Whether you’re headed back to school, have children that are gearing up for a new school year, or you’re just looking for simple, healthy recipes for a busy season in life, then you’ve come to the right place. Here are 15 Healthy and Easy Back to School Recipes that are perfect for all ages!
As I mentioned in my last post, back to school season always makes me so nostalgic… I can’t help it!
I just love the excitement of a new fall season and all that comes with it. Even as a kid, I was a huge nerd and got giddy over a new lunch box, notebooks, a new bookbag, and of course, new outfits too. (I’m not gonna lie either, I still miss picking out a new back pack!)
Despite the fact that I was incredibly shy and always nervous on the first day back to school, the anticipation of the arrival of fall has simply always felt magical to me and made me feel alive inside, even when it came to school that involved classes and homework.
Another thing I always loved to do as a child at the start of a new school year was to enjoy new types of breakfasts and lunches; I don’t ever think I ate the same year to year for my meals. I’ve always loved food and everything that came with it: the colors, the smells, the different choices, and of course, the tastes too.
Eating should be enjoyable whether you eat healthily or not, and it’s my mission to show that it’s truly possible to do that no matter what your experience with healthy eating is. Remember, I started eating healthy from ground zero while working two jobs in college, so if anybody understands that it’s not easy to eat healthy on-the-go or with little to no experience, it’s me.
So, I thought it would be a fun idea to come up with a list of healthy and easy back to school recipes from this blog that will hopefully share how healthy eating can be fun, enjoyable, satisfying, and take up as little time as possible, too!
In fact, even if you’re like me not going back to school or have kids in school, these recipes below are still perfect because they’re quick to prepare, nourishing, delicious, and so easy to make. It just so happens they’re also some of my most popular recipes on the blog as well, so hopefully, they’ll provide a bit of inspiration if you are looking for some ideas. I’ve also included some tips in some of the recipes below for even more help and ideas.
I hope you enjoy these! 🙂
15 Healthy and Easy Back to School Recipes:
*All these recipes are plant-based, vegan, oil-free, and have no refined sugar (most have no added sugar at all).
These oats aren’t just easy on the eyes–they’re also easy to make and one of my favorite easy, healthy recipes to share with moms looking for healthy ideas for kids. If you’re looking for a way to get plenty of nutrition in your morning meal without ever cutting on the stove, this recipe is a great option. Even better? It features heart-healthy oats which are a great source of B vitamins, iron, calcium, potassium, and magnesium too!
This is hands down one of the most fun recipes to make, especially with kids, because, hello! You’re getting hidden veggies in a smoothie! It’s also one of my most popular and most nutrient-dense smoothie recipes on the blog. Get the recipe here, and feel free to make these with any berries you have on hand, although I have to say blueberries are my favorite in this recipe (and are also great for helping with memory and focus, according to research).
TIP: If you’re a college student in a dorm room, (or even someone who stays at the office all day) do yourself a favor and ask a loved one for a Nutribullet as a gift to take with you (or even buy one yourself if you have some money saved up). Nutribullets are excellent smaller, high-speed blenders that are great for small spaces to make healthy smoothies in just seconds for easy, on-the-go personal blending. I have several larger high-speed blenders and still use my Nutribullet almost daily. Even Dr. Joel Kahn, one of the top cardiologists in the country, writes in his book that uses a Nutribullet in his medical office!
This is one of my latest oatmeal recipes and is definitely one of my top favorites! It’s a great recipe for back to school because it has the classic apple in it as well as all natural ingredients. Even better, it packs in a dose of plant-based omega-3’s from chia and flaxseed, it’s low in natural sugar, and it couldn’t be easier to make. Everyone of all ages will love this recipe, so be sure to make extras and feel free to keep them in mason jars in the fridge.
TIP: If you’re off at college or have a long work day ahead, this is also a great recipe to keep in the dorm or office fridge in mini mason jars!
If you love granola bars but want a healthier alternative you can make at home without a lot of hassle, this healthy granola bar recipe is for you! Kid, teens, and adults will all love this recipe, and it’s easy to customize if you’re eating a nut-free diet or allergic to nuts (or coconut). It’s also great to make ahead and keep in the fridge, or you can wrap these up in individual servings for easy on-the-go snacking!
I just love these cookies because they’re fun, so darn healthy, and unbelievably crispy and chewy at the same time. In fact, when I made this recipe I had no idea how well they’d turn out. I’ve already made them three times since first airing this recipe and adore them with a glass of almond milk for a late night cap-off. They’re full of fiber, rich in vitamins, minerals, and omega 3 healthy fats. These cookies are also great for preparing ahead of time for healthy snacks. I imagine kids would even love these with some organic peanut butter smeared in between two for a healthy, mini little sandwich!
When I initially made this recipe, I actually had my inner child in mind. Everyone loves blueberry muffins, and one of my favorite ways to eat them was with a glass of cold OJ. So I added the juice of a real orange to this recipe and was blown away at how it enhanced the sweetness of the blueberries. I also love this recipe for sharing with family members because everyone loves it even if they don’t think they like healthy recipes!
Whole Grain Blueberry Citrus Muffins are also gluten-free thanks to the use of the wonderfully nutty and nutritious buckwheat flour (not related to regular wheat at all), and they’re also easy to make. You just need to have a few staple ingredients on hand and you’ll have healthy muffins all week long!
I became quite the little cookie baker over the holiday season in 2016, and lucky for all of us that means that I came up with all kinds of excuses to eat healthy cookies! I love this Apple Cinnamon Pecan Cookie recipe because they’re hearty, fluffy, and kinda cakey all in one.
