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Back to school recipes

Back to school recipes

Let’s face it, Fall is here! Some of us are in the swing of things already and some of us are not! This blog is all about simple to do school lunch recipes and easy school lunch ideas for both kids and adults. I do not have kids but I am a school social worker and am in my “Back to School Routine.” I hear so many parents, teachers, and school staff talking about getting back into a healthy routine so I thought it would be beneficial to provide some easy healthy lunch and snack recipes for kids and adults. Many schools serve breakfast and often an affordable lunch, but sometimes we want more control over the food our children and ourselves intake and that is where this blog will come in handy. 

How should I make sure my kids start their day on the right track?

Just like adults, kids need to get started with proper nutrition so they can have energy and functioning brains to learn. I know if I don’t have my morning coffee, I am not being my best self and that doesn’t do anybody any good. Many schools do serve a balanced healthy breakfast that includes fruit, protein, carbs, and milk. This breakfast is super helpful but is also missing a vital portion of what I think should be in every meal, vegetables. That is why I love my daily super-foods that allow my morning intake to be full of nutrition, yet super easy. You’re probably thinking “how is a protein shake going to help my kid?” Well, Daily Sunshine is an awesome morning breakfast supplement many of my coach friends who are mamas swear by. It is a chocolate superfood shake similar to the shake I drink except specially formulated for kids. I am guessing your kid would be more apt to drink a frosty for breakfast on the way to school than to chug a V-8 or chow down on some veggies. It is also super easy to make overnight oats which I have posted in previous blogs. Here are some quick and easy egg cup recipes that are great for on-the-go healthy breakfasts.

Easy lunch ideas for kids and adults: Bento Boxes

I’m a big fan of prepping meals ahead of time or having easy ingredients ready to make fast lunches. Prepped lunch bento boxes are super easy and super fun! I recommend purchasing in bulk from Amazon for easy prep.

A few things to have at home are:

  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Chicken (gluten-free strips or grilled)
  • Naturally sourced deli meat
  • Cut vegetables ie: cherry tomatoes, baby carrots, cucumber
  • Plant Power Cauliflower sandwich thins
  • Sprouts
  • Pastrami salmon
  • Sprouted grain bread
  • Guacamole and/or fresh avocado
  • Pre-packaged organic salads
  • Hummus
  • Garlic dip
  • Tuna
  • Peanut or Almond Butter
  • Berries
  • Watermelon

You can then use some or all of these ingredients to prep lunch for you and/or kiddos! Some easy combinations are: 

Classic PB&J (you can also get creative and use almond butter, bananas, honey, whatever suits you) with a side of carrots and fruit. Simply fill each compartment. Add a side of hummus or garlic dip for the vegetables if desired.

Tuna sandwich on the cauliflower thins or sprouted bread with leafy greens, and sprouts. You could also use bib lettuce or large pieces of romaine to make tuna wraps with a side of berries or watermelon.

Pre-packaged salad plus chicken and/or a hard-boiled egg with a side of cut vegetables and dip of choice. Side of fruit.

Back to school lunch: Salad wrap

Back to school lunch: Salad wrap

•I love to use the deli meat in a salad or a salad wrap.

I add guacamole or avocado to almost all of my salads, sandwiches, and wraps for a healthy source of fat. 

You may be sensing a theme here. Simple and balanced. Each easy lunch recipe includes a protein, mostly veggies, healthy fats, fruit, and minimal carbohydrates. This is the formula I’ve been using for four years now and it’s been most effective in my weight-loss/maintenance journey. These balanced meals keep me energized and full throughout a busy day. 

Back to school lunch recipes:

The following recipes are recipes from the programs I swear by and use in my virtual boot camps.

Salad in a jar

Salad in a jar

Salad in a jar

I love this recipe from 2Bmindset, but if you’re looking for something easier and faster you can buy an organic clean ingredient salad dressing like Annie’s instead of making your own. You can also purchase a pre-made grilled chicken and then life is super breezy. 

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. raw honey (or pure maple syrup) 
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. olive oil extra virgin
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 4 cups sliced cucumbers
  • 4 cups halved cherry tomatoes
  • 3 cups grilled chicken breast boneless, skinless, sliced
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

Instructions:

  1. To make the dressing, combine vinegar, lemon juice, and honey in a medium bowl; whisk to blend.
  2. Add mustard; mix well.
  3. Slowly add oil while whisking; mix well. Evenly divide dressing between 4 one-quart Mason jars. Set aside.
  4. Evenly layer quinoa, cucumbers, tomatoes, chicken, and cheese on top of dressing in jars. 
  5. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Shake before serving. 
  6. Variation (Add 1 green container per serving): Add 4 cups fresh baby spinach. 

Turkey goat cheese avocado rolls (Team Beach Body)

Ingredients:

  • 4 leaves romaine lettuce
  • 4 slices nitrate-free smoked turkey (or roast beef)
  • 4 Tbsp. soft goat cheese
  • 4 Tbsp. chopped walnuts (or pecans)
  • ½ medium avocado, cut into 4 slices
  • Chopped red bell pepper (for garnish; optional)

Instructions:

  1. Top each lettuce leaf with a turkey slice.
  2. Spread each turkey slice with 1 Tbsp. goat cheese.
  3. Sprinkle 1 Tbsp. walnuts on each roll and top with 1 slice avocado. Roll and garnish with chopped bell pepper, if desired.

Spinach Quinoa Salad with Paprika dressing (Team Beach Body)

Ingredients:

  • 1½ cups dry quinoa
  • Water
  • Sea salt (to taste; optional), divided use
  • ¼ cup sherry wine vinegar
  • 2½ tsp. paprika
  • Ground black pepper (to taste; optional)
  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 cups raw baby spinach leaves, washed, dried
  • 2 (15-oz.) cans chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained, rinsed
  • 1 medium cucumber, unpeeled, chopped
  • 2½ cups halved cherry (or small heirloom) tomatoes
  • 1 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1½ cups coarsely crumbled feta cheese, divided use

Instructions:

  1. Place quinoa in a large saucepan; add water to cover by 1-inch. Season with salt if desired. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and gently boil for 15 to 16 minutes, or until quinoa is tender. Drain if there is excess liquid. Chill, covered in the refrigerator, for 4 hours or until cool. 
  2. Combine vinegar, and paprika in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper if desired; slowly whisk in oil to blend. Set aside.
  3. Combine spinach, chickpeas, cucumber, tomatoes, mint, and 1 cup cheese in a large bowl; mix well.
  4. Add the cooled quinoa to spinach mixture; toss gently to blend.
  5. Drizzle dressing over salad; toss gently to blend. 
  6. Sprinkle remaining ½ cup cheese over salad; serve immediately.

“Sarah Savino is my recommended Wellness and Nutrition Coach who resides in Colorado but has a community of clients she guides and manages nationally. She has her frequent retreats that her clients are encouraged but not required to attend and someone who knows first hand how it is to be overworked and overweight. She is a living truth that once within the right community and with the right guide, everything is possible. She can be reached thefitphilanthropist@gmail.com and facebook.com/sarah.savino IG- the_fit_philanthropist ”- Dr. Shakib, your Irvine Chiropractor.