Ellie Krieger’s Rainbows and Butterflies Pasta Salad, part of a well-balanced lunch.
To get you off to the right start with our September Brown-Bag Challenge, we’ve put together a one-week menu of quick, tasty and nutritious lunches. To make things even easier, pre-plan your meals, make a shopping list and have all ingredients ready-to-go. Are you up for the challenge?
Monday: Tuna Pockets
- Stuff tuna salad into a large whole wheat pita
- 1 medium banana
- Sparkling water
Tuesday: Pasta Salad
- Pair egg salad with whole grain crackers for brain-boosting lunch.
Where I live, school starts this week so I need to switch gears from casual summer fare to brain food. Did I just say “brain food?” Yep, it’s true, certain foods actually improve memory, energy, focus and growth. And these delights all fit in one little lunch bag.
When I plan my boys’ lunches, I always remember this: the optimal meal blends protein and complex carbohydrates. Why? For nutrients and fiber, so the food is digested slowly, providing energy and better motor coordination all afternoon (when they typically have recess and PE). Here are some great options and the science behind them:
EGG SALAD WITH WHOLE GRAIN CRACKERS:
Eggs contain choline, a nutrient that helps brain and memory development (choline is vital for the creation of memory stem cells in the brain; more cells = better memory).
Whole grain crackers boast fiber, which helps maintain a steady stream of energy for hours, and B vitamins which, studies show, improve alertness.
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- Robin's Go-To Brown Bag Foods
I love packing lunch for my two boys every day. It’s a little part of me that I send in a brown bag (actually, a thermal lunch bag.) It like to imagine them opening lunch to find my surprises. These are my favorite simple, healthy foods to pack up, plus, my easy prep and planning tips.
Robin’s best lunchbox ideas »
Summer is winding down and the first signs of fall are the thousands of college students returning to begin the new school year. Whether you are staying close to home or moving far away, one fact remains true to all: Between now and winter break, many new students will gain the dreaded “Freshman 15.” Here are some tips to avoid it.
Get 5 stay-healthy tips »
- Giada's Vegetarian Grilled Panini
Growing up, I always brought a bagged lunch to school and stuck with what I liked: a turkey sandwich, apple, pretzels and a drink. I still pack my lunch daily, but these days it’s to bring to work, and it’s always vegetarian. Here are some of my favorite veg lunches to try if you’re looking for new meat-free bagged lunch options to bring to work, or to pack for your kids as a new school year is upon us. Don’t forget to include an ice pack or frozen beverage to keep your lunch cool.
Get Janel’s veg-friendly bagged lunch ideas »
Back to school means a return to hectic days, and while we always want to cook a wholesome meal at home, sometimes there’s only time for a pit-stop at the drive-through. But wait — that doesn’t mean you have to give up on healthy eating! Learn what to choose (and what to avoid) at popular quick-service spots.
Find Out What to Order At The Fast Food Counter:
- Melissa Halas-Liang and her "Super Crew"
In the back-to-school spirit, we’re talking to kid-focused nutrition expert and creator of the nutrition-promoting animated “Super Crew®” Melissa Halas-Liang. She gets down and dirty about childhood obesity, the Child Nutrition Bill and common misconceptions parents have about feeding their kids.
Get Melissa’s child nutrition tips »
- Find out which snacks to skip.
Feeding your kids can get confusing. Between pushy food marketing and bewildering labels, it’s no wonder that most folks are misled as to which kids snacks are really healthy. Here’s the real deal on what you’ve been buying.
6 snacks to avoid, and healthy alternatives »
- Oatmeal Cookies - Photo Courtesy Food Network Magazine
We’re celebrating Back To School week on Healthy Eats, and we know that packing a healthy noon meal that your kids will actually eat can be tricky. We took a look at some less-than-healthy school lunch staples and gave them an upgrade. Tuck these better (but still yummy) options into your little one’s lunchbox.
Give your lunchbox a nutrition boost »
Take-to-School Taco Bar
When peanut butter and turkey have you and your kids yawning, here are 5 fresh school lunch ideas to add to the mix.
5 quick, easy lunches »