I know I’m not a parent just yet — but I have a low-key parenting hack that I bet will keep your kids as excited about the new school year as they have been about splashing around all summer. You see, I’m a firm believer in delivering happiness via the taste buds, so my theory is that a well-packed lunch goes a long way, especially on a seemingly never-ending early autumn school day.
Not only will your seafood-centric back-to-school lunches pack a punch with regard to flavor, but they’ll help ensure your kids’ hard-working brains are running on the most nutrient-dense fuel there is! With that, I invite you to toss aside your reliance on classics like grilled cheese and peanut-butter and jelly sandwiches, and instead, dare yourself to delight your hard-working little geniuses with unexpected menus from the sea. If I was a kid (and I certainly am on many levels), I have no doubt I’d love to see some of these in my lunchbox:
Salmon Fried Rice
Algebra was never my forte, but I’m willing to bet I might have enjoyed it a little more if I knew there was a tupperware full of wild salmon fried rice in my knapsack. Let’s be honest: fried rice is a) a great way to sneak veggies into a meal; b) easy to make the night before and repurpose as leftovers; and c) basically looks like edible confetti.
Salmon Salad Sammies
What kid doesn’t love a surprise? So, why not upgrade your conventional tuna salad sandwich to one made with wild salmon salad, which is easy to pull together with leftover salmon fillets, a little mayo, chopped celery, herbs and salt and pepper. Throw a slice of cheese on there and you’ve successfully recast the tuna melt into a pretty pink wild salmon version that’s sure to wow.
It’s no secret that fish sticks and kids go together like chalk on a blackboard — they just jive. It’s a perfect menu option (viable with salmon or any white fish) that not only lends itself to healthy preparation — think baked instead of fried — and it’s a fun way to ensure your kids get a full dose of mid-day protein. Pro tip: pack ‘em with a side of yummy dipping sauces for your kids to dip and dunk.
Packing a fish burger for your kid during the week is like saying, “hey, Buddy! I know it’s a school day, but here are some fun beachy weekend vibes to ease up your day!” Just be sure to pack any sauces on the side so things don’t get soggy in transit!
So, there you have it. Back-to-school wild seafood inspo that will have your kids’ friends wishing you’d made their lunches, too!