Stumped by school lunches? Dreading the drudgery? Here are 7 ideas for 7-minute school lunches that pack plenty of protein and fiber!
Let’s face it, most of us dread packing school lunches. It means waking up early and fitting in another task before we fly out the door (unless you plan ahead enough to pack them while you are cleaning up after dinner, which I usually fail to do).
When we pack lunches for our kids, we want to get as much good nutrition in their lunchboxes with the least amount of time and effort. (It’s not that we don’t love them to pieces, it’s just that we’re just so busy in the mornings!) And we want to make sure it’s food they will actually eat! Each of these lunches feature enough kid-friendly fiber, protein, fruits, and vegetables to make a very healthy lunch for kids.
Several of the lunches feature a brand new and absolutely delicious, healthy product from Sabra Dipping Co., Sabra Pizza Hummus Singles. I have to admit I was a little skeptical about pizza-flavored hummus, but it’s fantastic!
The hummus singles are the perfect size for school lunches, and with their healthy ingredients like chickpeas, tomatoes, carrots, red peppers, spinach, garlic, basil, and oregano, we can feel great about serving them to our kids—or ourselves!
When I tested the pizza hummus with kids in my neighborhood, they surprised themselves by how much they liked it and noted how similar it smells and tastes to pizza sauce. But it still has the creamy texture of hummus, which is perfect for spreading and dipping.
Sabra has other Singles for your kids to try in their lunches: Classic, Roasted Red Pepper, and Guacamole.
7 Ideas for 7-Minute School Lunches
Whole wheat flatbread topped with Sabra Pizza Hummus, melted mozzarella and slivered basil. Roll and slice it in the morning or let kids assemble at lunchtime.
Sabra Pizza Hummus Singles partnered with fresh pita or pita chips. Drizzle plain Greek yogurt with honey and serve with strawberries for dipping.
3. Mediterranean Pasta Medley
Toss leftover pasta (we use cheese tortellini here) with a combination of 1 Sabra Pizza Hummus Single mixed with 1 Tbsp. olive oil, and 1/2 diced tomato.
4. Nummy Nibbles
Trail mix (we made ours with whole grain cereal, almonds, dried apricots and chocolate chips), popcorn, Cheddar cheese cubes and strawberries.
5. Rainbow Salad with Sunny Eggs
Toss chopped lettuce with sliced carrots, edamame, grape tomatoes, sunflower seeds and shredded mozzarella. Hard-boiled egg, corn (steam in husk for 2 minutes in microwave) and some orange wedges ensure that your child is eating a rainbow.
6. Mexican Fiesta
Mash half an avocado with fresh lime juice and salt, top with chopped tomatoes. Serve with whole grain tortilla chips for dipping, steamed corn (steam in husk for 2 minutes in microwave) and sliced mango for extra fiber and flavor.
7. Traditional Dipper
Hummus with pita chips and cucumbers for dipping and Cheddar cheese cubes for extra protein.
Don’t forget to pack some water or milk in a reusable thermos!
How much fiber and protein do kids need each day?
When it comes to nutrition, the most important part of kids’ diets, and what they often don’t get enough of, is fruits and vegetables. Kids ages 6 and up should aim for 3 – 5 servings of vegetables and 2 – 4 servings of fruit each day. That includes nuts and beans, like chickpeas, which are the main ingredient in hummus.
Make sure to pack at least a serving of each in their lunches to help them meet these goals.
Depending on their ages, kids need between 25 and 32 grams of fiber a day.
Additionally, between 10 and 30% of their daily calories should come from protein (19 – 52 grams depending on their age).
Kid-friendly sources of protein:
- Beans and legumes (such as chickpeas, edamame, peas, black beans, lentils)
- Chia seeds
- Vegetables like spinach, potatoes, broccoli, avocado, and corn
Kid-friendly sources of fiber:
- Beans and legumes
- Chia seeds
- Whole grains (like whole wheat breads, tortilla chips and brown rice)
Does this sound like a lot of information and work?
The lunches we feature in this article take only 7 minutes or less to put together and pack plenty of protein, fiber, fruits and vegetables.
I can’t promise you won’t still dread the drudgery of packing lunches, but at least you will know that your kids are getting the nutrition their brains and bodies need during the day. And these lunches are so healthy and tantalizing, you just might want to pack one for yourself, too!
Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Sabra Dipping Co. All recipes and ideas are my own. I only work with brands and products that I personally test and wholeheartedly approve of.
Photo credit Linda Wolpert, 2015. Used with permission, all rights reserved.