Written by Registered Holistic Nutritionist Kendra Reay.

I can hardly believe it is that time of year again to start thinking about back to school lunches. Below you will find 5 nutritious lunch ideas that go beyond the ever-so boring sandwich. All of these recipes have passed the taste test of my toughest client, my 2 year old son. Recognizing time (or lack there of!) is a huge factor in the mornings, these lunch ideas, for the most part, are based on the night before dinner leftovers. My strategy is always to double my dinner recipe and send everyone (myself included) with it as their lunch the next day.

When thinking about lunches or feeding your children in general, the goal is to establish good eating habits, as this will set them up for the rest of their life (no pressure!). This doesn’t need to be complicated, avoid refined sugars, flours, and high-fat, fried fast foods. For older children it may become challenging as outside influences such as other children or t.v. are inevitable. Offer wholesome foods. Avoid bribing. Offer the foods they need and be a good example yourself! Children need a lot of nourishing foods to provide them with the nutrients they need for growth. While physical growth may be a little slower during ages 2-10 years than in infancy or adolescent years, mental growth is quite rapid. During the middle years the average child will gain between 5-8 pounds and grow about one-half inch per year, provided they have the nutrients they need. Don’t forget about physical activity too. As insurance to prevent nutrient deficiencies, many parents choose to supplement with a good multi vitamin and mineral as well as Essential Fatty Acids.