Executive Chef E. Michael Reidt of Kimpton’s Area 31 in Miami has some great tips on creating healthier lunches for school-age children – and parents shouldn’t forget themselves either this Fall. Below are his tips for simple yet healthy school and work lunches:
Tips to Lighten up Your Back-to-School Lunch
Whip up a bulk grain that can be utilized with different dressings and textures throughout the week. Easy combinations include faro with watermelon, cilantro, lime and diced tuna, or quinoa with cucumber, red onion and smoked chicken.
Mix up a large fruit salad which can be “refreshed throughout the week and mixed with nuts, yogurt or granola.” Aim for three combinations of fruits and nuts, such as peaches, almonds and cherries or strawberries, blackberries and pistachios.
Update the brown bag favorite, sandwiches. Refresh you tuna fish salad sandwich by skipping mayo and using a strong flavored vinaigrette with fresh herbs and hard-boiled eggs. Take a turkey sandwich up a notch with a cranberry mustard chutney and Swiss cheese.
Don’t forget yourself!
Tips on Healthy On-the-Go Lunches for Those Heading to Work
Do fast food right: Having lived with diabetes for most of his life, Chef Reidt knows how to scope out healthy eats. His favorites are the salad bar at Whole Foods, where suggests focusing on the fresh vegetables and grains and skipping the warm starches, or Chipotle, which uses organic and hormone-free ingredients; there he likes the soft tacos with chicken, black beans, lettuce, salsa and guacamole. If a convenience store stop is necessary, most now offer some sort of fresh fruit and whole grains; avoid processed foods and items high in sodium.
Return to the bagged lunch: “Why did everyone stop taking a bagged lunch to work?” Plan the night before and cook extra for dinner so that you have leftovers the following day, and save that extra cash for happy hour at the end of the week.”
About the Author
This article is courtesy of Executive Chef E. Michael Reidt of Kimpton’s Area 31 in Miami.*