Of all the back-to-school routines, packing healthy and delicious lunches has to be one of the most challenging. Let’s face it, who has time to slave over lunch boxes trying to come up with a new and exciting lunch each morning? If only there was a way to make lunch-packing easy.
Lindsey Battistelli, R.D., manager of Henry Ford Wyandotte's Center for Weight Management, says there is. We talked with her about how to simplify the lunch process – all while making it healthy and delicious. Here are some of her tips:
- You’ve heard of planning out a week’s worth of dinners over the weekend to save the headache of prepping dinner each night, right? Why not apply the same concept to your kids’ lunch? Throw together a quick pasta salad with whole wheat pasta, lean ham, veggies and cheese. This could be done on a Sunday evening.
- Make the same-old sandwich more fun. Instead of slapping turkey between two slices of bread, put turkey, cheese and sliced veggies in a wrap. Spread a teaspoon of cream cheese on the wrap for extra flavor. Then slice it into bite-sized pieces.
- Mini carrots (or any other raw vegetable) dipped in hummus is a great snack that requires little effort to assemble. Some hummus brands even sell individual serving sizes perfect for lunch boxes. Yogurt and peanut butter are great dips, too.
Now, what’s lunch without dessert? Lindsey’s come up with a 74-calorie Blondie recipe that uses white beans instead of flour. Yes, white beans. And she promises it’s delicious. Try the recipe below and let us know what you think.
Genius Chocolate-Chip Blondies
(Makes 15-20 squares)
- 1 1/2 cups chickpeas or white beans (1 can, drained and rinsed)
- 3/4 tsp. baking powder
- 1/8 tsp. baking soda
- Level 1/4 tsp. salt
- 3/4 cup brown sugar or coconut sugar
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup ground flax or quick oats
- 1/4 cup peanut butter
- Optional: 1/2 cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Blend all ingredients (except chips) until very smooth in a food processor (not a blender). Mix in chips, and scoop into a greased (or tinfoil-lined) 8×8 pan. Bake for 30 minutes. They will look a little undercooked when you take them out, but firm up as they cool.
Fat: 2 grams
Sugar: 6 grams
Protein: 2 grams
Do you have any go-to lunch tips or recipes? Please share in the comments section below.