WASHINGTON (DC News Now) — Ah, the school lunch. It can be a struggle for parents to find and pack meals that are healthy and tasty for their kids.
We’ve compiled a list of recipes to help your family be back-to-school rockstars.
- 1 tbsp mayonnaise
- 1 tbsp ketchup
- 1 tsp relish
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, ketchup, and relish.
- Spread across a large tortilla, and layer spinach, turkey, cheese, and tomato. Optionally, drizzle olive oil and sprinkle salt and pepper.
- Roll up, and slice on an angle to create 1-inch rounds. Spear down the middle with toothpicks to create lollipop-shaped pinwheels.
Feel free to box these up without the toothpicks if that’s a concern for your child. These bite-sized turkey wrap wheels go great with some baby carrots and fruit.
Meatballs and Broccoli
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 lb ground pork
- 3/4 cup bread crumbs
- 2 large egg
- 2 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp mirin or Shaoxing wine (optionally substitute an extra tbsp soy sauce)
- 1 Tbsp garlic
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1lb broccoli crowns
- 1 bottle of BBQ sauce
- 1 Tbsp chili crisp
- Set oven to 200°C | 400°F.
- Combine ground meats, bread crumbs, eggs, and soy sauce, mirin/Shaoxing wine, and garlic in a large mixing bowl. Use kitchen-safe plastic gloves to combine by hand. Do not overmix.
- Let sit for five minutes, then ball up by hand and set on prepared baking sheets. The full recipe can make as many as 120 small meatballs.
- Bake for 12 minutes.
- In a large Dutch oven, over medium heat, fry broccoli crowns in olive oil.
- Once the broccoli begins to blacken, add the meatballs and about half of the liquid fat that should have rendered out onto the pan.
- Add a whole bottle of barbecue sauce and 1 Tbsp of chili crisp. Mix everything until coated, and place in storage/meal prep containers.
This recipe takes a bit of effort, but it can be a fun activity for the whole family. The final recipe makes up to six servings. It can be halved or doubled to suit your prep needs. It freezes well and lasts up to two weeks if frozen.
Feel free to sub any of the sauce/seasoning options. This also works just fine with marinara sauce or a spicy tomato basil sauce.
Hard-boiled Eggs and Salad
- 3 hard-boiled eggs
- 1/2 cucumber
- 1/2 steak tomato
- Chopped kale
- Chopped walnuts
- 2 Tbsp salad dressing
- Fill the bottom of your container with chopped kale.
- Cover with sliced cucumber and tomato.
- Top with thinly sliced hard-boiled eggs.
- Sprinkle walnuts over the top.
- Drizzle with salad dressing of your choice.
By far, this is the easiest, macro-nutrient-friendly meal to prep. Pack with a side of multi-grain crackers for a nice, complex carb to keep your kids full and fueled throughout the day.
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 Tbsp neutral oil
- 2 tsp taco seasoning mix
- Black beans
- Shredded cheese (preferably low-fat)
- Shredded iceberg lettuce
- Diced tomatoes
- Sour cream
- In a large pan, over medium-high heat, add 1 Tbsp neutral oil (one that has very little or no flavor), then add ground beef.
- Add taco seasoning, and cook meat thoroughly for about five minutes. Then, set aside for five minutes.
- To your lunch container, add desired amount of cooked beef. Then, spoon in corn, beans, cheese, lettuce, and tomatoes in desired quantities.
- Top with an optional spoonful of sour cream and guac.
We recommend cooking no more than a pound of beef at a time and keeping ingredients separate in the fridge for no longer than a week ahead of time. Assemble “day of” so the moisture only has a few hours to work through the different ingredients and affect consistency.
Hummus and veggies
This is a quick and easy snack you can pack or add to an existing meal — simply chop up your kid’s favorite veggies and pack them up with a container of hummus.