13 Easy Recipes for Back-to-School Meal Planning Slideshow
Monday Morning Snack: Vanilla, Cherry, and Almond Muffins
Here's a quick and easy recipe from Celine Cossou-Bordes, cooking instructor and author of Cooking with Trader Joe's Cookbook: Pack a Lunch, that you can make on a Sunday night before the week starts. The recipe yields 12 muffins, so you can make breakfast on-the-go for two kids before you, well, have to go.
Monday Lunch: Sweet Broiled Salmon
Here's another recipe that's ideal for a make-ahead approach on Sunday night. Catherine McCord, founder of weelicious.com, says that the leftovers are ideal for a "makeover" the next morning for the kids' lunch. McCord suggests packing it with some sliced cucumber and letting the kids sprinkle some sesame seeds on top — she says, "Think ownership, independence, and empowerment — the more involved kids are in the process, the more excited they will be about their lunch. Try getting them in the kitchen even once a week so they can say 'Hey, I made that!' about something in their lunchbox."
Monday Lunch: RBC Rolls
With just 270 calories and 6 grams of fat, but 28 grams of protein, these "RBC Rolls" are packed with protein and are light on calories, helping your kid stay focused in school for the rest of the day. This recipe comes from Devin Alexander, author of The Biggest Loser Cookbook and participant in Michelle Obama's Chefs Move to Schools Program.
Tuesday Lunch: TLT Wrap
This recipe from Stacey Antine, M.S., R.D., makes four servings, so you can save what you don't pack for the kids and eat it for dinner, or take it to work yourself. With just 150 calories and only 7 grams of fat per serving, this light and tasty twist on traditional BLT is a great healthy alternative to the local sandwich shop. To get the kids involved, have them fill the lavash and roll the wraps.
Tuesday Lunch: PB&J Spirals
Here's a fun twist on a childhood classic: peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. This lighter version makes use of whole-wheat, low-carb tortillas, reduced-fat peanut butter, and 100-percent fruit spread to cut down on the calories. The verdict? It's just 253 calories per serving with 10 grams of protein.
Tuesday Afternoon Snack: Tuna-Stuffed Tomatoes
Adults aren't the only ones who need an afternoon pick-me-up: Fifth-period French can seem to drag on forever, too, just like weekly status update meetings. Pack these easy-to-make snacks for a protein- and vitamin-packed afternoon bite.
Wednesday Lunch: Indian Chicken Salad Pockets
Neat trick: Mixing low-fat mayonnaise with bold flavors can keep your wraps and sandwiches tasty while cutting down on fat. At just 186 calories per serving, these tasty wraps are a featherweight, but pack a protein punch with 20 grams of protein.
Wednesday Afternoon Snack: Chocolate Ladybugs
Here's a great way to sneak some fresh fruit into your kids' diet without adding too much processed sugar. Strawberries are a great source of vitamin C and fiber. Have your kids help out by cutting the strawberries (adult supervision and plastic knife recommended for the little ones) and also by pressing in the chips.
Thursday Morning Snack: Ham and Cheese Croissant
Don't worry, you won't have to make croissants from scratch (Yikes!). With a little help from the store, breakfast on-the-go is ready in a snap.
Thursday Lunch: Greek-Style Orzo Salad
Pack this light and flavorful Greek-Style Orzo Salad for lunch, perfect after a rather hearty morning snack.
Friday Morning Snack: PB&J 'Sushi'
Apparently, sushi is cool these days with the kids, but packing them actual raw fish, even in an insulated lunchbox with a cooler, probably isn't a good idea. Here's a great workaround — it looks just like sushi but doesn't have any actual fish in it.
Friday Lunch: Bacon Cheesy Whole-Wheat Pita Pockets
Yes, there's bacon, but hey, it's Friday. Everyone has to indulge once in a while. Anyway, just tell yourself that the whole-wheat in the pita pockets balances out the bacon, avocado, and Cheddar. Sort of.