The Essential Ingredients You Need for a Healthy, Nutritious Lunch

Help your family ease into a healthy routine by keeping these ingredients on-hand for easy and nutritious meals.

Along with back-to-school and cooler temperatures, the start of September brings with it a fresh start. This season is definitely different from previous school years, and whether your family is doing virtual learning or headed back into the classroom, a successful year starts with good nutrition. Here’s help getting into a healthy routine so you and your family can thrive.

Plan ahead for stress-free success

Take a bit of time each Sunday to plan lunches and snacks for the week ahead. This will eliminate the stress of wondering what to pack the night before or during the morning rush. You’ll also know exactly what ingredients you have in the fridge and pantry and whether there are any extras you need to pick up during the week.

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Sandwiches are a go-to lunch for good reason! They’re easy to assemble, portable and don’t require any cooking. Plus, it’s easy to change it up each day with the addition of a few new ingredients. If your kids are learning from home this is the perfect time to get them involved in making their own sandwich!

Keep essential ingredients on-hand and prepped

A healthy, balanced lunch should consist of protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats, as well as plenty of veggies. Stonemill Bakehouse has you covered in the healthy carbohydrates department. Stonemill Bakehouse Clearly Good Quinoa and Flax Bread is naturally fermented for a delicious flavour with a slight crunch. It’s also a high source of fibre with 27 grams of whole grains per (70 g) serving making it the perfect base on which to build a sandwich. Rest easy with what you’re serving your family because Stonemill Bakehouse Naturally Fermented Bread contains no GMO ingredients, artificial preservatives, colours, or flavours.

StonemillPhoto Credit: Blair Locke

Other ingredients you’ll want to keep on hand for easy assembly include proteins such as boiled eggs or cans of tuna (for an egg or tuna salad sandwich), and chicken or turkey breast. Cook and slice meats the night before or pick up some sliced deli meats.

Healthy fats might come from avocado or seed butters such as sunflower seed butter. (Remember to avoid nuts and nut butters for school lunches.) You could top a sandwich with a few slices of avocado or prep an avocado mash the night before. Add a bit of lemon juice or cover the top of your mashed avocado with a thin layer of water to prevent it from browning overnight. Simply pour the excess water off in the morning!

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Finally, don’t forget the vegetables! Slice a batch of veggies ahead of time and store in the crisper for easy access. Most veggies will stay fresh and crisp for at least a few days at a time once sliced. Cucumber, lettuce and tomato are perfect toppers for a sandwich, while carrots, celery and broccoli make excellent bite-size snacks or sides.

Mix things up to prevent lunchtime boredom

No one wants to eat the exact same thing day after day. It’s easy to keep things interesting thanks to the many varieties of bread Stonemill offers. Choose your flavour (such as Cranberry Pumpkin Seed, Chia and Supergrains, or Sprouted 3 Grains), vary the ingredients inside, and you’ll create a new and fresh meal every time.

StonemillPhoto Credit: Blair Locke