Back To School: Easy And Healthy Cold Lunches For Cool Kids

It’s Back to School time and moms everywhere are looking for easy and healthy cold lunches for their super hero, cool kids.

Here in the south, kids are going back to school, but summer is hardly over.  Temps will be in the high 90’s or pushing 100 for another two months, so a cold lunch is essential for a hot day.

Sandwiches are boring and they end up soggy and smashed by lunch time, so my kids love taking a fresh salad with tons of clean protein to fuel the brain.

Salads are easy for kids because they are flexible with a child’s specific tastes.  If your super hero has an aversion to “salad”, then it can be spooned into a wrap and it’s a salad no more.  Or chop up the greens, add the other ingredients and the super heroes can pile it on a cracker…now it’s a dip.  Add some nuts or chicken to add a punch of protein, or reduce the pasta to create a low carb meal.

Salads are easy to pack with clean, real, whole foods as well.  The closer to the earth they are eaten (less processed), the healthier it is.  Add extra protein with nuts, chicken, cheeses (if not dairy free), beef, tuna, etc or go gluten free by replacing regular pasta with gluten free pasta, or eliminate the pasta all together.  Exchange pasta for rice or quinoa to reduce the carbs. The options are endless.

Below are 9 Cool Salads to start with.  

  • More Protein:  Add chicken, Tuna, Almonds, Peanuts, Cashews, Chickpeas
  • Less Carbs:  reduce pasta by half and add in fresh baby spinach or eliminate the pasta and substitute with fresh baby spinach.  Or use quinoa instead of pasta.
  • Gluten Free:  buy gluten free pasta instead of regular, or eliminate the pasta from the recipe.
  • Dairy Free:  Some recipes you can simply remove the cheese from the ingredients.
  • Keep salad fresh for mid day lunch by reserving the dressing on the side in a small dip container.

Always pack food in glass or stainless steel lunch containers to keep plastic  (from Tupperware or other plastic containers) from leeching into the food.

Safe Lunch box options from EcoLunchBox
Waste-Free Lunchware by ECOlunchboxes.com

Great ways to purchase Organic Products:

 

Click on the Recipe Name below to get the entire recipe and a link to the original recipe if revised and adapted.

Fantastic Four Fruit and Chicken Curry Salad

Ingredients:

  • chicken breasts
  • celery
  • onion
  • apple
  • red grapes
  • pecans
  • mayo
  • curry powder
  • Optional – walnuts, golden raisins, dried cranberries, dried blueberries

Peter Parker Pepperoni Pizza Pasta Salad

Ingredients:

  • spiral pasta
  • baby spinach
  • uncured pepperoni slices
  • black olives
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Red and green bell peppers
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Green onions
  • Zesty Italian dressing

Popeye’s Spinach and Strawberry Salad

Ingredients:

  • Penne pasta
  • Baby spinach
  • Chicken breasts
  • Strawberries
  • Pineapple
  • Dried cranberries
  • Cashew, peanuts or walnuts
  • Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Plain Greek Yogurt
  • Dijon Mustard
  • Honey
  • Orange juice
  • Poppy seeds

Captain America Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad

Ingredients:

  • Spiral pasta
  • Mayo
  • Sour Cream
  • Dry Ranch seasoning
  • Garlic powder
  • Milk
  • Bacon
  • Tomato
  • Black olives
  • Baby Spinach leaves
  • Shredded cheese

Bruce Wayne Bow tie Pasta with Chicken, pine nuts and cranberries

Ingredients:

  • Bow Tie pasta
  • Chicken broth
  • Chicken breasts
  • Pine nuts
  • Dried cranberries
  • Baby spinach leaves

Incredible Hulk Rosemary Chicken, Bacon and Avacado Salad

Adapted and revised from original recipe in Heather Christo’s Cookbook, Pure Delicious. 

Pure Delicious:  More Than 150 Delectable Allergen-Free Recipes Without Gluten, Dairy, Eggs, Soy, Peanuts, Tree Nuts, Shellfish, or Cane Sugar

Ingredients:

  • Bacon
  • Chicken Breasts
  • Spring mix greens
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Avocado
  • Dijon mustard
  • Olive oil
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Fresh rosemary
  • salt and pepper

Tie Your Shoes Chicken and Grape Bow Tie Pasta Salad

Ingredients:

  • Bow Tie pasta
  • Chicken
  • Red grapes
  • Celery
  • Almonds
  • Dried cranberries
  • Plain Greek Yogurt
  • Mayo
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Honey
  • Sugar
  • Poppy seeds
  • Salt

Lois Lane Sassy Chicken Salad (southwestern chicken salad)

Ingredients:

  • Mayo
  • Lime juice
  • Taco seasoning
  • Chicken breasts
  • Black beans
  • Green bell pepper
  • Plum Tomato
  • Cilantro

Minted Orzo Salad with Chickpeas and Feta – Vegetarian

Recipe is from AndieMitchell.com and is so good hot or cold.  Enjoy for dinner and pack the leftovers (if any) in school lunches.

See more recipes from Andie Mitchell’s cookbook on Amazon.

Eating in the Middle: A Mostly Wholesome Cookbook

Ingredients:

  • Vegetable broth
  • Orzo pasta
  • Chickpeas
  • Feta cheese
  • Red onion
  • Celery
  • Fresh basil
  • Mint leaves
  • Lemon juice
  • Garlic
  • Honey
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

6 Replies to “Back To School: Easy And Healthy Cold Lunches For Cool Kids”

    1. Hey! You can find organic ranch seasoning on Amazon or a health food grocery store like central market, Sprouts, or Whole Foods. I hope you enjoy the recipes.

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