Healthy, easy-to-make lunches are a back-to-school must this fall

Whether it’s in a classroom or online, students will be heading back to school soon. And although learning will be different for everyone this year, there is one thing that will be the same – all kids need to eat lunch.
For parents, especially those who are working from home while their children are learning online, finding the time to make a healthy lunch can be challenging. But it’s important that children have a well-balanced meal. Providing access to healthy foods plays an important role in a student’s academic achievement, according to the CDC. Eating healthy meals helps students focus on their studies and leads to higher grades and test scores.
Looking for lunch ideas to serve at home or pack into a lunch box? Here are some easy, healthy meals that can be made the night before – and that are sure to earn an A+ from kids this fall.
5-ingredient pantry chili
This chili, which is as easy to make as its name suggests, is perfect for reheating for lunch the next day. Best of all, you can customize it with your choice of meat, beans and broth – whatever you have in your kitchen.
Lunch tip: Kids enjoy adding their own toppings. Package each topping individually in snack-size bags for lunch boxes, or arrange on a plate at home.
Italian grinder
An Italian grinder is sure to please every child in your family because you can leave off items that you know your kids won’t eat. Here’s a recipe that serves six people – including the adults who are working from home.
Lunch tip: When preparing these the night before, leave off the olive mixture and mayonnaise, saving them to pack into separate snack bags to be added later.
Lasagna rolls
Kid-friendly lasagna rolls are easy for them to pick up, don’t require a fork and can be enjoyed heated up or served cold. They don’t take much time to put together, and kids love to dip them in a side of marinara sauce.
Lunch tip: Lasagna rolls are even more fun to eat when they are served with the noodles’ ruffle side up –– they resemble flowers!
If you or someone you know is in need of food for kids’ lunches, contact your local school district for free lunch information. Or contact No Kid Hungry, Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan or 2-1-1 Michigan.
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