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Garden Fresh with Claudia Deen: Healthy Lunch Ideas For School

By Claudia Deen

Back to school! It’s been a couple months since the little ones of the house went back to school, and even though I don’t have kids (yet!), I know how it is important for most moms to provide the best nutrition for their kids (I see this with my sisters-in-law).

It all starts by educating them at home to make the right choices. I know that some kids eat the food that the school provides, but others bring their own lunch boxes, so today I wanted to share a few delicious ideas to keep those packed lunches fun and healthy. And if you don’t have kids, all of these could make a great meal to bring with you to work!

1. Tuna sandwich – If you know me it’s no secret that the only food I can’t eat is mayonnaise, so let’s save some calories and unhealthy fats and substitute it with plain Greek yogurt. A can of tuna with a touch of yogurt in between two slices of whole wheat bread is the perfect combo of protein, carbs, and healthy fats. Add a side of baby carrots with hummus or an apple, and you’ve got a complete meal!

2. Turkey wrap – In a whole-wheat tortilla, add a slice of your kid’s favorite cheese and a couple of tomato or avocado pieces. If they’re not into veggies (yet!) you can substitute them for salsa or guacamole—maybe they’ll enjoy it more! Finish it up with some turkey slices, but avoid the prepackaged ones, as they are very processed and high in sodium and preservatives. Instead, go to the deli at your grocery store and ask for a low sodium version… the kind that they slice in the moment.

3. Quesadillas – You can make these the night before! Make them with corn or whole wheat tortillas to avoid processed flours. Add a high-quality cheese, grilled chicken, black beans, and salsa! Send a little salsa with them for dipping.

4. Vegetarian pita – Another favorite of mine! Fill up whole-wheat pita bread with your kid’s favorite veggies. Use hummus as the spread, and if they’re into all the Mediterranean flavors, you can sprinkle some feta cheese.

5. Hard boiled eggs plate – A mix of hard-boiled eggs with whole-wheat crackers, cottage cheese, hummus, veggie slices, and fruits makes the perfect combo of macronutrients that will keep your children energized and satisfied throughout the day!

Always include fresh fruits as dessert: berries, oranges, bananas, melon… you name it! Also, avoid sending sugary juices. I know this is a practical, easy option, but try to make your juices at home or mix the prepackaged ones with water to lower their sugar intake!

Claudia Deen - Founder, The Trendy Smoothie Claudia Deen is a Certified Health Coach based in Savannah, GA, and the founder of The Trendy Smoothie. Claudia is a brown belt in karate, thirteen-time half-marathon finisher, seven-time marathon finisher, and two-time Ironman 70.3 finisher. After a career in advertising, her passion for fitness and fresh eating led to a career centered on helping others achieve a healthier lifestyle. In 2013, Claudia married Paula’s son, Bobby. You can follow Claudia on her blog, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

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