7 Ways to Serve Breakfast for School Lunch

Aug 29, 2014

Heading back to work and school after a long summer break also means getting back to packing portable lunches—most often during that morning mad dash to get ready to get out the door. Although every September the internet buzzes with new and interesting school lunch ideas, one of the biggest challenge parents face is ensuring their kids will actually eat what they pack. This doesn’t always require culinary creativity (my son would be happy with the same ham sandwich every day of the week), but thinking outside the lunchbox, so to speak, broadens the playing field—after all, what kid doesn’t love breakfast? There’s nothing wrong with letting it do double duty at lunch, and there’s no point knocking yourself out making exciting, nutritionally balanced dishes that are going to wind up in the trash.

Long weekend mornings provide the perfect opportunity to make pancakes, waffles, French toast and muffins in batches large enough to provide extras for the freezer; not only can they streamline your morning routine, they can provide perfectly nutritious lunch and snack options to pop in lunch bags and backpacks to take along to school. Here are seven breakfast items you may not have considered for their lunchtime potential:

1. French Toast 
Eggs, milk and whole grain bread would be considered a healthy lunch in any other form, so why not French toast cut into sticks—or try making mini French toasts out of sliced baguette—that are easy to nibble or dunk in yogurt or maple syrup? They can be reheated, but are just as delicious served cold. Pack some fresh berries or sliced to go alongside or on top.

2. Pancakes
A short stack of pancakes is comfort food in this house—they can be reheated at school, or spread a cold pancake with peanut butter and wrap it around a banana for a breakfast-inspired sandwich wrap.


3. Smoothies
Nutrient-packed smoothie makes an ideal breakfast to go; make it a double batch (or add a new ingredient to whatever’s left in the blender to make a new flavour for lunch) and pour into a Thermos or well-sealed insulated to-go cup to bring along.

4. Breakfast Sandwiches 
Crack an egg into a small ramekin, stir it up with a fork and microwave for a minute, until cooked; place on an English muffin with a slice of cheese (and a slice of cooked back bacon or ham, if you have it) and wrap in a piece of waxed or parchment paper for a homemade fast food-style breakfast sandwich.

5. Yogurt and Granola
Yogurt-granola parfaits are all the rage at coffee shops these days. Pack a single serving yogurt cup along with a small container of berries and a snack size zip-lock bag (or another small container) of granola—keeping them separate until serving time will keep the granola from getting soggy.

6. Muffins and Scones
Kids love them, they can be filling, and are easy to make in large batches and freeze to pop into lunch bags. Load them with berries, and add a chunk of cheese alongside. (In a rush, you can even pick one up with your morning latte en route to school.)

7. Cereal or Oatmeal
Pour some of your child’s favourite cereal (or leftover oatmeal and raisins) into a sealable bowl or bowl-shaped container with a lid. Add a spoon and pack a single serving carton of milk.

Article Author Julie Van Rosendaal
Julie Van Rosendaal

Read more from Julie here.

Julie Van Rosendaal is the author of six best-selling cookbooks (with a seventh due out this fall), the food editor of Parents Canada magazine and the food and nutrition columnist on the Calgary Eyeopener on CBC Radio One. She is a recipe developer, TV personality, food stylist and writes about food for local, national and international publications. She is perhaps best known as the voice behind her popular food blog, Dinner with Julie, where she documents real life at home in Calgary with her husband and nine-year-old son. Connect on twitter @dinnerwithjulie.


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