Back to school: 5 must-try lunchbox recipes

With kids gearing up to get back to school, here are some delicious yet nutritious lunchbox recipes to make their back-to-school journey easier (and yummier)

By Mitun De Sarkar

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Published: Thu 24 Aug 2023, 7:27 PM

Last updated: Thu 24 Aug 2023, 7:29 PM

Green Pancakes

Servings: 2

Time: 20 minutes


1 cup Oats

1 Baby Spinach (packed)

1/2 Oat Milk (unsweetened, plain)

3/4 Unsweetened Applesauce

1 Egg (large)

1 tsp Baking Powder

1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil


Add the oats to a blender and blend into a flour consistency, about 30 seconds. Add the baby spinach, milk, applesauce, egg, and baking powder. Blend until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed.

Heat the oil in a nonstick pan over medium heat. Pour 1/4 cup of the batter at a time and cook for two to three minutes per side, or until cooked through.

Transfer to a plate. Repeat until all the batter is used.

Divide the pancakes onto plates and enjoy!

For more flavour, add cinnamon, vanilla extract, salt, chia seeds, flax seeds, or hemp hearts. Top with maple syrup, honey, cottage cheese, nut or seed butter.

For additional toppings, use maple syrup, honey, cottage cheese, nut or seed butter.

Refrigerate the leftovers in an airtight container for up to three days, or freeze for up to two One serving equals three to four 4-inch pancakes.

Tuna Meatballs with Greek Yogurt Sauce

Servings: 4

Time: 25 minutes


1 1/3 Plain Greek Yogurt (divided)

3 tbsp Lemon Juice (divided)

2 tsp Greek Seasoning (divided)

4 cans Tuna (drained)

2 Eggs (large, lightly whisked)

1/4 cup Fresh Dill (chopped, divided)

1 1/2 Garlic (clove, minced, divided)

1/4 cup Almond Flour

Sea Salt & Black Pepper (to taste)


Preheat the oven to 425ºF (220ºC) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large mixing bowl, add 1/4 of the Greek yogurt, 2/3 of the lemon juice, and half of the Greek seasoning. Mix until combined.

Add the tuna, eggs, half of the dill, 2/3 of the garlic, and almond flour. Season with salt and pepper and mix gently.

Roll the mixture into balls roughly the size of a golf ball and place on the baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the yogurt dip by mixing the remaining Greek yogurt, lemon juice, Greek seasoning, dill, and garlic together. Season to taste.

Serve the tuna balls with the dip and enjoy!

Chickpea & Cucumber Avocado Sandwich

Servings: 4

Time: 10 minutes


2 1/3 cups Chickpeas (cooked, rinsed)

1 1/3 Avocado (medium)

1 1/3 tsp Lemon Juice

1/3 cup Parsley (finely chopped)

1 1/3 Garlic (small clove, minced)

Sea Salt & Black Pepper (to taste)

8 slices Whole Grain Bread (toasted)

1 1/3 cups Baby Spinach

2/3 Cucumber (large, sliced)


In a large bowl, add the chickpeas and avocado. Mash well until everything is combined. Add the lemon juice, parsley, garlic, sea salt, and pepper. Mix well once more.

On one slice of the toast, add the spinach and cucumber. Top with the mashed chickpea mixture and the other slice of toast. Slice and enjoy!

Chicken & Chickpea Pasta Salad

Servings: 4

Time: 20 minutes


170 grams Chickpea Pasta (dry)

1 1/3 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

605 grams Chicken Breast (cubed)

1 1/3 tsp Italian Seasoning

1/3 tsp Sea Salt

1 1/3 cups Cherry Tomatoes (halved)

2/3 Cucumber (quartered)

2 2/3 tbsp Red Onion (thinly sliced)

2/3 Lemon (zested and juiced)


Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain and set aside.

Heat a skillet over medium heat and add the oil. Add the chicken and season with the Italian seasoning and salt. Cook for about five to seven minutes or until cooked through.

In a bowl, combine the pasta, chicken with its juices, tomatoes, cucumber, and red onion. Top with lemon juice and zest and toss well to coat. Enjoy!

Coconut Yogurt with Berries & Granola

Serving: 1

Time: 5 minutes


3/4 cup Unsweetened Coconut Yogurt

1/2 cup Frozen Berries (thawed)

1/4 cup Granola


Add the coconut yogurt to a bowl and top with the berries, any excess juices, and the granola. Enjoy!

Mitun De Sarkar is Chief Dietitian & MD, Simply Healthy weight management & Diet meal delivery services in Dubai

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