Tag Archives: recipes

Back to School Lunches

file2551276292157Healthy Back-to-School Lunch ideas

Hard to believe it, but for many of us, it’s already time to wrap up the back-to-school shopping and start packing those backpacks for another new school year. (Where did the summer go?)

One of the bigger challenges when it comes to school time – especially with older children and teens – is creating a healthy, tasty packed lunch. Eating a healthy lunch is particularly important for middle and high schoolers. Not only does it increase energy, it begins building the foundation of healthy eating as they continue to grow and eventually graduate and head to college. It’s shocking to know that childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the past 30 years. Let’s get them eating healthy creative lunches.

But turkey sandwiches and celery sticks can be boring, right?

So here are some more creative – yet not overly complicated – lunch offerings for the tween and teen in your life.

Chicken Pita

Suggested by Seventeen magazine, the chicken pita replaces the basic sandwich with a simple yogurt-based chicken salad (no mayonnaise!) and a slice of pita bread.


Bon Appetit magazine offers several tasty and fun suggestions, including this twist on a traditional BLT. What’s the A you ask? Avocado, of course. By creating this as a wrap and not a sandwich, it also makes it easier to transport – simply wrap in aluminum foil, parchment or wax paper and you’re good to go!

Avocado/Carrot/Cucumber Sushi

This one wins for appearance, hands down. Start with sushi rice, then roll avocado, carrots and cucumber. Don’t forget a packet or two of soy sauce as well. It’ll be the hit of the lunchroom!

BBQ Chicken Sloppy Joes

It’s a sandwich that has the luxury of being delicious, whether it’s served hot or cold. And it begins with a simple trip to the grocery store for a rotisserie chicken. Shred the chicken, then add carrots and barbecue sauce and some cilantro or parsley for good measure. Bon Appetit recommends a whole wheat bun, but this would work in a wrap or on sliced bread as well – just pack the meat separately to avoid a soggy mess!

Soba Salad with Chicken and Cabbage

The problem with packing a traditional salad for lunch is the dressing. If you dress the salad before scrambling to the bus stop in the morning, you’ll have soggy greens. And packing dressings can be tricky and lead to accidental sticky lunch bags. Enter this salad, which solves the dressing issue by making its bed of cabbage rather than lettuce, which reduces the sogginess. It’s light and crunchy and crisp … and full of flavor.

Pizza Pasta Salad

Another fun option, especially for teens, is this unique twist on pizza from BBC’s GoodFood. It includes pesto and tomatoes and mozzarella cheese and basil and is not only tasty, but can be a beautiful presentation as well.

Or, if that one’s not quite doing it for your favorite high schooler, here’s a variation from Real Simple magazine, which combines pasta, spinach, tomatoes and salami.

See? Healthy lunches don’t have to be boring at all! Combine healthy eating with a Rhoades Car in your life, and your kids will be much healthier.

Do you have any other creative and healthy lunch options for your older child, tween or teen? Share them in the comments below please.

Healthy Summer Recipes

Photo from Flickr by Steven Depolo

Photo from Flickr by Steven Depolo

Healthy Summer Recipes

It’s never too early to start planning the menu for your Fourth of July festivities.

Instead of going for the traditional cookout faire of hot dogs, hamburgers, and strawberry shortcake  – not exactly the definition of healthy eating – we’ve rounded up some healthier options to try.

The Main Course

Grilled Honey Glazed Chicken with Green Pea and Mint Sauce

Healthy doesn’t have to mean flavor-free … or grill-free for that matter. You can still fire up the grill, but instead of hot dogs and kielbasa, try this chicken recipe from the Food Network and Bobby Flay. For those skeptical of the sauce, keep in mind that the recipe calls for not only peas, mint and cilantro … but jalapenos as well.

Turkey Burgers

Who says turkey burgers have to be boring? Another recipe from Bobby Flay, these turkey burgers call for goat cheese, a homemade lemon-honey mustard sauce and watercress. Classy.

The Salads

It’s one of the great picnic debates of all time: Macaroni salad or potato salad? Here are healthier options for both to please all of your guests.

American Macaroni Salad

It’s got all the key ingredients to a good macaroni salad – celery, onion and parsley.The key to this recipe? Only a half cup of mayonnaise. Instead, it relies on the lighter sour cream.That’s what makes it lighter than most salads – and better for you.

Potato-Egg Salad

It’s definitely not your traditional potato salad, covered in heavy mayonnaise. This recipe relies on the simple, calling for boiled potatoes and hard-boiled eggs, drizzled in white wine vinegar and olive oil and topped with chives and red peppers.

The Vegetables

Roasted Corn with Basil-Shallot Vinaigrette

While this recipe calls for roasting the corn, it very easily could be grilled prior to your guests’ arrival and then cut off the cob. Another advantage to this dish? It can be served either hot or cold. Your choice, intentionally or not!

Tropical Cucumber Salad

Here’s a twist on the traditional fruit salad. Combine cucumbers, mangoes and avocadoes into a salad with a dressing that’s both salty and sweet. It’s a light and refreshing side dish.

The Dessert

Peach and Blueberry Cobbler

It’s a great taste of summer … and with only 8 grams of fat per serving, it’s significantly lighter than a traditional cobbler. Add some vanilla frozen yogurt or low-fat ice cream, and you’ll be all set.

Are you hungry yet? If those menu options aren’t quite up your alley, there are plenty more to choose from. Check out these resources for healthy summer meal options:

The Food Network

Eating Well

The Cooking Channel

What are you cooking?

What’s your favorite Summer recipe? Leave us a link or paste the recipe in the comments below to share with us. Thanks!