Back to School Lunches from Gelson's Registered Dietitian Jessica Siegel

Check out these healthful back to school lunch ideas from our very own Jessica Siegel.

For our final video in our Back to School Lunches with Jessica Siegel series, Jessica and her daughter will show you how to prepare all the fruit and veggie sides and their favorite tools you can use when preparing back to school lunches.

In today's Gelson’s Back to School Lunches with Jessica Siegel video series, Jessica shares her Egg Salad Sandwiches recipe. You can easily cut this recipe in half if you won’t use all of it within a few days.

Egg Salad Sandwiches
Serves 6


  • 12 Vital Farms organic eggs
  • 1/4 cup Follow Your Heart Vegenaise, or to taste
  • 1/4 plus 1/8 teaspoon Lawry’s seasoned salt
  • 12 slices Rudi’s organic 100% whole wheat bread


Place eggs in a single layer in a large pot. Cover with 1” cold water. Bring to a boil, cover and remove from heat. Let stand covered for 13 minutes. Pour out hot water and add ice water to cool. Peel and grate eggs on the large holes of a box grater. Sprinkle with seasoned salt; mix in Vegenaise, and chill. Put two slices of bread together and cut into 2 or 4 pieces. Repeat with remaining slices of bread. Open sandwiches and divide egg salad among the pieces, using about ½ cup per sandwich; reassemble.

Cheese and Apple on Raisin Panini

Serves 1

This sandwich combo is my 10-year-old’s favorite. It can also be made as a cold sandwich using Food for Life Ezekiel cinnamon raisin bread and spread with butter just on the inside.


  • 1 teaspoon cultured pasture butter, melted
  • 1 Food for Life Ezekiel cinnamon raisin English muffin, split
  • 2 slices grass-fed Munster cheese, divided
  • ¼ small apple, thinly sliced into 5-6 round slices


  1. Brush both sides of the muffin pieces with butter.
  2. Place one slice of cheese on one inside half of the muffin.
  3. Arrange apple slices on top so that they do not overlap.
  4. Top with remaining cheese and break off any hanging cheese corners and pile them on top of the top cheese slices; cover with remaining side of the muffin.
  5. Place on panini press or in a skillet and cook until cheese is melted and bread is toasted.
  6. Cut in half or quarters and allow to cool on the counter for a few minutes before refrigerating overnight.

Pair with:
Baby carrots

Bean and Cheese Burrito with Avocado Dip

Serves 4

The beans will keep nicely in the refrigerator for several days so you can make just one burrito at a time and easily use the leftovers to make one on another day. Make and heat these the night before, then cool overnight in the fridge; pack them cold and they will be room temperature by lunch time.


  • 1 small avocado, peeled, pit removed
  • -fresh lime juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 15-ounce can light in sodium vegetarian refried beans
  • 4 sprouted whole grain wraps or tortillas
  • 4 ounces grass-fed shredded sharp cheddar cheese


  1. Mash avocado and stir in a squeeze of lime juice and salt.
  2. Spread ¼ can of beans evenly over each wrap but leave about ½-inch around the edges.
  3. Sprinkle 1 ounce of cheese evenly over half of each wrap.
  4. Fold opposite top and bottom edges of the wrap inward and roll the wrap from the left to right to close.
  5. Place in a microwave-safe dish and cover with a damp paper towel. Microwave briefly, until cheese is melted.
  6. Allow to cool slightly before refrigerating overnight.
  7. Pack ¼ of the avocado dip in a separate wide-mouth container for dipping.

Pair with:
Cherry tomatoes

Chicken Pesto Pitas

Serves 4

Pita may be difficult for younger kids to handle, so you can turn this into a wrap using whole grain tortillas, such as Food for Life Ezekiel tortillas if that works better for your child. The veggies are included in the sandwich, so you’ll just need to pack some fruit on the side and you’re good to go.


  • 2 whole wheat pitas, halved down the center and carefully split open
  • Follow your Heart Vegenaise
  • 8 cucumber ribbons made with a vegetable peeler from a peeled Persian cucumber, ribbons drained on a paper towel for a few minutes
  • 8 slices avocado
  • 4 ounces (1/2 package) grilled chicken breast strips, such as Applegate naturals
  • 2 tablespoons store-bought basil pesto made with extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 tomato slices


  1. Spread Vegenaise inside of each pita half.
  2. Place two cucumber ribbons and two avocado slices inside the pitas.
  3. Mix chicken pieces with pesto in a small bowl; spoon a quarter of the chicken mixture into each pita half.
  4. Pack tomato slices in a separate snack bag or small container so your child can add it at lunch time, otherwise it will make the pita soggy.

Pair with:
Red grapes