Watch CBS News

Back-To-School Lunch Ideas For Healthy, All-Day Energy

YONKERS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- As kids head back to school, lunch time is going to look a bit different.

New York City public schools will follow Centers for Disease Control guidance by using additional spaces outside the cafeteria for mealtime, such as gyms, classrooms or outdoor areas. They're also looking to stagger lunch times to help with social distancing.

As far as packing lunch, parents have more choices than ever.

CBS2's Cindy Hsu recently went to Stew Leonard's for some healthy ideas.

READ MORENew York State Health Department Issues Mask Mandate For All Schools

Hsu met up with Stew Leonard Jr. at his store in Yonkers.

"Have fun and make it colorful if you can. Kids like that. But, it's got to taste good," he said.

And, for many kids, look good.

"The kids love these rainbow bagels at the store," Leonard said.

Add some cream cheese and grapes, and you've got a meal. Also, try to sneak in some things that help build immunity.

"Like citrus, during COVID, has doubled in sales at the store, because it helps the immune system. Turmeric, garlic are other items that have gone up like that," Leonard said.


Of course, parents are looking for quick and easy as well. Chef Christopher Papp showed Hsu how to make chicken salad roll-ups.

"Kids love it, it's simple to make, under five minutes," he said.

You can use a whole wheat wrap, and spread on some chicken salad.

"If you want to change it up, you can put a little Buffalo sauce in there, anything to give a little spice to it," Papp said. "Some fresh spinach -- full of iron. You know, you want to get some more color in everybody's diet."

A couple slices of cheese, then roll it up from the back, slice it up and bag it.

And when it comes to sandwiches?

"If you add a nut butter to it, it's a whole protein. It keeps kids going longer. They're active in school, they're able to participate, not falling asleep," Papp said.


Another twist on the sandwich: Spread avocado on the bread, add some turkey, and use a sandwich cutter to make fun designs, like hearts. You can also make snack packs, like one with hummus and pretzel thins.

"You've got your salty cheese, your salty pretzels, and then you have your fruit that'll help keep that energy going," Papp said.

For dessert, you can try rice cakes drizzled with chocolate, or one of Stew's favorites.

"If you want to give them a healthy dessert, you can do yogurt. Put a little honey on it, and you can put a little granola. It's delicious and it's nothing like giving them all the sugar from ice cream," Leonard said.

And finally, don't forget to pack hand wipes and some extra masks.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.