By Shaina Olmanson, Food for My Family

Making lunches at the start of each day is one of the things I do, albeit sometimes I do so begrudgingly. Sometimes I stare into the full refrigerator and just can’t think of something other than the boring basics: A sandwich, crackers and cheese, simple fruit. There’s nothing wrong with those options, of course. It’s just that they don’t sing of wonder (read: they don’t catch my children’s or my husband’s interest). To keep lunches easy for me and interesting for my family, I employ a few tricks and twists.





















Switch up either the small things or the big things, but not both. I try to focus on either adding a treat or a special snack or working on a special entree when I’m packing lunches. So, I might go out of my way to make my 10-minute macaroni and cheese, but then the grapes, cucumber slices and carrot sticks remain. Similarly, I may pack cheese and crackers, but my kids will find a special homemade granola bar or almond cherry bar in their lunchbox as well.

Utilize leftovers. We all have leftovers. They sit unwanted in the refrigerator until we finally determine they are old enough to throw away. Rather than letting them sit, try to get creative and turn them into lunches. A homemade cheese sauce over leftover rice becomes a comforting casserole. Adding leftover vegetables to rice and a bit of soy sauce and sesame oil creates a quick and easy stir-fry. Putting leftover meats on sandwiches, in wraps, and pressed between tortillas switches up the PB&J and deli slices.

This kale and pumpkin seed wrap is a fun way to switch out your ordinary sandwich with one you’re looking forward to devouring at lunchtime. Use young kale leaves so they’re tender and mild.


Kale and Pumpkin Seed Wrap

On the tortilla layer the chicken, kale, carrots, tomato, and onions. Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds. Roll the wrap, securing the ends. Serve alongside the citrus Dressing for dipping.

Citrus Dressing

  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons Champagne vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
  • pinch of salt
  • fresh cracked pepper
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Mix together the orange juice, lemon juice, vinegar, orange zest, salt, and pepper. Slowly whisk in the oil. Store in a non-reactive container and serve with kale and pumpkin seed wraps.