It’s back-to-school time, the best time of the year! All the fresh school supplies and newly sharpened pencils make me swoon a little, and I’m not even joking. It’s just an added bonus that my kids head out of the house to be otherwise occupied for eight hours a day by the blessed teachers of the world.
(Teachers, thank you. We love you a lot.)
Today’s back-to-school lunch ideas are sponsored by Cache Valley® Creamery. Cache Valley is a company that believes good cheese comes from a good place, which is why they take their inspiration from the people, values, and beauty from the Cache Valley, Utah region. Which is, whoa, pretty (and Cache Valley Creamery cheese is delicious!)
Anyway, now that the kids are back at school, it’s time to talk about some fun, healthy + easy lunch ideas to make at home. These lunches are so simple, even your kids can get in on the action. (With the supervision of adults, especially when using the stove.)
I’ve come up with three lunch ideas to get you started, but there are so many fun lunch combinations; you can come up with as many ideas as your imagination can take (and it can take plenty).
I love the idea of compartmentalizing lunches, so I use plastic Tupperware to organize our lunches into categories: main dish, fruit, and veggie. Or: main dish + condiments or toppings. Mix and match one of these main entrees and a couple of sides for a well-balanced lunch for your sweet kids to eat in the cafeteria every day.
- 2 T butter
- 2 cups Cache Valley® Mild Cheddar Cheese
- 4 flour tortillas (I love homemade tortillas)
- serve with salsa and sour cream (optional)
- In a flat pan, cook one side of a tortilla in ½ T of butter until lightly browned.
- Repeat until all tortillas are browned in butter on one side.
- Place one tortilla in pan (use more butter if needed) with the white side face up.
- Sprinkle ½ cup cheese on non-browned side of tortilla.
- Quickly top with another browned tortilla, brown side facing up.
- Flatten tortillas down with a spatula and cook until cheese is melted (about a minute, maybe less).
- Remove from heat and use pizza cutter to slice quesadilla into wedges.
- Serve immediately.
- Optional: serve with sour cream and your favorite salsa.
Healthy Lunch #1 – Quesadillas / Sliced Cucumbers / Applesauce
Quesadillas are such a fun departure from the regular, boring peanut butter + jelly sandwich on white bread. And they’re so easy to make! In fact, I’ve included a recipe below for you to print up and have on hand the next time you need a lunch idea. Check it out.
I serve these quesadillas with a side of veggies and fruit, but it would also be fun to serve it with a side of salsa and sour cream. I’m having retroactive jealousy for my childhood self just thinking about the possibility that I could’ve had quesadillas for lunch. *sigh*
Healthy Lunch #2 – Cheese + Meat Bites / Apple Slices / Raspberries / Celery / Pretzels
My favorite part of this tasty lunch is the cheese + meat bites cut into tiny shapes. How darling are they? (Very darling.) They’re also the perfect size to fill up on protein, all while making the entire lunch table jealous. The sides of pretzels, celery, raspberries, and apple slices are great sides your kids can eat depending on how hungry they are.
I happen to be the mother of two competitive swimmers, so our lunches need all the sides they can get. If your kids eat less just include fewer sides, or include foods like pretzels which can be eaten for an after school snack.
(To make the cut out cheese + meat bites I just used small metal food shape cutters I found on the internet.)
Healthy Lunch #3 – Cheese + Meat Bites / Veggie Bites / Snap Peas / Cheese Crackers
For this lunch I made cheese + meat bites again, and added green pepper veggie bites. They’re so fun! I used a variety of different CacCache Valley® Creamery cheese: Cheddar, Havarti, Colby Jack, Gouda, and Muenster. Sides of snap peas and cheese crackers round out a tasty lunch with perfect portion sizes.
Plain slices of cheese and meat are also super easy to put into a lunch on an extra busy school morning; don’t stress about perfect presentation. Switch it up with your kid’s favorite foods, and you’ll have a couple dozen different combinations for healthy back-to-school lunch ideas.
Include your kids, and have fun making healthy back-to-school lunches all year long!
Will you share all your creative lunch ideas? I’d love to add them to my own.
Have a happy school year!