Summer is here! Summer is here! I’m so thankful for a break from homework and school projects. But there’s one thing that never gets a break. The lunchbox will still be seeing plenty of use over the summer. There are still summer camps, picnics, and beach time that all require nourishment.
When I’m packing lunches I try to follow two rules – it must be easy to throw together and it has to be unprocessed, all natural ingredients. This super simple recipe for Berry Quinoa Salad fits the bill perfectly. The sweetness of the ripe berries with the nutty crunch of the quinoa – not even the pickiest kid could find a problem with this. But just to make sure, I add a hint of cinnamon and honey to the mix. Yum!
Quinoa is a cinch to make and it keeps well in the refrigerator for a few days. I just make a batch on Sunday and have plenty for lunches throughout the week. Quinoa is a whole grain and high in protein. Pair that up with the fiber from the berries and hunger doesn’t stand a chance. This Berry Quinoa Salad tastes so great when it’s cold, perfect for a lunchbox. Just scoop it in and go.
Along with the quinoa I like to send some crunchy vegetables like these ‘no prep required’ baby carrots and sugar snap peas. For a little healthy sweetness I add our favorite No Bake Chocolate Energy Balls. There is always, always a container of those in my fridge. This entire lunch is gluten free, dairy free, and vegan friendly so everyone can enjoy!
Do you guys know about Crunch a Color? It’s such a fun way to get kids to try new foods and eat all those healthy fruits and veggies. You can read a little bit more about how we introduced it in this post I wrote a while back. (Believe it or not, this lunch carries a whopping 45 points!)
Recently we added the Conversation Starters from Crunch a Color to our meals too. They are a fabulous way to help your kids open up and talk about some really fun subjects. I like to add a couple of conversation cards to my daughter’s lunch box so she and her friends can have some fun. She always comes home with hilarious stories about how they all answered their questions. One of my favorite questions is “If you couldn’t watch TV for a week what would you do instead?” Try asking your kids that question at dinner tonight and see what they say. I guarantee you’ll have a great conversation.
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1 cup strawberries, sliced
- 1 cup blueberries
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Rinse dry quinoa with water to remove bitterness then drain well.
- Add quinoa and 2 cups water to a medium sized sauce pan.
- Bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to medium low and continue cooking for 20 minutes, or until water is absorbed and quinoa is cooked through.
- Let quinoa cool before adding the berries, honey, and cinnamon.
- Place in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
This recipe makes a great make ahead breakfast too! Use fresh berries for best results.
An Our Family Eats original recipe.
The Conversations Cards were sent to me by Crunch A Color to try out. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.