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Grab a shopping cart and stock up on back-to-school essentials

Back to school

For back-to-school, prepare lunches and snacks at home for healthy meals that are bursting with goodness! To make your life a little easier, here are some great tips to help plan your meals and write up a shopping list so you’ll always have the basics at hand—from the pantry to the freezer. Perfect for healthy eating—any time of day!

From the store shelf—to your pantry shelf!

The grocery aisles are filled with healthy products designed for busy families. Why not take advantage of them? Fill up your shopping cart with go-to items that will get you out of a jam. Just a few well-picked ingredients can serve as the base for lots of quick delicious recipes.

In the pantry

  • Nuts and dried fruit: Full of energy and always delicious. You’ll never grow bored of these nutritious blends!
  • Granola bars: An all-in-one snack that’s easy to pop into a lunchbox.
  • Biscotti and rice crackers: Add some cheese or a container of drinkable yogurt for a complete sizable snack!
  • Fruit compote: No need to peel or cut!
  • Couscous and instant rice: Perfect with meat, in soups or as part of a salad.
  • Bottled tomato sauce and canned tomatoes: Add in some cream or wine, a can of tomatoes, veggies and meat and pour over pasta.
  • Pasta: Whether in a salad, au gratin or topped with a pile of veggies, pasta can be put together in no time and makes a perfect lunch on the go.
  • Canned legumes: Ideal for soups, couscous, sauces and salads.
  • Canned tuna or salmon: Perfect in a sandwich or vegetable salad or mixed with pasta.

In the fridge

  • Eggs: Use in quiches, omelettes, sandwiches and even salads.
  • Grated cheese: Mozzarella, cheddar, Gruyère, Parmesan… there are lots of delicious varieties to choose from!
  • Cold cuts: White ham, chorizo, prosciutto and more—cold cuts are perfect for sandwiches and cheese melts.
  • Pre-cut veggies: Washed, trimmed and cut, veggies make a super snack. Fill up on vitamins!
  • Dips: Hummus, guacamole or salsa, dips go great with biscotti or mini pitas!
  • Sauces and condiments: Tamari or soy sauce, lemon juice in a bottle, plain yogurt, mayo, or hot mustard—be sure to have the basics on hand to cook up a quick sauce and add flavour to your meals.

In the freezer

  • Frozen shrimp and fish: These defrost quickly for a healthy meal after work.
  • Minced meat: How about a quick chili or some time-saving tacos? Ground beef, veal or lamb is perfect.
  • Fondue meat: Change things up by sautéing a few slices for a sandwich.
  • Quick boneless meats: Just transfer to the fridge before leaving for work in the morning for a quick and delicious meal when you get home!
  • Frozen veggies: Perfect for sautés, pasta sauce, soups and stews. Frozen spinach can be easily hidden in lasagna!
  • Frozen fruit: In crepes, yogurt or homemade smoothies.
  • Stuffed pasta: In salad, au gratin or covered in rosé sauce, stuffed pasta is nutritious, easy to prepare and fun for the whole family!
  • Different breads: Bagels, Kaiser rolls, pita bread… change it up for a new kind of sandwich!
  • Pizza and pie dough: Make it yourself and store in the freezer, or buy them ready-made at the store. Perfect for days when you’re pressed for time! Top pizza or quiche with fresh ingredients, pop in the oven for 10 minutes and you’re done!

5 ideas for back-to-school made easy

1Double up your recipes

Don’t have time to cook during the week? Make bigger quantities and freeze whatever’s left over. From soups to stews, bread, muffins and pies, there’ll always be something on hand to cook up quick!

2Prepare your fresh produce

If you want to get everyone to eat their fruits and veggies, try preparing them as soon as you’re home from the grocery store. Carrots, broccoli, snow peas, peppers… wash, cut and store in airtight containers. When you’re putting lunches together or making supper, they’ll be ready!

3Use up your leftovers

Make a colourful salad or fun sandwich with leftover fish. Stuff pita bread or make Chinese noodles using leftover chicken. Braised beef is perfect for burritos!

4Freeze individual portions

Prepare your banana, oat and strawberry muffins and pumpkin chocolate-chip cookies ahead of time. Then wrap them individually, mark the date on each and place in the freezer. Perfect for lunches and snacks!

5Think big

Buy large containers of yogurt instead of individual portions, then pour into smaller airtight containers. Do the same with fruit compote and even cheese. Save money… and the environment!