We love a giant sandwich, piled high with our favorite fillings, as much as the next person, but why fall into a ham-and-cheese rut when there are so many other lunch options? Whether you're back in the office and the kids are back in the classroom (or you're working and studying from home) you need some solid back-to-school lunch ideas that are both kid- and adult-friendly. Lunch has always been the best class of the day, and recipes like these will help it stay that way!
The classic lunchbox lunch gets a new twist. Our Peanut Butter and Jelly Waffle Sandwich comes together quickly with toasted frozen chocolate chip waffles, a sliced banana, your favorite jelly, and some Peter Pan® Crunchy Peanut Butter for a filling meal that's a treat in itself.
If you're making it at home, make sure you have some napkins nearby to take care of any extra gooey peanut butter, warm and dripping from the freshly toasted waffle! If you're making it to-go, you can keep it mess-free by wrapping it in cellophane and protecting it with a plastic container.
If you're not into jelly, stuff your sandwich with an apple instead with our Peanut Butter Apple Wraps. Substitute the PB for apple butter or sunflower seed butter instead if you're sending it to school to protect classmates with peanut allergies. Speaking of wraps...
WRAP IT UP
Perfect for lunchboxes or at-home lunches, wraps are versatile and delicious. Even within the same recipe, everyone in the entire family can customize their wrap just the way they like it. Pull out everyone's favorite veggies, meats, and other proteins (think: garbanzo beans, tempeh, and hearty meat substitutes, like Gardein™ Nashville hot chick’n tenders, sauces and condiments, plus a selection of cheeses, and let them fill their wrap to their heart's content!
Start here: Our mouthwatering BBQ-Ranch Chicken and Bacon Wraps can be topped with favorites like lettuce, cheese, and tomatoes, plus they're ready to eat in 15 minutes. Both kids and adults will love experimenting with different flavors of barbecue sauce. For a vegetarian take, swap the chicken for Gardein™ seven grain crispy tenders.
For a kick and a crunch, try our Spicy Crunchy Chicken Wraps. They're just spicy enough, thanks to RO-TEL® original diced tomatoes & green chilies, while crisp Banquet® chicken breast tenders give them a satisfying crunch. If you prefer a little more kick, top with shredded pepper jack cheese or a hot salsa.
I’LL HAVE THE SOUP AND SALAD
With the help of a slow cooker, you can prepare lunch before you’ve even had breakfast for those at-home work/school days. Our Slow Cooker Southwest Chicken Chili takes 10 minutes to prepare and is ready to eat after cooking for four hours on high. It's hearty and comforting on cool fall days, not to mention fun—especially if you lay out a toppings buffet! Everyone can create their perfect bowl by loading their chili with their choice of avocado, cilantro, sour cream, salsa, bacon bits, pico de gallo, chopped onions, and a variety of shredded cheeses. Make it a meal by serving it with Udi's® Gluten-Free Classic French Dinner Rolls.
When you have a little more time, our Roasted Poblano and Sweet Potato Chicken Soup is worth the extra prep. (Total prep time is about 25 minutes, and the soup will be ready in an hour!) There's nothing like roasting to bring out the flavor of the peppers; combine that with sweet potatoes and boneless chicken breasts, and you've got a filling meal. Make enough so you can enjoy leftovers! For a vegetarian option, make it without the chicken or use Gardein Chick'n Strips.
Salad calling your name? Our I Left My Heart in Avocado recipe, courtesy of Alton Brown, combines avocado, hearts of palm, and celery before topping it all off with Healthy Choice® Garden French Power Dressing. If you’re strapped for time, you can always use store-bought croutons instead of making your own.
QUICK MEALS FOR BUSY DAYS
When you're tight on time, you can look to Marie Callender's® bowls, P.F. Chang's® Home Menu single serve meals, or Healthy Choice Power Bowls® to give you the energy you need to power through the afternoon. With so many delicious meals to choose from, you can keep a selection on hand to please everyone. From Creamy Vermont Mac and Cheese to a Spicy Sichuan Style Chicken Bowl or a vegan Green Goddess Bowl, you can satisfy cravings for comfort food, vegetarian options, and everything in between within minutes. Finish it all off with the perfect dessert, Glutino® Chocolate Vanilla Creme Cookies.
SNACK GAME ON POINT
The right snack gives you the energy you need to power through a big project or a long afternoon. Keep a broad selection on hand to satisfy both sweet and salty cravings.
Slim Jim® Giant Original Sticks and Giant Turkey Sticks are great for an afternoon pick-me-up, especially since you don't have to stop your workflow to eat them! The Angie's® BOOMCHICKAPOP® 12-Pack Variety Multipack is helpful to have on hand so everyone can dive into their favorite flavor when they need to nibble.
Of course, you can get a little bit of everything with our "Up Your Snack Game" bundle. It's an easy one-stop shop for the best snacks in the game.
Back-to-school lunch ideas can be fun for the whole family while leaving you nourished, satisfied, and ready to tackle the rest of the day! Take a little time over the weekend to plan out weekly lunches for you and your kids to make your busy weeks go more smoothly—and more deliciously!