September is an easy lunch packing month. Here we have the full bounty of summer's harvest. Ripe fruit, great vegetables, delicious nuts, and mushrooms. So enjoy this new beginning of healthier and better lunch packing.
If you haven't put away your grill, continue grilling! Grilled chicken is an excellent packed lunch addition. And if you feel a bit adventurous, why not turn it into sushi rolls! Here is a fun recipe that my kids really like to eat and to help me make: Inside-out Chicken Avocado Rolls. Another discovery over the summer for my kids was Sardine Rillettes sandwiches. I was shocked when they told me that they really like them. Sardine rillettes are great as a bread filling or as a dip for crackers. And sardines are super good for you, they are one of the most concentrated sources of the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, as well as vitamin B12. And yes, they are packed with protein.
If you're going to explore new cheeses this month, here are 3 that are at their peak season and each one of them should be a hit with your kids, as they are sweet and creamy. Serve a bit of Brie or Camembert or Coulommiers. Just remember - little goes a long way! If you're feeling up for creating something new, why not send the Creamy Avocado Dip in your child's lunchbox? It goes really well with grilled chicken slices or fresh veggies.
Here is a month when we can still get amazing tomatoes, sweet peppers, corn on the cob, eggplant and zucchini. Again, try to send as many raw veggies as you can, as those have the maximum nutritional value. Kids love crunchy sweet pepper strips with a dip, for example. And why not try to serve carrots or peppers with the Broccoli Dip. Broccoli is in season too! Or if you're suffering from zucchini overload, turn them into Zucchini Muffins.
What's not in season in September for fruit? This is the month to indulge in grapes, all kind of prunes, melons, blueberries, peaches, and blackberries. Just wash and serve. However, if you're lucky enough to have a garden or access to a farm, why not create your own plum butter or jam? This will be a great addition to winter sandwiches or scones. Grapes can also be made savory, when served in a chicken salad. Make it at home first though, as my children sometimes get finicky about mixing things. And of course, blueberries or blackberries make amazing Fruit Muffins. Make them in a mini format and send some fresh blueberries on a side.
It's around September that my urge to start baking re-emerges. Summer is just too hot to bake. So I'm excited to start making my own mini breads, which are great for packed lunches. In particular, I'm going to play around with making my own Mini Bagels. Make them with different toppings and freeze for later use. If baking is not your thing, how about making your own granola snack? Here is a nut-free granola bar version and one incorporating nuts and grains, Sweet & Salty Apple Cinnamon Granola Bars.