Easy, Healthy, & Tasty, These Recipes Are Perfect for Busy Parents This Back-to-School Season
Although some kids may be heading to a home office or kitchen table instead of the traditional classroom this year, a healthy and fun lunch is still an important part of the day. For busy parents, meal prepping snacks and lunches – either in the morning or on the weekend – can be a huge timesaver. Thanks to its versatility, pineapple is a great option for keeping meals interesting – and it packs in plenty of nutrition to keep kids strong, too. For back-to-school season this year, we partnered with sustainable company ECOLunchbox to showcase three of our favorite easy, healthy lunchbox ideas that kids and parents alike will love.
Cottage Cheese & Pineapple Dip With Pita Chips and Veggies
Blended together, cottage cheese and pineapple make a delicious dip that kids will love scooping up with pita chips, veggies, and crackers. The cottage cheese delivers calcium and protein, while of course the pineapple adds extra flavor and sneaks in an extra serving of fruit. Fresh pineapple is delicious here, but the dip is also a great use of canned or frozen pineapple as well.
To Make the Dip…
- Blend together one part pineapple and two parts cottage cheese.
- Pour into dip container to store for mealtime.
Pineapple Salsa and Cheese Quesadillas
For kids that would rather go for savory than sweet, we love packing quesadillas and pineapple salsa. Fresh salsa is full of extra nutrition, tastes delicious, and can be prepped the weekend ahead to be enjoyed in lunches all week. Even better, older kids can help with chopping the ingredients (safely, of course!). Plus, if you’re in a rush, cheese quesadillas can even be made in the microwave.
- 1 cup Chestnut Hill Farms pineapple, diced
- 1 cup red bell pepper, diced
- 1 cup tomatoes, diced
- 1/4 cup red onion, diced
- Cilantro, chopped
- Lime juice
- Chop up all pineapple through onion and add to a large bowl.
- Add chopped cilantro and mix.
- Squeeze 1/4 to 1/2 of a lime over the mixture and toss gently.
Pineapple-Zucchini Mini Muffins
Muffins are really the ultimate prep-in-advance lunch item: bake a dozen (or two!) and freeze what you won’t be serving for the week, then defrost as needed. This recipe uses oat flour, making it a good option for gluten-free kids. With natural sweetness from pineapple and a sprinkling of cinnamon, kids won’t even have trouble with the zucchini that’s been added in too. With some yogurt and fruit on the side, these muffins can quickly go from healthy snack to a complete meal.
This base recipe can be changed up easily too. Here are a few options:
- We used a mini muffin tin here, but you can use whatever size works best for you.
- Swap out the zucchini for carrot for kids that are put off by flecks of green – the orange is more easily disguised!
- Play around with flavors. We love cinnamon for muffins, but dried coconut would also be a fun, tropical option.
- 1 cup Chestnut Hill Farms pineapple
- 1 cup zucchini, grated and drained
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup agave or honey
- 1/3 cup canola oil
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup oat flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- Chop up pineapple into chunks. If you have a food processor, add chunks and pulse until crushed. Or, finely chop by hand. Drain excess liquid.
- Add pineapple, zucchini, eggs, agave, oil, and vanilla to a bowl. Mix until combined.
- In a separate bowl, mix together oat flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
- Combine dry and wet ingredients. Mix until combined.
- Pour batter into greased muffin tin and bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.
Want more pineapple recipes delivered straight to your inbox? Sign up for our newsletter today!