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Holy crap, you guys, it’s back to school for me on Monday!!! I’m freaking out! Mostly about what to wear; I’ve got a closet crammed full of clothes and not a thing to wear. Ugh.

Let me tell you what I’m not freaking out about: school lunches. I am all over the school lunch situation. If you’ve been around here for a while you know that I’m a fervent advocate of the packed lunch. You’ll definitely save money by packing your lunch to school or work. You’ll also save time by having your lunch already with you, rather than having to go out to a restaurant or cafeteria and waste time standing in line or waiting for your lunch to show up. Odds are pretty good that a packed lunch will be far and away more nutritious than a bought lunch, plus, as a major bonus you’ll know what you’re eating.

Yes, you’ll have to spend a little time getting those lunches organized. We get down to business on Sunday mornings and get our lunches organized for the week. It probably takes an hour, but then we don’t have to think about it for the rest of the week. Lunch stuff is ready in the fridge to grab and go, which is a good thing when you’re tired, stressed, and rushing out the door.

Smoothies are an easy and convenient way to get a nutritious breakfast on the go. I’m going to be commuting to school on a train, then from school to work later in the day and I’m trying to minimize the number of containers I pack along with me. I’ll take a smoothie in my water bottle for sipping on the train or in class, then I’ll rinse out the bottle and fill it with water. This Date Almond Smoothie is one of my favourites. More smoothie recipes coming soon!

Every week we make a batch of muffins and keep them in a bag in the freezer. Each night we pull out two muffins and put them in containers to pack in our lunches. No Sugar Banana Branners are my favourite weekday muffin, hands down.

I’ve talked before about The Sandwich System. If you want to pack a week’s worth of tasty sandwiches for your lunches, you’ve got to get down with the system. Yes, you can have tomatoes in your sandwiches. It’s all about an effective lettuce barrier and the right kind of sandwich container.

This Chickpea Salad Sandwich is a total winner. It’s full of goodness, and is a canvas for adding whatever strikes your fancy. Chopped up pickles, olives, capers? Toss ’em in!

Crispy Skillet Tofu is awesome in a wrap or stuffed into a sandwich. Mmm, nutritional yeast. I’m a total addict.

Salad rolls make salads into hand held portable lunches. Super fun to eat, and not hard to make once you get the hang of it. Try these Salad Rolls with Miso Glazed Tempeh.

These Honey, Arugula, and Goat Cheese Baguettes look fancy but they’re super easy to make, and very packable. You’ll make your office or class mates jealous if you pack these along.

Don’t forget about the Honey Roasted Carrot and Hummus Sandwiches. So tasty, so healthy.

Grain salads pack really well for healthy, sturdy lunches. Here are some of my favourites:

Lemony Roasted Broccoli and Tempeh with Quinoa. Yum.

Black Bean Salad with Spelt Berries. Super nutritious and filling for long days.

My Wild Rice and Chickpea Salad remains one of the most popular recipes on this blog. The recipe makes A LOT and packs really well, but be sure to leave the pecans out so they don’t go soggy. Take them in a separate container and sprinkle on top before you eat.

What do you like to pack in your lunches? I’d love some more ideas! Happy lunch packing, and happy back to school for those of you who are going back along with me!


All text and photos © The Muffin Myth 2012