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End of the School Year Meal-Planning Blahs


It’s June. You’ve spent 9 months diligently packing school lunches and racking your brain to come up with healthy meals to please everyone in your family. By now, your meal-planning energy is gone. Don’t give up and resort to take-out! You know by now that cooking at home means eating meals lower in calories, fat, and salt – and saving you money! We made it simple and came up with 5 Easy End-of-School Lunches and 5 It’s-Almost-Summer Dinners: 5 Easy End-of-School Lunches

  1. Multigrain chips (we like Food Should Taste Good brand); salsa to dip; Babybel cheese or snack-sized fresh mozzarella balls; slices of apple or pear.

  2. Pita bread with lettuce, sliced tomato, fresh basil or arugula, and fresh mozzarella; berries like raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries.

  3. Whole grain pretzel sticks or pita chips; hummus; baby carrots; a hunk of watermelon.

  4. Yogurt; 1/4 cup high protein cereal to sprinkle on top; cucumber slices or celery sticks with your child’s favorite dip; a clementine; small bag of popcorn.

  5. Leftovers from last night’s dinner: If your child wasn’t a fan of the meal, take one part you know he will eat (like a piece of pizza), add a fruit (like unsweetened applesauce) and a veg (like raw broccoli spears) and you’ve got a complete lunch!

5 It’s-Almost-Summertime Dinners

  1. “I’m tired of cooking” Salad Bar: Put out the fixings for a fantastic salad, a few great dressings, and let your family make their own! Try lettuce, tomato, baby corn, shaved carrot, cubed red pepper, cubed or sliced cucumber, and avocado; for protein, chickpeas, tuna, slices of rotisserie chicken, or cheese cubes.

  2. “Turn on the grill” Salmon with Whole Grains and Veg: Grilled salmon, brown rice or quinoa, and a veg of your family’s choosing, like salad or grilled asparagus.

  3. “I want the kids to start helping” Quesadillas: Line up ingredients and let your kids assemble quesadillas (you do the cooking unless your child is old enough to use the stove!): Joseph’s flaxseed tortillas; shredded cheese; salsa; any combination of corn, zucchini, red pepper, black beans, or chicken. Serve with salsa and sour cream for dipping.

  4. “I just want to open a jar” Whole-Grain Pasta: Whole grain or lentil pasta; jarred low-sodium spaghetti sauce (we like Cucina Antiqua); with steamed broccoli, peas, or a side salad.

  5. “Minimal cooking involved” Taco Salad: Ground turkey or beef sautéed with taco seasoning, served over a salad with lettuce, tomato, grated cheddar cheese, black bean and corn salsa, and sour cream.

Motivation can run low at the best of times, especially when school and activities start winding down for the summer. Skip the take-out and try these easy meals to keep your family’s healthy eating on track! Did you find a favorite? Let us know in the comments!

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