Whether you are going back to school or heading out with the kids for a hike a bag lunch may come in handy. Below you will find 20 unique upgrades to the brown bag lunches of the past! Do you have one you would like to share? We would love to hear from you!
1. Pasta Salad Bag
small chunks of cheese
quartered pepperoni slices/turkey
diced red and green peppers, shredded carrots
salad dressing pack
2. Mediterranean Pita Pocket
fill a pita pocket with falafel balls ( Falafel is a deep-fried ball or patty made from ground chickpeas, fava beans, or both.) or hummus (store bought comes in many flavors).
fresh spinach leaves
3. Fruit & Cheese Bag
Fill divided container with assorted cubes/slices of cheese
easy to eat fruit slices (apples, pears, grapes, berries, etc)
whole wheat crackers
4. Peanut Butter Fun Bag (you can use sunflower butter or almond butter as well if there are allergy issues to avoid.)
Spoon 2 tbs of nut butter into a snack sized bag/or reuseable container
whole wheat crackers or pita pocket
Raw vegies such as celery, zucchini or jicama sticks (Jicama, also known as yam bean, is a very low calorie root vegetable)
Popsicle stick or plastic knife to spread butter
5. Everything is Better on a Bagel Bag
1 regular or 2 mini bagels
tuna or lean lunch meat
romaine/spinach/ lettuce or sprouts
6. Rabbit Bag (salad)
Fill plastic container with items for a:
spinach or chopped dark green lettuce
chopped or sliced boiled egg
light cheese, and or lean ham or turkey
Chinese chicken salad
dark salad greens
sliced green onion
toasted sliced almonds
7. It’s a Wrap Bag
Wraps are a nice change of pace from the usual sandwich.
multigrain flour tortilla.
Spread on mustard, hummus, light salad dressing, or green or sundried tomato pesto.
chicken Caesar salad
assorted lean meats and/or cheese
tomato, sliced onion, and shredded Romaine lettuce
Just roll it up and wrap in foil.
Kids can eat it like a burrito — by unwrapping it on one end and working their way down.
8. Fun Fried Rice Bag
When made with eggs, tofu or chopped lean meat, and lots of veggies, cold fried rice can be a satisfying noontime treat. Make your own using brown rice. Or set some aside for the next day when you get take-out Chinese food for dinner.
9. Muffin Mania Bag
Muffins can add flavor and flair to a bag lunch. If you bake them ahead and keep them in the freezer, you just have to pull out one or two in the morning. By lunch, they’ll be soft and ready to eat.
There are a few tricks to improving the health value of muffin recipes. Substitute in whole-wheat flour for at least half of the flour in recipes that call for white flour. Incorporate other whole grains when possible. Add in summer fruits such as berries or peaches or vegetables like corn or grated zucchini, when appropriate. You can also cut back on the sugar called for in a recipe when you add in fruit. Switch in smart fats (such as canola or olive oil), when possible, and reduced saturated fat options (such as reduced fat cheese).
10. Tasty Spanakopita Triangles
These spinach-filled filo puffs are vegetarian finger food that’s fun to eat. Some stores carry frozen spanakopita that can be baked in the morning or the night before and packed in bag lunch.
fruit cup (spoon) or slices
11. Going Natural Bag
Squeeze pack of apple/fruit sauce or make you own by spooning into a ziploc bag (trim corner when ready to eat and squeeze out)
Nuts (almonds, pistachios, sunflower, peanuts, walnuts)
Dried fruit/granola/ healthy snack bar
12. Pizza in a Pita Bag
pepperoni or ham slices
sliced toppings (green pepper, mushrooms, pineapple
Small amount of spaghetti sauce or marineria sauce (container or ziploc snack bag)
13. BBQ Chicken Lunch for 2
Foil pack of cooked chicken (can be found in tuna aisle)
Pita or lettuce leaves
plastic knife or fork
Fruit slices/pickle wedges
14. Ham and Cheese Me Bag
take 1 slice each with lettuce being 1st layer and roll-up
optional – pickle wedge (tasty addition to be rolled up in center)
15. Egg me on Bag
2 hard boiled eggs
couple slices or cubes of cheese lean lunch meat
Whole wheat crackers
16. Taco Treat Bag
1 bag Fritos
1-2 packets taco sauce (Taco Bell always hands out too many to use with your meal)
shredded lettuce, diced onions, diced tomatoes ( you can get already prepared in most grocery store produce departments)
17. BLT Wrap Bag
couple slices pre-cooked turkey bacon
thinly sliced or diced tomato
wrap bacon and tomato in lettuce as roll up
Optional serve in pita or with whole wheat crackers or bagel
18. Veggie Delight Bag
diced or sliced tomato, onions, salsa
Pita, lettuce leaves or tortillas
19. Chickpea Delight Bag
cubed cheeses of choice
arugula, spinach or chopped romaine
Greek dressing packet
whole wheat crackers
20. Elvis Bag
2 tbs nut butter (peanut, almond, sunflower) in container or snack bag
whole wheat pita pocket/bagel or bread of choice