side to dip. Yum.
Our all time favorite gluten free pancake and baking mix is Pamela’s, I find it at our local Kroger store in a giant bag and we use it for everything. It’s fluffy, moist and absolutely delicious! It really takes this recipe up a notch! We added a side of pre-cut veggies, an orange and Simple Truth organic fruit snacks for a treat.
Chicken and Waffle Sliders
- 1 cup Pamela's gluten free baking and pancake mix
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp melted butter
- 6 Applegate gluten free frozen chicken fingers
- 4 tbsp Simple Truth honey mustard dressing
Combine Pamela's mix, water, egg and melted butter together and mix well.
Heat a mini waffle maker to medium high heat and add 2 tbsp batter. Cook until crisp. Makes 4 mini waffles.
Cook chicken tenders per package instructions.
Sandwich 3 chicken fingers between 2 mini waffles and serve with 2 tbsp honey mustard dressing to dip.
Build Your Own Yogurt Parfaits
This fresh fruit parfait recipe is made of flavored Greek yogurt, fresh berries, chopped pecans and a sprinkle of shredded coconut. You can use whatever yogurt you like best, but I highly recommend a flavored yogurt. Skip the honey at lunchtime to avoid a sticky mess… made that mistake only once. Yikes.
My absolute favorite Greek yogurt is Simple Truth Organic. It’s creamy, lightly sweetened and packed full of protein making it a great choice for a main dish. I like to add a side of breakfast sausage for added protein and a Kroger fruit and grain bar on the side too. Sometimes my kids will break up the bar and add it to the parfait. Yum!
Build Your Own Yogurt Parfait
- 1 tub strawberry or blueberry Simple Truth Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup strawberries or blueberries
- 1 tbsp shredded coconut
- 1 tbsp chopped pecans
Layer yogurt, berries, coconut and pecans. Serve immediately.
Whatever this school year looks like for you, I hope these school lunch tips will be helpful. Pivoting as parents has proven to be challenging for all this year, sending you all so much love and a pocket full of high fives!! We’ve got this!!