Healthy Nutrition Tips for Back to School

Prepare and pack these healthy back to school lunches packed with protein, fiber, and other nutrients kids need to grow and learn their best.

1. Turkey & Cheese Pinwheels

Pinwheels are perfect to pack in a lunch box, as they are convenient and mess-free. To prepare, layer about 4 turkey slices onto a whole grain tortilla. Add favorite cheese, including part-skim cheddar or mozzarella, and veggies. Roll the tortilla tightly and cut into bite-sized pieces.

Another beauty of pinwheels is they are adaptable to personal preferences. Like ham over turkey? Simply swap it out! Really, the simple steps of pinwheels include layering with a protein source, dressing with veggies, and flavoring with dressing and sauces per liking.

2. Pizza Pita Pockets

Pizza for a healthy school lunch idea? What kid, or adult for that matter, could resist? Shake up lunchtime with a pizza pita pocket!

Simply slice a pita into two halves then stuff with mozzarella cheese and favorite pizza toppings. This may include pepperoni slices, bell peppers, and mushrooms. Sprinkle dried oregano and crushed red pepper as well. Pack with ¼ cup of marinara sauce to dip.

To balance the lunch, pack with broccoli florets or a small side salad.

3. Sushi Rolls

Kids will have fun showing these sushi rolls off in the cafeteria! They are also versatile to take on favorite sushi flavors, including this California roll inspiration.

Ingredients:

• 1 cucumber
• 3 ounces crabmeat, real or imitation
• ¼ cup of sushi rice, cooked
• ¼ avocado, sliced
• ¼ red pepper, sliced

Directions:

1. Cut cucumber in half. Using a spoon, scrape out the seeds of each half so it forms a hollow tube.

2. Spoon in shrimp, sushi rice, avocado, and red pepper into each cucumber half until full.

3. Cut the filled cucumber into thick pieces, in which the toppings should be visible in the center.

4. Pack then dress with Sriracha and soy sauce as desired when ready to enjoy.

4. Gourmet PB & J

Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are a classic lunchbox staple. However, give it a gourmet makeover with a nutritional twist!

Smear peanut butter on a whole grain bread then add fresh strawberries or other berries. You can also make other peanut butter and fresh fruit combos, including apple slices and banana chunks. Drizzle with honey and a sprinkle of cinnamon for added oomph!

Pair sandwich with fresh grapes and carrot or celery sticks.

5. Asian-Style Chicken Bowls

This Asian-style chicken bowl is loaded with flavor and nutrients! It is simple to assemble as well.

To make, layer brown rice with grilled chicken, coleslaw, and shredded carrots. Drizzle soy sauce atop and green onions as desired.

The ingredients can be prepped ahead, too, including the brown rice and grilled chicken.

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