13 Easy Recipes for Back-to-School Meal Planning

What's in Tiny Tim's lunchbox?

Making lunch for the kids doesn't have to be difficult or complicated; the recipe for Chocolate Ladybugs, for example, has only two ingredients.

With the first day of school fast approaching (or already here for some kids), it's time to think about starting off the school year right. When busy parents are putting together their shopping list for supplies, they usually manage to tick everything off the list — notebooks, pencils, pens, index cards, and perhaps some new clothes. But there's one thing that they may not be giving enough attention to — how, exactly, to stock the fridge, and what to pack tiny (or not so tiny) Tim for lunch.

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Despite Michelle Obama's best efforts to reform the school lunch program nationwide, most schools have a long way to go before their lunches are where they need to be in terms of nutrition. After all, a serving of tomato paste still counts as a serving of vegetables in a school lunch — this concession was won by lobbyists representing the food industry.

Approximately 32 million children currently participate in a school lunch program. And while the changes that have been made — requiring the use of whole grains and low-fat milk, doubling the serving size of fruits and vegetables, and establishing ceilings on daily calorie intake, salt, and trans fats — are good, they'll probably need to go a bit farther before more parents have enough confidence to let schools feed their kids.

Besides that, there's also the issue of taste. And that's one thing legislation probably can't solve.

So The Daily Meal stepped in with an army of moms. These recipes are quick, easy, and delicious, and we aren't ashamed to say that they make use of some help from the store. We've organized them into a suggested five-day menu that you can modify to your tastes, and each day features one or two snacks and one or two options for lunch. So, without further ado, here are five nutritious meals that kids will actually eat.


Will Budiaman is the Recipe Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow him on Twitter @WillBudiaman.