Friday, March 8, 2013

Some healthy lunches you can pack in advance!

Today’s post is a special guest post from Jenny Baptiste, an independent blogger who offers insightful, wonderful tips on living healthy!  Below, she is featuring healthy lunches (great for kids!), that are perfect for packing the night before.  Check out her blog, easyhealthfitness, for more valuable information regarding living healthy!

In my experience the key to a successful packed lunch is making it the night before. I would rather make lunch at 8pm than try and assemble something while my mind is foggy at 8am. Who doesn’t love making the morning routine easier? If you have multiple lunches to pack, then this rule is even more important! With that in mind the simple recipes below will taste just as good after a night in the fridge as they would the same day…

School Lunch

Minestrone Soup and a Breadstick

Most soups are simple to grab and go but minestrone is one of the healthiest choices around. It is also incredibly easy to make! I usually use this Betty Crocker recipe and go really heavy on the vegetables for an extra filling dish. The great thing about minestrone is how flexible it is - if your kids can’t stand mushrooms just swap them out for green beans instead. Minestrone is sure to please kids of all ages! This recipe makes about 12 servings and stays fresh a long time so you can eat it all week. Pair the soup with your favorite bread sticks (either homemade or store bought) and you’ve got a healthy and delicious meal.

Quesadillas and an Apple

What kid doesn’t love quesadillas? Add cheddar cheese and deli ham (sneak some spinach in if you can) to your favorite tortilla. I like corn tortillas because they are a healthier option than flour. Heat in a skillet until golden brown and then slice into wedges for your lunch box. Thrown in an apple to round the whole thing out and voila – another simple healthy lunch.

Granola Yogurt and Fruit Salad

When I was a kid I thought strawberry yogurt was a special dessert. Wow did my mom have me fooled. Today I still enjoy yogurt and hopefully your kids do too! Pick your favorite yogurt and granola. You can mix it together beforehand or let them mix it at school. Chop up your favorite fruits for a fruit salad that can eaten separately or added to the yogurt mix if you’re feeling adventurous.

Hearty Chili

This chili recipe is to die for. I’ve been making it for years and received only the best feedback. For a healthier spin try substituting the ground beef for ground turkey. Honestly I think this chili is a one course meal but if you feel like being supermom add a piece of cornbread. A word of caution on the cornbread - pay attention to the ingredients if you use a mix. Today’s corn bread has so many additives and sugars it is more like corn cake. Try making it from scratch or just use some bread you know and trust. This chili only gets better with time. After a night in the fridge the flavors have a chance to mingle and it tastes even better!

Jenny Baptiste is a Colorado blogger exploring how little changes make for a healthier life. Checkout her blog Easy Health and Fitness at for healthy recipes, health tips, and product reviews. Follow @EasyHealthBlog for all the latest posts!

Thank you Jenny!

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