Wholesome and Nutritious School Lunches

Here we are nearing the end of October… already! By now many students have adjusted to being back in school whether they are there in person or online. No matter where your child is learning this year, it’s essential that they eat well to feel nourished. It can be tempting to send the same foods on repeat for school lunches every day when you find a few options that really work for your child, but it’s important to keep them excited about food by offering variety in textures, shapes, and flavours.

I try to think about serving energy-boosting foods because children spend so much time moving around throughout the day, and learning requires lots of brainpower. In other words, our kids need plenty of energy-increasing nutrients to support their brains and their bodies.

One Ingredient Rule: With every meal or snack, have one thing on your plate that has only one ingredient.

If it were up to my son Justin, he would have a bag of chips as a snack for recess every single day! He definitely gets his love of salty snacks from me, so I introduced the One Ingredient Rule in our home, which means that with every meal or snack we have, there has to be one thing on our plate that only has one ingredient, such as apple, carrots, cucumbers, or bananas. Fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds are all only made up of ONE ingredient, not a whole long list of ingredients that you can’t even pronounce. The next time you go to grab a snack that’s in a package, take a look at the ingredient list and you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.

In our busy lives that are filled with classes, study sessions, and extracurriculars, it’s more important than ever to stay well-nourished and energetic. So, don’t let food take a back seat! I know it’s so easy to grab fast food, but taking some time to prepare homemade meals will always be worth it.

Here are some inexpensive, nutritious foods that get an A+! All the ideas here are modifiable to suit your own taste/ingredient preferences, and I always suggest adding a side of fresh fruit or vegetables for a wholesome and balanced meal.

  • Spinach mac and cheese
  • Vegetable and egg fried rice
  • Ground meat stir-fry
  • Black bean quesadillas
  • Frittata (like a crustless quiche!)
  • Meatballs with sauce
  • Overnight oats
  • “Lunchables” box with crackers, cheese, meat, nuts, and dried fruit
  • Pesto chicken and vegetables
  • Cream cheese tea sandwiches
  • Spicy noodle stir-fry
  • Samosas
  • Vegetable grilled cheese
  • Burrito bowls
  • Cold noodles with cucumber
  • Hummus snack box with veggies, pita, or anything else you like to snack on!
  • Curried spinach chickpeas
  • Fruit sandwiches

I like to make sure I buy in bulk for better prices and keep an eye on the sale section. Meal prepping also goes a long way! One final tip I have is to try to create low-waste lunches. I usually pack food and drinks in reusable containers. Being healthy and helping our environment is a win-win in my opinion.

Happy (and healthy) snacking!


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Cover photo by Anthony Shkraba from Pexels | Photo by Ella Olsson on Unsplash