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We're finally back to school this week, and that means lots of lunches to pack at our house. With three kids, I typically pack over 500 lunches a year!
This year, I've moved most of the lunch-packing tasks onto my kids (ages 9, 9 and 12), but I'll still be nearby helping them prep the night before and making sure it's a balanced lunch.
With so many lunches to pack, we like a little variety while keeping the kids eating healthy. It's time for another School Lunch Roundup–this time, the chicken edition!
It's easy to cook a little extra chicken (breasts or thighs) along with regular dinner prep, so there's enough leftover to make lunches. I prefer to use fresh chicken and avoid the preservatives, nitrites and nitrates in regular lunch meat.
School Lunch Roundup – Chicken Edition
Chicken Salad with Crackers
Do you already have a favorite chicken salad recipe? My kids love the healthy (but super-stinky) Sour Cream & Onion Chicken Salad from 100 Days of Real Food. They like scooping it up with crackers as opposed to as a sandwich. Serve with more finger foods like veggies and a small whole wheat brownie.
Chicken Caesar Wrap
My kids LOVE their favorite salad in a wrap. We use whole grain wraps that I get at Costco (higher fiber and tastier than a tortilla). Fill the wrap with chopped, cooked chicken, romaine lettuce, a sprinkle of Parmesan and a little Caesar dressing. Yum!
Chicken Ranch Wrap
Very similar to the Caesar version, the kids also like chopped, cooked chicken with diced tomatoes and lettuce and a drizzle of ranch dressing as a change of pace.
The lazy mom version is just laying some cooked chicken strips in along with dippable veggies and dressing and some cheese and crackers. Easy peasy, and they love having a “finger foods” meal. Next time you're grilling chicken for dinner, do a little extra for an easy lunch.
Our favorite lunch-packing products:
I've been recommending the same products since 2011 because they are still going strong! We've used Easy Lunchboxes for five years now and been very satisfied with them. They're just the right size for our big-kid lunches.
We also use Silicone Baking Cups (since 2009 and still going strong!) to separate foods in the largest compartment (great for keeping crackers dry), and I recommend Fit & Fresh cool packs to keep everything cold until lunchtime.