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Easy Back to School Lunches That Will Make Your Kids Smile

September 10, 2018
Ham and cheese sandwich for lunch while at school

You can make all of these recipes at your Laurel apartment’s kitchen table.

School lunches are all about delicious, edible efficiency. Trying out new recipes is a great way to add variety to your weeknight dinners. But trying to reinvent the cheese wheel when it comes to school lunches will put you in a sticky situation. Instead, choose a meal formula from the following guide. You can swap out individual ingredients and modify sizes to make them suit your purposes.


A Sandwich and Side

As the most common type of lunch, this one gets the top spot on this list. PB&J, ham & cheese and other classic combinations make great lunches for kids. All you need to keep stocked is sliced bread and some type of green. For variety in a savory sandwich, whip up a Sriracha mayo or sun-dried tomato puree to replace the usual spread.


Pasta with Toppings

A base of carbs with added protein is the fundamental building block of a nutritious lunch. Start with your pasta and protein (it could be beef, chicken, shrimp or any other major source of protein). Add a red or white pasta sauce or go for a less traditional butter or olive oil-based dressing. Then add plenty of vegetables to get those important micronutrients: spinach, tomatoes, mushrooms, broccoli and artichoke hearts are popular toppings.


Soup and Salad

It’s a combination you’ll see at any sit-down restaurant. But is it appropriate for a school lunch? We say yes. But there are a few things you can do to make sure the meal goes smoothly. First, pick soups that are usually served cold if your child won’t have access to a microwave. Second, this dish should be reserved for kids that are middle school aged or older. Even if your kid has great motor control, their neighbor might not. In addition, packing soup in a thermos instead of Tupperware can prevent your teen from coming home with a majorly embarrassing stain.


A Mini-Meal

Instead of packing a whole new lunch, you can portion out some leftovers from dinner for your child’s meal the next day. This is by far the sneakiest school lunch option and your kids might resist at first, but it’s totally worth it. Here’s why: it saves money; it’s delicious; it’s easy; it’s real food. If you’ve had trouble getting your kids to enjoy the kinds of food most adults eat and they’re constantly begging for chicken nuggets, sugary cereals and soda, this can be a clever solution. Get your kids used to eating full, balanced meals during lunch and the habit will carry over to dinner time.


The Wrap

This is the go-to, in-a-hurry food for college students, office workers and parents alike. You can put basically anything in a wrap. A burrito is a full Mexican meal…in a wrap. Those chicken Caesar rolls you see at parties? They’re just salad…in a wrap. There are chicken parmesan wraps. There are Philly cheesesteak wraps. Want a hand-held version of your favorite food? Wrap it!


Hopefully, these five school lunch templates will help make your school day prep a little easier. And with ROSS’ fully equipped kitchens, prepping them is a breeze. Take a tour today to see what other awesome features you can get at a ROSS Laurel apartment.