It’s Back to School Week. What’s for lunch?

Today on The Morning Thing, we helped you to answer that very important “Back to School” topic – LUNCH! Marcy Rinehart shared 40 quick, easy and practical lunch ideas.

Thanks to for these wonderful ideas. We hope they help you pack something fun in your lunch this week!

Click HERE for the full article.

45 Days of Quick, Easy, and Practical Lunches

Sandwhiches/Wraps – Aside from your basic pb&j, or turkey sandwich, here are some variations that are quick
and easy!

  1. Turkey pesto wrap: spread pesto on a tortilla and top with turkey and sliced cheese.
  2. Chicken salad wrap or sandwich: canned or rotisserie chicken, mayo, ranch
    seasoning, celery, and grapes or apples
  3. Ham and cheese pinwheels: spread cream cheese on a tortilla and top with green
    onions, ham, and cheese. Cut into one-inch wheels.
  4. Chicken Ceasar salad pitas: in a bowl, combine lettuce, grilled chicken strips,
    croutons, parmesan cheese and Caesar dressing. Add to pitas.
  5. Quesadillas: Add cheese, beans, chicken, or shredded beef. Grill and then cool on a
    wire rack before you pack them.
  6. Cookie cutter sandwiches: Use cookie cutters to quickly add some fun to your
    sandwiches (and remove the crust at the same time!
  7. Ham or Turkey “Sushi”: spread cream cheese on a slice of ham or turkey, add a
    carrot stick, celery stick, or dill pickle. Roll and cut into fourths.
  8. Bean and cheese burritos: use the frozen version, or make your own.

    Hot Lunch – Sometimes we forget the power of the thermos–voila, food stays hot for hours! This
    opens up a lot of hot lunch possibilities!
  9. The FIRST RULE of hot lunches: Invest in a good thermos! Our readers
    recommend the Thermos FOOGO or FUNtainer.
  10. Spaghetti and meatballs
  11. Hot dogs : pour boiling water into a thermos and add the hot dogs. The water will
    cook the dogs by lunch!
  12. Oatmeal: if your kiddos love oatmeal, just make it before school and then put it in a
    thermos to keep warm. Try our favorite {and SUPER EASY} overnight recipe here.
  13. Last night’s dinner: if they loved dinner last night, heat it back up and throw it in
    a thermos. Enchiladas, beef stroganoff, lasagna, etc.
  14. Soups: canned, or homemade
  15. Mac and Cheese
  16. Sloppy Joes: Meat goes in the thermos, bun in a container to keep from getting
  17. Pulled Pork: make ahead pulled pork in a crock pot, then divide into individual
    portions for lunches. You can freeze and defrost as well. Serve with pretzel or Hawaiian
  18. Taco salads or walking tacos: keep beans in a thermos, and provide all the
    mixings for salad or tacos. Check out these tacos in a bag.
    Breakfast for Lunch
  19. Cereal: put cold milk in a thermos and their favorite cereal in a bowl.
  20. French toast
  21. Pizza muffins: combine a favorite breakfast and lunch idea in one recipe. Try this
    one here.
  22. Bagels, bagels, bagels: these round wonders are all the rage. Top them with
    cream cheese, fruit, almond butter, lunch meat, make pizza bagels, or your own creation.
    Find some bagel inspiration here.
  23. Waffles and wafflewiches: Freeze a batch of waffles, or buy the frozen version.
    Pop them in the toaster and top them with peanut butter and bananas, Nutella and
    strawberries, ham and cheese, or more inspiration here.
  24. Muffins: freeze a batch ahead of time and use for quick lunches. Try all of our
    favorite muffin recipes here!
    Quick Ideas
  25. Nachos: ditch the Lunchable version, try these yummy versions found on Pinterest.
  26. Pitas and hummus
  27. Kabobs: anything is better on a stick. Skewer grilled chicken, turkey and ham slices,
    veggies, fruit, cheese, etc. Get some inspiration here.
  28. Frozen smoothies: freeze them ahead of time, then stick them in the lunch box.
    By noon, they’ll be ready to drink.
  29. Hard boiled eggs
  30. Chicken nuggets: for a homemade version, look here!
  31. Chicken strips and bbq dip
  32. Frozen Gogurts
  33. Chicken salad with crackers: mix up your favorite version using canned or
    rotisserie chicken, then throw in a sealed container and provide crackers for dipping.
  34. Quick salads: if your kids enjoy salad, they make great lunches. Cut lettuce and
    veggies ahead of time and keep them in zip-locked bags. Pop a frozen, cooked (breaded)
    chicken breast in the microwave, cut and add to salad.
  35. Frozen bagel pizzas
  36. Apple rounds w/ peanut butter: core and apple, slice it horizontally, and add
    peanut butter, nuts, chocolate chips, or oats.
  37. Pepperoni, mozzarella cubes, and marinara sauce for dipping
  38. Try sun butter: if your school doesn’t allow peanut products. Find it here.
  39. Homemade Lunchables: find ideas from Pinterest.
  40. Pizza: use last night’s pizza, or a take and bake version to portion out to your kiddos
    throughout the week.
  41. Frozen taquitos or burritos
  42. Empanadas
  43. Corn dogs: use a homemade version by using Jiffy corn muffin mix, half a hot dog,
    then bake.
  44. Mini chicken pot pies
    Tips from a teacher:
  45. I work with primary school age kids and sit with my students twice a week for
    lunch to work on social skills. Here is what I have noticed… If you send a whole fruit,
    apple, orange,etc it goes in the trash, untouched. Cut it up, and they gobble it up! Cut
    veggies with dip are popular, as are rolled lunch meats. No one has a plain old
    sandwich anymore. Mini bagels are a hit with cream cheese. The all metal
    thermos holds the heat well. If they loved what you made for dinner, it works for
    lunch. Please don’t give them something YOU want them to eat, figuring they will be
    hungry and give in and eat what they have. THEY DONT! It all goes in the trash, and
    any opportunities for learning are gone for the rest of the day because all they can
    think about is their empty belly!

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