My goal for this six week long challenge with Made to Matter, Handpicked by TargetTM was to get a handle on our on-the-go lunches. The challenge was perfectly timed now that the new school year is on my heels and I can’t stress it enough—attaining this goal was ALL about prep. I stocked my pantry with good, clean snacks that I can grab in a rush, stash in my purse or even leave in a box in the trunk to help me get a head start! Then, once a week I started taking a little chunk of time to chop veggies and put fruit into small containers in the fridge. Then I can literally just grab and go. Here are a week’s worth of lunches if you’d like to see!
Monday: Hayes’s preschool ends right in the middle of lunchtime, and we’re usually running errands afterwards while we’re already out in the car. His school provides small snacks, but after three hours there he’s always ready for something more substantial!
For today’s lunch, I simply rolled up slices of Simply Balanced Oven Roasted Turkey with Annie’s Organic Honey Mustard, Horizon Organic Cheddar Cheese Slices and a leaf of spinach. Then I skewered them with these darling flag toothpicks. I bagged up some pre-cut veggies, a chocolate milk and even more spinach packed in the Plum Organics Strawberry breakfast bars for a sweet treat!
This lunch is packed with protein, vitamins from the spinach and veggies and has whole grains and healthy fats in the milk. Totally balanced, yet totally delicious and exciting for small hands to eat. [ Pants / Watch ]
Tuesday: We’re at home for lunch and then quickly off to gymnastics or soccer so a warm meal is totally doable, but I’m looking for some carbs to give the boys lots of energy. This lunch is made up of whole wheat pasta with marinara sauce, Mozarella Cheese Sticks, more of those pre-cut veggies, a juice box and Annie’s Bunny Grahams (My trick for getting them to eat whole wheat over white? I’ve never had anything but whole wheat bread and pastas in my cupboards so they don’t know the difference! Tricky mama.)
Surprise – another lunch on the go! Whenever I made sandwiches I let the boys use a cookie cutter shape on it, it seems to seal the sandwich down so nothing drips or falls out of it, which is a huge bonus if they’re chowing down the car. They won’t eat the crust anyway so it’s a win-win! This one is more turkey and cheese (their favorite!), and a sliced apple and a little helping of peanut butter to dip the apple slices in. They washed this one down with a Plum Organics Super Smoothie and a water bottle.
After talking with Phil, I was so excited to try Evol Foods out! For the most part I had sworn off frozen foods, going so far as to put my microwave in storage to avoid using it. We learned from chatting with him that it’s all about using proper processes and quality ingredients – that’s makes some frozen food a great option. Reading these Made to Matter, Handpicked by TargetTM items’ ingredient lists (they’re all pronounceable and recognizable), eased my fears about eating frozen foods. So we gave their most popular dish Evol Truffle Mac & Cheese Bowl a shot with a side of the Organic Mixed Vegetables For extra freshness I included a bowl of berries, then a Kashi Oatmeal Cookie and my boys’ new favorite “sosa” as Cal calls it – but it’s cranberry cherry drink with far less sugar than soda.
At this point in the week, I’m dragging and ready for the weekend, so this lunch is as easy as it gets! My kids love to assemble these little sandwich stacks themselves, so I just take a circle cookie cutter and punch out turkey and cheese slices and then pack them with Simply Balanced Brown Rice Crackers. For some extra sweet goodness, I toss in some berries and pre-prepped veggies, that favorite cranberry cherry drink and we’re good to go!
What are your go-to lunches for back to school? To makes it easy, you can pin all 5 lunches below for an easy reference! Follow us on Pinterest to see more healthy ideas!