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Great list for lunches to bring to the park - hooray for no more PB & J!

Fresh Ideas for Summer Lunching

You know why I love having a team here on MPMK?  Because it allows me to cover topics I’m interested in but, frankly, are out of my wheelhouse.  This post, for example, came together like so…

Natalie: Any ideas for my next post?

Me: It’s getting on that time of year when Moms are spending lunchtime at the park.  Any ideas for creative, healthy, and portable meals?

Natalie: I’m on it.

And then, boom!, a few days later the following post arrives and I’m totally blown away (and also drooling).  Check it out, it’ll make your stomach do a happy dance.

For an extra special picnic, you can also include our homemade blueberry lemonade soda and don’t miss her smoothie tip near the end – genius!

Summertime is upon us. That means lots of running around, days out of the house and meals in the sunshine. Peanut butter and jelly can get old fast. So I’ve put together a few ideas to brighten up your on-the-go lunching.

Wraps and Spring Rolls. Wrapped items are very portable and perfect for adding extra veggies (unlike sandwiches, where all the veggies fall out the sides). You can make wraps with tortillas, pitas, lettuce leaves or crepes for a new twist on your typical sandwich. (And don’t worry, spring rolls are surprisingly easy – all you have to do is soak the rice papers in a bit of water for 30-60 seconds until pliable, then pile on your fillings and wrap ’em up.)

Our favorites:

Cold Salads. We’re all aware of the typical garden salad, chicken salad, tuna salad and the like. But let’s think outside the box a little bit.

How about:

Or create your own with a base grain, some protein, veggies/fruits/nuts and your favorite dressing.

Fishcakes, Drumsticks and Meatballs. These protein items can be enjoyed hot, lukewarm or cold.

Keep the kids (and mom!) full of energy with:

And be sure to pack extra napkins.

Freezer Smoothies. This is one of our favorites! Whenever I have leftover smoothies, I freeze them in small Mason jars. When it’s time to pack a lunch, I use the smoothie as our ice pack and the kids get to enjoy it for dessert. To make it doubly easy on yourself, try these Frozen Smoothie Bags.

Fresh Ideas for Summer Lunching

Protein packed treats. When you’re active and on-the-go, your body needs good nutrients more than ever. Try to steer clear of processed treats and make them at home instead.

I’m drooling over:

It’s fun to try out new recipes, but remember – the old standbys have their place, too. They’re our favorites for a reason, right?

Sandwiches, fresh cut fruits and vegetables, hard-boiled eggs, sliced meat and cheese, hummus, yogurt and granola… all of your favorites should be part of your lunch rotation, too. Work in some new ideas when you have the time, but don’t stress. Your kids will enjoy your summer outings no matter what’s in their lunchbox.



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Natalie is lover of all things edible and mom to two sweet babies under 3 years old. She shares her favorite from-scratch recipes, techniques and tips for entertaining on her blog, Oven Love.

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