It’s back-to-school season across the country, and with that comes the question of what to make for lunch. And not just for the kiddos, but for adults, too. Ah, yes: The healthy lunch conundrum is alive and well for many of us.

But never fear – healthy lunches are here, easy to make and can be ready in a cinch. Here are five tips – one for every day of the work or school week – for inventive, healthy and delicious lunches:

  1. Finger foods like hummus, carrots and pita for dipping go over well with kids and are easy to pack, and foods on a stick (think chicken skewers) never disappoint. If you’re packing a lunch for little ones, consider tossing in non-edible surprise treats – stickers, love notes, joke cards, etc. An instant hit and healthy for the soul!
  2. Build a veggie sandwich and see how creative you can be. If it’s for the kids, let them pick which veggies to use. Think beyond tomatoes, cucumbers and lettuce – try arugula or roasted beets and peppers. Add sliced radishes for crunch and color. Check out last week’s Friday Fix about which produce is in season this month, and note that if you or a loved one is facing pancreatic cancer, the foods in bold contain lots of nutrients and cancer-fighting agents.
  3. Add a few healthy chips, crumbled crackers and raw or oven-roasted nuts and seeds to bring a bit of crunch and texture to your salad. Parmesan crisps work, too, and they are delicious and easy to make, to boot!
  4. Dress up last night’s dinner leftovers by sprinkling a favorite cheese on top (feta or goat are good options).
  5. Think beyond basic tuna salad and egg salad – consider smoked salmon salad or sardine salad, for example. (Yes, sardines! They’re beyond healthy, packed with protein and omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, iron and potassium.) Dab the mixture on whole wheat or multigrain bread with a handful of leafy greens, or skip the bread and add to spring greens with a little of your favorite healthy salad dressing.

Are you a pancreatic cancer patient or caregiver? You can access comprehensive disease information, including diet and nutrition tips, recipes and a booklet on the subject – all reviewed and approved by renowned leaders in the field, by contacting the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network’s one-on-one Patient Central support service by phone or email.

Come back to our blog each week for more Friday Fix: Your Weekly Nutrition Supplement.