Packing a healthy school lunch for teenagers can be tricky. Thankfully, most of them have outgrown the picky eater phase, but now you have different problems to worry about.
Are they getting enough calories? Will the food provide enough nutrition to get them through the day? Will it keep unrefrigerated/does it need to be heated? And will it be delicious enough for them to not cave at the temptation of lunch room pizza?
Lunch bowls pack a nutritious punch. The best part? These are fully customizable depending on your teen’s taste buds. Start with a healthy and filling whole grain like brown rice, quinoa, or farro. Add veggies, a protein, garnishes, and a delicious sauce. Use leftover vegetables from dinner to keep things easy. Keep the sauce separate in one of these sturdy little Condiment Cups. One of our favorites to make is a Steak Burrito Bowl. Using leftover steak and some roasted veggies, sub out the miracle rice for some brown rice and you’ll have a filling meal your teen will love.
Add a side of fruit and maybe a cookie or two (hey, it takes calories to keep a focused mind!) and you’ve got a great pack lunch.
And have them help you put it together to teach them about nutrition! They’ll be on their own in a few years time and the last thing you want is a grown up teen who subsists on frozen pizza 24/7. Teaching them how to fuel their bodies now will help to curb issues later when it comes to cooking and food. Show them that healthy school lunch meal prep is easy to transition to adult life. Who knows, maybe they’ll start to do it on their own, make it pretty, and take pics…you know, for the ‘Gram.
Kimbap is a Korean rice roll similar to sushi. But instead of raw fish, it contains veggies and a sweet scrambled egg. Not only does this roll pack a great amount of nutrients, it also can travel compact and without refrigeration. Plus, your teens will love the serious clout of having something different for lunch.
Don’t forget to make a few for yourself too, because these make great lunches for adults as well.
When in doubt, slap it in a tortilla and roll it up.
We know that sounds funny, but it’s mostly true. Don’t want to pack a big salad? Roll it in a tortilla. Run out of tupperware containers? Roll the bowl in a tortilla. Got some leftover chicken strips and veggies from dinner? Roll it in a tortilla. The possibilities on making a sandwich wrap are endless. It’s the perfect mechanism for delivering great food, especially when you’re limited on space in the lunch box. Add a small bag of crispy fried chickpeas and some cookies for the most perfect healthy school lunch combo.
When the sandwich, chips, and juice box routine just won’t cut it anymore for your teen’s school lunch, try any of these suggestions to spice things up a little bit. And add them into your lunch rotation too! Not only does it prepare them for adult life, it’ll also expand their horizons when it comes to trying new food.
Trust us, with these delicious recipes, they’ll be saying “no thanks” to whatever the school cafeteria is serving that day.