There are 180 days in an average school year. That’s almost half a year of getting up early and making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for your kids’ lunch. It’s easy for you, sure, but your kids need variety, too. The good news? It doesn’t have to involve extra hours cooking and packing their lunches.
Help your kids shake the PB&J blues with these tasty and creative quick lunch ideas, all featuring avocado.
But first, you might want to know how to pick out avocados to eat throughout the week. Nothing is worse than realizing your avocado has gone bad before you can use it! Check out this video, which shows you how to pick out avocados in several different stages of ripeness. Brown or blackish skin that yields to gentle pressure is ready to eat now, while brown and green speckled skin means it will be ready in a few days, and hard, green skin means three to four days until it is ready. And if an avocado is ripe before you’re ready to eat it, check out this video, which shows you that you can keep a ripe avocado fresh by storing it in the fridge for a week.
Now that you’re armed with the proper avocado knowledge, on to the recipes! Some of the best recipes are those that require little time and you can make ahead, which means you do the work for a week’s worth of lunches in one single day. These turkey albondigasstuffed with avocado are a great make-ahead dish, especially when sent to school with a little salsa or guacamole. This bean, avocado and pineapple salad is a creamy and sweet source of protein, and a recipe you can make ahead. Just mix everything but the avocado on a Sunday, and stir in fresh avo chunks the morning you plan to send the salad with your kid to school.
No time to cook ahead? These salami avocado skewers with honey mustard dipping sauce are fun to eat and go together in 10 minutes. Or try this tortilla roll-up with apples, avocados, and peanut butter, which only takes five minutes to make. If your child’s school has nut restrictions, you can make the same recipe with a little cream cheese that has been sweetened with honey in place of the peanut butter.
The best part of any lunch are the snacks, so don’t skimp here! If you have fond memories of eating pudding cups at school, recreate that with this berry and chocolate avocado mousse recipe. The avocado replaces the dairy with its smooth and sweet texture. If the school doesn’t have nut restrictions, this chocolate avocado energy bar is another great snack, filled with sunflower seeds and dates (but they’ll never know, promise!). For nut-free, try making this banana avocado muffin recipe without the nuts. And always be sure to make extra and store them in the freezer.
This school year doesn’t have to include the PB&J blues. With avocados, your kids can have fun meals that get them excited for the lunch bell to ring.