School Lunch or Pack Your Own?

School lunch-shouldn’t it be delicious, freshly made, locally sourced when possible, and healthy?  Sadly, that is not always the case.  And with up to one in five children living in poverty, school lunch and school breakfast may be the most reliable source of nourishment for many children.  While school lunch reform is gaining momentum and parents are demanding a more palatable alternative than the mass reheating of overly processed lunches, there are still great opportunities to pack simple, inexpensive lunches made from scratch at home.

Here are some ideas:

  • pasta salad with cheese slices and veggies on the side
  • bagel with cream cheese or nut butter and fruit
  • homemade muffins with a side of fruit or veggie sticks
  • homemade granola or trail mix and yogurt
  • leftover pizza
  • fruit/veggies and dip (yogurt or refried beans will provide protein)
  • English muffin with peanut butter
  • freeze a homemade smoothie and by lunch time it should still be cold
  • graham cracker sandwich with cream cheese and peanut butter
  • soup in a thermos and crackers
  • cheese ravioli

Lunch doesn’t have to be elaborate, but it should provide the fuel needed by growing bodies and brains, so that children are able to have fun and learn!


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