Nostalgia and Peanut Butter

With summer break coming to an end it’s time to get creative with packed lunches. You don’t need to have kids in order to start planning healthy brown bag lunches. Remember the old school days when we found temporary solace in a homemade lunch whether in a paper bag or assembled in a favorite character lunch box?

Taking a healthy lunch to work can be a simple way to save money, limit calories and give you extra time to take a walk, or run some errands at lunch. Here are some interesting ideas for lunches that kids will love and variations for you too:

Peanut Butter Roll Up                                    

Kid friendly: Spread a whole-wheat tortilla with peanut butter, sprinkle with low-fat granola, place banana on one side of the tortilla and roll up.

Adult adaptation: Instead of peanut butter, try almond or cashew butter. Replace banana with sliced strawberries and add some chia seeds for more protein.

TBLT (turkey bacon, lettuce & tomato)

Kid friendly: 2 slices whole-wheat bread, 3 slices turkey bacon, 1 slice tomato and 1 piece of romaine lettuce. 

Adult adaptation: Opt for a mixture of fresh baby greens and add Dijon mustard or sliced avocado. 

Garden Pasta Salad (great use for left-overs)

Kid friendly: 1 cup whole-wheat pasta, sliced chicken, shredded carrots, sliced green peppers, black olives and fat-free Italian dressing). 

Adult adaptation: Get creative by adding broccoli, cauliflower, red onion, edamame or any fat-free dressing. 

Fruit and Cheese Plate

Kid friendly: Assorted slices of reduced-fat cheeses, fruits like strawberries, pear and apple slices, grapes and melon with a side of whole-wheat crackers and veggies sticks.   Kids usually like cheddar and mozzarella.

Adult adaptation: Try a variety of cheeses such as gouda, Colby-Jack, or softer cheeses. Side with pita bread and a salad.