They’re made with fiber-rich oats, oat bran, flax, and a host of other wholesome ingredients that are so filling with just one or two cookies. Sweet raisins and pecans enhance the cookies further, and if you’re nut-free, you could easily sub the pecans out with some coconut (a fruit), sunflower seeds, or just leave them out entirely. It’s just a bonus they’re free of added sugar!
Muesli is such a fun breakfast food because you just add some milk of choice over the top of a small portion, and you have breakfast just like that! Muesli is an oil-free version of granola, although some varieties contain a lot of added sugar which I prefer to avoid in a cereal. So, this past year I came up with this simple and easy Homemade Superfood Raw Muesli and now I keep it on hand all the time.
Sometimes I eat it right out of the jar as a replacement for granola, other times I stir it up with some unsweetened almond milk and eat it like oatmeal, and other times I add it to the top of some coconut yogurt and use it just like I would granola. Try this recipe out if you’re at college or have kids; you can buy the ingredients for it in bulk to save even more money and also change up the ingredients depend on what you like and have on hand. There’s no baking involved at all, all you do is pick, choose, stir, and shake!
Everybody loves smoothies, and one of the best way to help kids (or yourself!) eat more fruits, veggies, and greens is to blend them up and enjoy them in a tasty smoothie. My Strawberry Spinach and Sunflower Green Smoothie is one of my favorite and most fun smoothie recipes for everyone of any age, and it’s also allergen-friendly and easy to customize! It would make a great breakfast smoothie, lunch smoothie, or even an after-school snack too.
TIP: See my Smoothie Chat post about all kinds of ways to make this smoothie and more even tastier and healthier!
I simply love this recipe because it’s made with my favorite, healthy store bought cereal and combines cereal and smoothie into one recipe. It’s a great way to get the benefits of a whole grain and a smoothie all in one, plus it makes for a great snack too! You could easily sub out the Shredded Wheat that I used for a gluten-free variety or another low sugar, whole grain cereal of choice. Definitely try the smoothie recipe even if you don’t make the cereal though; it’s chock full of healthy brain-boosting benefits that are great for a long school (or work) day!
Another fun cookie recipe that’s the result of my cookie-baking session last holiday season! I think this recipe is my favorite of all my cookie recipes because it’s so classic and reminds me of my favorite childhood treat, PB&J. With zero refined grains or added sugar, it’s also super easy to make and incredibly healthy too. Kids will love this recipe, and if you have one that’s allergic to peanuts, just sub in some organic almond butter or Sunbutter instead!
Now for a recipe that is simply a must for weeknight treats… my No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies are the lovechild of my adoration for my mom’s homemade treats and my undying love for all things chocolate as much as I can get them into a day. These cookies have zero butter, oil, or added sugar and seriously are so easy to make. There’s no heating up the oven required, and they can be made in less than 30 minutes. Get the recipe here!
TIP: This recipe calls for coconut butter (not oil), and although I know that many people don’t like coconut, I promise, the chocolate and peanut butter totally covers up the coconut flavor. You simply need coconut butter to help the cookies harden, or otherwise, they’ll just melt and fall apart. You could also experiment with cacao butter, but I haven’t tried that option out.
Peanut Butter Chocolate Oatmeal Cookie Shake is an excellent recipe to make when you get a milkshake craving or your kids do. It’s easy to make with raw cacao or regular cocoa, and you can choose between cacao nibs or dairy-free chocolate chips. It also features peanut powder versus peanut butter for a lower fat treat and a thicker texture than using peanut butter. I love to use peanut powder in recipes like this because it’s a great way to get the fiber and protein from peanuts in a shake or smoothie without all the oil, and it is so darn tasty, too!
Here’s a classic smoothie recipe if you’re simply trying to get more fruits and veggies into you or your kids’ routine. Super easy to make, everyday common ingredients, and it has the option of using a boost of nutrition from a plant-based protein/nutritional powder. I love to use Vega One Chocolate in this recipe because it adds such a great flavor and has zero strange ingredients, fillers, GMOs, or added sugars of any kind. Get the recipe here!
TIP: This would make a great breakfast smoothie if you’re on the go in the morning; I used to enjoy a version of this at a day job I had several years ago while working at a local bakery, and it was comforting to know I was giving my body so many healthy fruits and veggies before noon even hit! (I also made this recipe in my aforementioned Nutribullet Pro because it was required zero clean-up and less hassle.)
Pick Your Protein Healing Veggie Stew is an excellent recipe to make on Sunday and pack up for lunch during the week (or even quick weeknight dinners). I also love this recipe because it packs in a ton of veggies into one single meal. All you need is a small slow cooker (or a larger one) to make it and it’s easy to customize even if you only have freezer and pantry items on hand.
My Red Pepper, Lentil, and Split Pea Stew would also be another great option for a heartier version, or you can mix and match the two depending on your preferences and ingredients.
See More Healthy Entree Ideas here for easy, healthy lunch and dinner ideas.
TIP: Make this ahead in a large batch on the weekend in your slow cooker, then cool and freeze it in small portions. Then just defrost and reheat in the microwave or on the stove anytime during the week for a healthy lunch or dinner!
Okay, that’s a wrap!
Hopefully, these ideas helped all of you, or you can at least share them with someone who might be looking for healthy back to school recipes, or simple healthy recipes in general. Plus, all of the ingredients are ones you can find at your everyday supermarket and/or health food store. Be sure to let me know if you try them, and if you’re headed back to school soon, good luck!
What’s your favorite back to school recipe or favorite back to school memory? Feel free to share below!