Healthy Lunch Ideas For Kids and Adults September 16, 2016
Master the midday meal with our ridiculously simple, delicious, and healthy lunch ideas for kids and adults alike.
If you’re anything like us, mornings are hectic. To say the least. The alarm goes off, and the next few minutes are a blur of actively willing time to move slower, accepting the inevitable, and shlepping out of bed. Then comes the daunting task of getting everyone up, fed, and ready for the day ahead–with lots of caffeine thrown into the mix, obviously. Conquering the morning routine is a feat in and of itself, so the thought of also packing lunch seems, well, impossible. We’re here to convince you that it’s not.
With the help of our genius chef, Nate, we curated two ridiculously simple, delicious, and healthy vegetarian lunch menus — one for kids and another for adults.
Get ready to scroll into the cafeteria in style.
Lunch For Kids
1. Pita Sandwich
Pita pockets are a versatile and hearty vessel for pretty much whatever fillings you want. Chef Nate opted for apple slices, goat cheese, spinach, and dried cranberries for a slightly sweet, creamy, and refreshingly crisp sandwich.
TIME-SAVING TIP: Cut the pitas in half and wash the spinach the night before, so all you have to worry about the following morning is slicing the apple and stuffing the pockets.
2. Ants on a Log
Whoever thought something as simple as celery, peanut butter, and raisins could be so good? It may be for kids, but we have a feeling adults will be sneaking a few of these protein-packed snacks into their lunches as well.
TIME-SAVING TIP: Precut the celery over the weekend (or just the night before), so all you have to do in the morning is spread on some peanut butter and top with raisins.
3. Crispy Roasted Chickpeas
Although we love ordinary chickpeas in all their nutty and buttery flavored goodness, we gotta admit: crispy roasted chickpeas are off the charts.
Toss drained, rinsed, and thoroughly dried beans with a drizzle of olive oil, whatever herbs and seasonings your kids love (cinnamon, garlic powder, or smoky spice blends), and a pinch of salt and pepper. Spread evenly onto a baking sheet, making sure not to crowd the pan. Bake about 20 minutes, tossing every 8-10 minutes, until golden brown. Your kids will be popping these like candy.
TIME-SAVING TIP: Roast chickpeas over the weekend and store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.
Lunch For Adults
1. Pita Sandwich
Make your life a zillion times easier by using the same whole wheat pitas for your lunch as well. This time, fill them them with a generous smear of hummus, cucumber slices, crumbled feta, red onion, and mint.
TIME-SAVING TIP: We have a feeling the last thing you want to do on busy mornings is wash herbs. So once you purchase fresh mint, snip off the ends, toss out any wilted leaves, wash well, and place in one inch of water (like a flower bouquet) while sealing the top with an overturned plastic bag. Store in the refrigerator.
2. Sweet Potato Chips
Sweet potatoes, olive oil, and sea salt are all you need for deliciously crisp homemade chips. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees, peel and thinly slice the sweet potatoes, and toss with the oil and salt. Spread evenly onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake 20-25 minutes, tossing halfway through, until golden brown.
TIME-SAVING TIP: Ditch the knife and reach for a mandolin, instead. It’ll save you a good chunk of time while cutting. Plus, the slices will turn out extra thin and crispy.
3. Gluten-Free Banana Bread
This is, hands down, one of the best banana breads we have EVER tasted. It’s sweetened only with a touch of honey and bananas, free of refined white flours, and bursting with pop of succulent blueberries in every bite. Although it makes for the perfect dessert, we have a feeling it’ll be long gone before then, so bring an extra slice (or two) to be safe.
Get the recipe here.
TIME-SAVING TIP: It goes without saying that you should do all your baking over the weekend. But to save even more time, slice the loaf the night before. It sounds insignificant, but every second counts when you’re rushing out the door.
Lunch: check! Now it’s time to conquer dinner, which is far easier said than done during the craziness of the back-to-school season. Learn how with these five essential tips.