Fuel your children all day with these healthy lunch ideas.
Now that back to school season is upon us, many parents are excited for their children to be busy again and to return to a somewhat consistent routine. That said, preparing school lunches can be one stressful aspect for parents who want to provide healthy meals for their children without breaking the bank. With this in mind, we’re highlighting three easy-to-make meals that will have the other kids wanting to trade lunches.
Chickpea Pita Pockets
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 3 cups (or 2 15-ounce cans) cooked and drained chickpeas
- 1 cup tahini
- 2 tablespoons chopped mint
- 4 pita bread rounds (lightly toasted or warmed, if desired)
- 8 cups chard cut into 1/4-inch ribbons (can substitute spinach or lettuce)
- 3 to 4 tomatoes, sliced (or equivalent amount in smaller tomatoes)
- 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
- Parsley and mint leaves for garnish (optional)
- In a large bowl whisk together the olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, parsley, garlic, cumin, salt, and paprika. Add the chickpeas and stir to combine. The longer the chickpeas marinate, the better they taste, so if you have time, cover and refrigerate for at least an hour and up to a couple of days.
- In a separate bowl combine the tahini and mint. Again, this is better if it sits for a while, so cover and refrigerate if not using immediately.
- Cut pita breads in half. Line each half with chard or other greens, then fill with tomatoes, chickpeas, and onions. Garnish with parsley and mint, if desired. Serve with minted yogurt spooned on top.
Quick Pasta Fried Rice
- 1 cup orzo pasta
- 1/2 cup frozen edamame
- 1/2 cup frozen corn
- 1/2 cup frozen peas and carrots
- 4 green onions, finely sliced
- 2/3 cup Asian or sesame dressing
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add orzo, cooking for 12 minutes.
- Add edamame, corn, peas, and carrots. cook 2-3 minutes more, or until pasta is tender. Transfer to a colander and drain.
- Place pasta in a large serving bowl. Add green onions, and sesame dressing. Stir until well mixed.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Three Bean Salad
- 1 15-oz can kidney beans
- 1 15-oz can cannellini beans
- 1 15-oz can garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
- 1 green bell pepper, cored and chopped
- 1 cup chopped red onions
- 1 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 1/2 Tablespoon lemon juice
- In a large bowl, combine beans, bell peppers red onion, and parsley.
- In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, lime juice, and lemon juice.
- Pour dressing over beans and veggies, and mix well. Chill for at least 3-4 hours before serving. Add in diced avocado, if desired right before serving.
From the professionals at Boys & Girls Club of Greater Conejo Valley, we hope that your child enjoys these healthy back to school lunches! To learn about the many after-school programs we have available for your child contact us today!