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Quick and Easy Back-to-School Lunches

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Back to school lunch ideas

The new school year is just around the corner and you’ve got everything organized. You’ve got the new clothes, the new school supplies and the only thing left on the list is what to put in the lunch box! Here are some great tips that will make planning for school lunches easier.

Lunch box essentials

Lunch box essentials: cheese

Always keep a supply of:

  • Fruit and vegetable juices, bottled water
  • Canned fruit, dried fruit
  • Cereal bars
  • Walnuts, almonds
  • Cheeses
  • Crackers and rusks
  • Irresistible vacuum-packed, sliced cold cuts
  • Irresistible bean salads and soups
  • Pasta and rice

Variety is the key when it comes to dairy products; pack a different flavour of yogurt every day or alternate with cheeses, such as Brie, goat cheese and cream cheese. And don't forget the milk!

 Nutritious snacks

Vegetables make nutritious snacks and should always be easily accessible. Wash, cut and store them in plastic containers as soon as you get home from the supermarket —— it makes packing the lunch box a breeze! Stock your fridge with:

  • Carrots
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Snow peas
  • Celery sticks
  • Green, yellow, red peppers

All you'll have left to do is pack them in single-portion baggies or plastic containers. Add a side of hummus or yogurt dip to make eating veggies an even better treat! Prepared portions of fruits, such as apple, berries, clementine, banana, plum, peach, grapes add the perfect finishing touch to a well-balanced meal.

Granola bars

Add a few mid-morning or mid-afternoon snacks to the lunchbox

  • Nuts or dried fruit
  • Granola bars
  • Fresh fruit
  • Crackers or rusks
  • Pieces of cheese
  • Fresh grapes
  • Sticks of celery
  • Snow peas

Batch cooking

Make batches of banana muffins, bran and strawberry muffins or pumpkin and chocolate chip cookies to freeze in single-serving portions. It will save you tons of time if you’re in a rush! When cooking dinners, plan to make more for leftovers to use for lunches. Kid-friendly meals such as lasagna, Shepherd's pie and vegetable stew can be frozen in single-portion containers. Just don't forget to indicate the date on all your freezer-packed foods!

Finally, it's time for lunch!

Well-Balanced Meals lunch: sandwiches

Well-Balanced Meals

As long as you keep in mind that a well-balanced meal should include each food group and that the mid-day meal should meet one third of daily nutritional needs, you won't have any trouble filling the lunch box.


Between all the different stuffings (tuna, salmon, ham, turkey, chicken, cheese, egg) and all the different breads (crusty baguette, Kaiser bun, pita pocket, tortilla, sliced bread), with a little imagination you can create a new sandwich every day!


The same applies when it comes to fresh salads. Get creative with greens (romaine, iceberg, mesclun, curly lettuce, Boston), aromatic herbs (coriander, basil, thyme, chives, dill), colourful vegetables (tomato, radish, corn, green onion, red onion, peppers) and protein (tuna, salmon, trout, shrimp, chicken, ham, prosciutto, egg). Don't hesitate to add sunflower seeds, sesame seeds or pumpkin seeds for a bit of crunch. Pasta salads also offer a world of possibilities and combinations!


In addition to the leftovers you've already frozen in single-portion containers, there are many other leftover foods that can be used for lunches. For example, leftover fish can make a wonderful sandwich or salad topping; leftover chicken is easy to stuff into a pita pocket or to add to cooked Chinese noodles; and leftover roasted or braised beef can be used for burritos!

Selection Merite

For those days that you’re just too busy to cook, Selection Merite is there for you with great lunchbox fare including many favourites like Irresistible no-crust quiches, succulent Shepherd's pie and traditional tourtière. So you see, there is no reason why every lunchbox you prepare can't be a wonderful surprise!


Finally, don't forget dessert! Fruit salads, either ready- or homemade, fruit compotes and the like can be made even more interesting when you add raisins or walnuts. Banana muffins or gingerbread also make a delicious dessert.


Try to include a few colourful accessories, such as napkins, straws, containers, to make kids’ lunches more fun. Be mindful of allergies, even if your children don't have any, their friends might. Children are generous and love to share their lunches with their buddies. Inform your children and be particularly careful about packing products containing peanuts and other nuts, eggs, or seafood.

Dig In! is your loyal lunchbox-planning partner. Between the weekly menu, your recipe book, our weekly flyer, and your own imagination, you will be able to plan your lunch boxes for weeks and weeks to come! Use your grocery list to prepare your Metro shopping trips. You'll save time and when you get home, you'll have everything you need.

Lunch recipes to try