Trader Joe’s 6 Best Items for Easy School Lunches


Back to school is officially here, which means it’s time to say goodbye to summer and welcome the return of endless piles of homework.

From spending hours shopping for new school supplies to preparing for early morning awakenings, the start of a new school year is undoubtedly stressful. Luckily, preparing school lunches doesn’t have to be, thanks to Trader Joe’s huge selection of delicious meals and snacks.

From fresh fruit to frozen meals and hearty spreads, here are the 6 best items to pack for school lunches, according to a handful of Redditors – who are also regular shoppers at the California-based retailer.

This list adds to Salon Food’s growing library of supermarket guides. If you’re looking to satisfy your sweet tooth, check out the 7 best baked goods at Trader Joe’s right now.

Trader Joe’s Salame di Parma Mild Salami (Photo courtesy of Ashlie D. Stevens)
Imported from Parma, Italy, Trader Joe’s Uncured Sausage is pre-sliced ​​and perfect in sandwiches, salads or mini charcuterie boards. Per user u/eveningtrain, salami pairs well with cheese — like individual bites of Brie — and crackers, like Trader Joe’s Creamy Tomato Soup Seasoned Crackers, to make a homemade take on classic Lunchables.

“I also often include a few olives (pitted so I don’t get bored with things to throw away during lunch) and small dill pickles, but I recommend putting them in a bowl lined with paper towel for dry them when making lunch because the brine takes care of other things (I usually pack them next to meat which tastes good if lightly brined),” u/eveningtrain continued.

They also recommend adding dried fruits, such as pure mango, dried cherries or tangerines, or fresh berries to the mix for added sweetness.

Meyer Raspberry Cream Lemon Cream YoghurtRaspberry Cream Meyer Lemon Cream Yogurts (Photo courtesy of Ashlie D. Stevens)

These personal-sized yogurt tubs can be enjoyed on their own or as a parfait topped with fresh fruit, granola, cinnamon and a drizzle of honey. They can also be enjoyed with granola bars or snacks, like Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate, Nuts, and Sea Salt Bar.

For a complete meal, user u/Smile_Anyway_9988 suggests packing the yogurt tubs with pinwheel sandwiches – which include a rolled and cut spinach tortilla stuffed with breakfast meat, cheese and a thin layer of mayo or pesto sauce – and cut vegetables.

In addition to Raspberry and Meyer Lemon flavors, yogurt tubs are available in Strawberry Cream and Banana flavors.

Sunflower seed spreadSunflower seed spread (Photo courtesy of Ashlie D. Stevens)

A satisfying alternative to peanut butter — and other nut butters that may be banned in school cafeterias — sunflower seed butter is the perfect spread to include in both sweet and savory sandwiches.

User u/Nhadalie recommends making sunflower seed sandwiches with chopped bananas, cinnamon, and honey. Similarly, u/ronnysmom suggests spreading butter on sprouted bread and pairing it with a cup of yogurt and chopping Persian cucumbers, strawberries, and tangerines.

“It was [a] daily lunch for my son for years and years,” they added.[His school was] a peanut free facility, but once I explained it was sunflower seed butter, not only did they accept it, but their manager went to buy sunflower seed butter from TJ and l added to school snacks!”

Garlic Flavored Indian FlatbreadGarlic Indian Style Flatbread (Photo courtesy of Ashlie D. Stevens)

Another great way to enjoy TJ’s flatbread is to make it into naan crackers. Simply cut the flatbread into small squares, place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, brush the loaves with olive oil and bake for about 15 minutes. The crackers can then be served with cheese, olives and the ever-popular variety of Trader Joe’s champagne grapes.

Champagne grapesChampagne Grapes (Photo courtesy of Ashlie D. Stevens)

Speaking of champagne grapes, these little seedless varietals are a school lunch staple! Grapes can be added to salads, such as a Greek-inspired grape and feta salad. Simply combine extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, sea salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl. Then add the grapes, mixed greens and halved cherry tomatoes and finish with a dollop of crumbled feta.

Champagne grapes are also excellent in cheese and charcuterie boards or with a mix of fresh berries. They can also be eaten on their own or with a generous pinch of sugar!

Green Cheese Chili TamalesCheese Green Chili Tamales (Photo courtesy of Ashlie D. Stevens)

Frozen foods, like Trader Joe’s Cheese & Green Chili Tamales, are a quick and easy meal option for school lunches. Many Redditors recommend tamales because they’re tasty, filling, and incredibly easy to make – just pop them in the microwave for 3-4 minutes, then pop them in your lunch box and you’re done.

According to TJ’s, tamales are “an easily portable food…worthy of the gods” because they are so damn tasty! Each tamale contains Monterey Jack cheese, spicy green chilies and red chili puree, all stuffed in corn batter and hand-wrapped in corn husks. »


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