Power-Packed Lunchbox Ideas

(Family Features) Packing and prepping wholesome lunches doesn't have to be a chore. You can kick health into high gear this school year with new ideas to make creative, nutrient-rich meals.

Fit to satisfy various dietary restrictions, the Power Your Lunchbox program offers kid-friendly options and allergy-sensitive selections. The program, which is dedicated to helping families make healthier lunches during the school year, features more than 80 registered dietitian-approved, family-tested meal ideas with produce as a focal point.

Consider skipping the typical sandwich, chips and apple. Instead, it only takes a few minutes to embark on a creative approach to lunch. Get the kids involved by having them use small cookie cutters to make fresh fruits and vegetables into fun shapes. Try complementing the produce with wraps or soups to add extra excitement to typical lunchbox fare.

Regardless if your child is a picky eater or is on the more adventurous side, bento box lunches such as Chinese Mandarin Pasta Salad Bento Box and Turkey Taco Salad Bento Box can prove to be satisfying, power-packed meals.

For more lunchbox inspiration, visit poweryourlunchbox.com.

Chinese Mandarin Pasta Salad Bento Box

Prep time: 20 minutes

Servings: 1

  • 16 ounces rotini pasta
  • 6 mini sweet peppers, sliced
  • 3 mandarin oranges, peeled and segmented
  • 3 green onions, sliced
  • 2 cups baby spinach, chopped
  • 1/2 cup matchstick carrots
  • 1/2 cup sesame ginger dressing
  • 1/4 cup chow mein noodles
  • 1 kiwi, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 cup steamed edamame
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cool water.
  2. In large bowl, mix pasta, peppers, oranges, green onions, spinach, carrots and dressing. Toss to coat well. Top with chow mein noodles.
  3. Place in lunchbox with kiwi and edamame.

Turkey Taco Salad Bento Box

Prep time: 10 minutes

Servings: 1

  • 1 cup chopped romaine lettuce
  • 1/4 cup cooked turkey meat, seasoned with taco seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons shredded cheese
  • 4 cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 2 tablespoons guacamole
  • 1 ounce tortilla chips
  1. Assemble taco salad with lettuce, taco meat, cheese and tomatoes.
  2. Place in lunchbox with guacamole and chips.

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