How To Pack A Healthy and Wholesome Lunch like a Pro!

Greetings Friends!

How has your summer been? Busy? Mine sure has been. We kicked off the break by getting our spiritual high since Ramadan fell right at the start of summer this year. Then there was travel and spending time with family. We made a trip to Pakistan again this year. It was a lot of fun as always and it was tough for me to return home. I am always so sad to leave loved ones!

We are back home winding down summer and gearing up for the school year ahead! Whether you start the school year late August or early September, this post here is to help you pack lunch like an expert!

How prepared are you to send the kids off with healthy, nutritious lunch? If your answer is “NOT SO MUCH” don’t fret, I’ve got your back!

Read on for some great products, snacks and even a quick 10 minute snack recipe to have you come out on top!

So what are the ingredients that make up a great lunch/snack for your child? The food, first and foremost of course but also the products that you use to pack the  food in, right? They make your life so much easier and adds to the fun for your kids.

The SUPPLIES

SANDWICH BAGS

While shopping for school supplies last week I came across Lunchskins reusable sandwich bags. They are

  • Plastic free;
  • Toxin free;
  • reusable
  • dishwasher safe

Read more about these great bags here.

Another great alternative to plastic is the brown paper snack and sandwich bag by If You Care. Again, toxin free and responsibly resourced.

photo credit: buyifyoucare.com

WATER BOTTLES

Photo Credit: uberstar.com

For water bottles this year we are going with the Zulu Atlas. Having tried stainless steel and plastic in the past, my son, who is extremely sensitive to after taste, decided to give glass a try. These bottles are made of soda lime glass which ranks highest of all glass in shatter resistance and environmental safety.

Also, I have stopped buying juices since most are full of added sugars. I would much rather have my kids eat the fruit than the “made from concentrate” juice. We now bring sparkling water which my older son has taken to and also Kombucha which we sometimes buy at the farmer’s market.

SNACK ideas

Great for in school snack time for little ones or as after school snack :

FRUITS AND VEGGIES

Fruits and vegetables will always be my favorites to serve as snack. Obvious choices are apples, blueberries, strawberries, cherries, grapes, carrots, cherrie tomatoes and cucumbers. Serve with hummus or ranch dressing and instantly take snack time up a notch.LARA BAR

If you are looking for a healthy snack on the go, my new favorite is the Lara Bar. Made with the fewest ingredients possible and date based, it is both delicious and healthy. I love that it comes in so many different flavors and is now available in bites too. My favorite is the chocolate chip cookie dough. If you fancy something fruity then give the blueberry muffin a try.

Photo Credit:pumpandiron.com

CLIF KID ZBAR

My kids just love the ZBar. It is made with organic ingredients, has no high fructose corn syrup and is gmo free. These do however contain naturally occurring and added sugars so I would tread with caution. The reason why these bars make it into my home is because of the high quality ingredients that the company claims to use as well as it being kosher.

POP CORN

There was a time not long ago that we happily ate prepackaged microwavable popcorn. The extra buttery kind! That was until I heard about the dangers of consuming the stuff. It has more to do with the chemical that lines the bag, perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). This chemical is the same that is used to coat Teflon pans. It has been listed as a carcinogen by the EPA. Read the details here.

I have since started popping my own corn kernels and topping it off with some melted butter and Himalayan sea salt! My kids have not complained once!

SWEET CORN

This is another favorite that we make often in my home. I either boil or steam some frozen sweet corn and then season with butter, red chili powder, salt and lemon juice.

BAKED POTATO

These are a great snack too, did you know? Load them up with some cheese, sour cream and butter and the kids will love it. Plus it has become a substitute for fries for my kids since they get their potato fix and it saves us from unhealthy deep frying.

STRING CHEESE

A great option as always and the Organic Valley brand is a new favorite.

YOGURT

I prefer to sweeten my own yogurt but my kids also like the Chobani flip. It does contain raw cane sugar so make sure to limit these. Chobani also uses conventional milk but sources it’s milk from farms that treat their cows well and do not treat them with rBST. Also Chobani boasts non-gmo ingredients.

LUNCH ideas

LEFTOVERS

I am a big fan of leftovers. They save food wastage and time.

  • Pasta and fried rice are great for next day lunches.
  • Meats from leftover curries multi task as sandwich spread.I usually just chop up the meat; chicken or beef, add mayonnaise, salt and pepper and that’s it.

EGG SANDWICHES

Either roll up a cheese omelette in a tortilla or put a scrambled egg between whole wheat bread, it’s a great way for kids to get their daily protein.

KABAB ROLLS

I bulk prep kababs on the weekend and roll one up in a whole wheat tortilla with some ketchup and mayonnaise. It keeps well in the lunch box.

Roast beef sandwiches

ROAST BEEF OR CHICKEN SANDWICHES

I save the meat from when I make chicken stock. It makes for a great spread.I also make my own roast beef (pictured above). All this in an effort to eliminate processed lunch meat from our diet.

CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE DOUGH BITES

Now here’s that quick recipe I was talking about earlier. This is sure to be as much a hit in your home as it was in mine. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites. I have to be honest and tell you the inspiration comes from my favorite Lara Bar but I seem to have got the ingredients and proportions right some how. This is a perfect activity for the kids to get involved in too.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites
 
Prep time
Total time
 
You will not believe how good these cookie dough bites are! Devoid of any sugar but for the sweetness of the date and the chocolate chips. Great for snacking or even dessert!
Author:
Recipe type: Snack
Cuisine: American
Serves: about 18
Ingredients
  • 13 oz. date paste
  • ¾ C. almond butter
  • 1 C. mini chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Mix all the ingredients together well and form into pingpong sized balls.
  2. Store in the refrigerator

 

 

I have found that with a little creativity and some organization it is possible to pack healthy, whole some lunches for your kids. Get them involved in the process and make it fun!

Share this with others moms looking to make packing lunches more fun and less a chore.

Best wishes for a great school year ahead!

 

Lemon Mint

I think LEMONADE is the official beverage of summer no matter which part of the world you live in. It changes it’s face across different cultures and borders but essentially the lemon with its tangy and tart flavor is the most popular citrus.

In Pakistan, the country of my birth, it is often referred to as SHIKANJBEEN or even simply as LEEMBOO PANI.

It wasn’t until I arrived in the Middle East, more specifically, Saudi Arabia, that I saw the addition of mint in the mix. Lemon Mint was every where. From the prepackaged to freshly squeezed versions at high end restaurants, it was the beverage of choice for the Saudi population. Much like berry flavored drinks are here in the United States. Continue reading “Lemon Mint”

Barley Bread

Barley Bread

I had no idea barley could be used to make bread. One day, on my quest to in corporate the sunnah into my diet, and knowing how barley was one of the Prophet’s favorite grains, I decided to research it and scope out ways I could consume it. Continue reading “Barley Bread”

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If you’ve been around my blog and social media you more than likely know that I recently enrolled in nutrition school. Yay!! A big step for me. It was something I had been contemplating for a while but I just couldn’t bring myself to commit to it. I guess I was waiting for that one last push, a sign that I was taking a step in the right direction. And then I came across Yasmin Essa’s interview on The Productive Muslim podcast. I knew it was a sign from God because she mentioned her alma mater as being the very school I was looking into! She seemed focused, humble and spiritually driven. Her desire to genuinely help people over come the global health epidemic was clear. I was sold! Continue reading “Towards A healthier Ramadan- An interview with Yasmin Essa of Wellness With Yasmin”

Yvonne Maffei

Towards A Healthier Ramadan ~ An Interview With Yvonne Maffei of My Halal Kitchen

With Ramadan right around the corner and my commitment to eating healthier this year,  I thought it would be fun to take a peak and see how some of my favorite personalities in the blogosphere stay energized and fit during this month and learn their tips and tricks. This week we have Yvonne Maffei of My Halal Kitchen! Continue reading “Towards A Healthier Ramadan ~ An Interview With Yvonne Maffei of My Halal Kitchen”

watermelon juice

Watermelon Juice

Here’s a great alternative to the age old favorite, Rooh Afza. I grew up consuming this drink but now that there is more awareness we know how the ingredients are a dangerous cocktail of disease causing agents. Continue reading “Watermelon Juice”

towards a healthier Ramadan

Towards A Healthier Ramadan

Ramadan is barely a month away and I am panicking. I have full plans of eating healthier this Ramadan and it really helped to demonstrate some healthier recipes to reenforce my resolve this past weekend. My dear friend Sameera hosted a talk and cooking demonstration in honor of the fast approaching month and I had the pleasure of speaking to a group of ladies on using this month as a means to jumpstart our road to a healthier lifestyle. After the talk we had fun making a couple of recipes. I offered these as alternatives to old, unhealthy favorites. Like Watermelon Juice in place of Rooh Afza and Granola Bites for sahoor.

Continue reading “Towards A Healthier Ramadan”

A Little Bit More About Me And The Different Hats I Wear

Assalamualaikum,

greetings of peace dear friends!

I decided it was time I told you a little bit more about who I am and what I do. So today I am sharing with you about the many different hats I wear. Here’s a peek into my life: Continue reading “A Little Bit More About Me And The Different Hats I Wear”

What is Kombucha And is it Halal?

What Is Kombucha and is it Halal?

Have you heard of Kombucha? It is only the latest health craze taking the world by storm!

Last Saturday, on one of our visits to the local farmer’s market, I came across the stall of a local business, The Kombucha Company. Having heard of this very popular elixir  and keen to try it out, I ventured over with my boys in tow. They had many different flavors for people to sample and we wasted no time in trying them all out. There was peach, blue berry, yerba mate and original. The winner though, was cherry. I wasn’t surprised, that was my sons’ choice in almost every thing, medicine, candy etc.

Continue reading “What Is Kombucha and is it Halal?”

The six things I did to Get Healthy

The Seven Things I Did To Get My Health Back And So Can You

If you have been around my website, you have more than likely read up on my journey to health. Hashimoto’s, H.Pylori, Vitamin D deficiency, I had it all. Read more about my story here . Friends have asked me in the past to write about the steps I took to get my health back.  Here goes!

Continue reading “The Seven Things I Did To Get My Health Back And So Can You”