Beefy Back-to-School Lunch and Dinner Trends

Bedford, PA – With school back in session, parents everywhere want to make sure their children have everything they need to succeed. This includes nutritious meals to help them perform at the top of their class and in extracurricular activities.

PA Beef Council’s Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Beth Stark, RDN, LDN recently visited Good Day PA on ABC 27 in Harrisburg to recommend these meal trends to help busy parents save time and keep kids happy and fueled all school year long.

Bento Boxes

  • Even the pickiest of eaters can find something they like with the variety delivered in a bento box. Known for their divided compartments, bento lunch boxes make prepping school lunches easy to pack and fun for kids to eat. Fill the different sized compartments with different sides like colorful fruits and vegetables to accompany a kid-friendly lunch like these English Muffin Cheeseburger Pizzas.

Handheld Items

  • Back to school often means being on-the-go, so anything you can hold in one hand, like these Saucy Beef Wraps, makes for a great lunch and quick cleanup. As an added bonus, this is the perfect way to use leftovers from the night before to stretch your budget and save time.

Strength for Sports and Extracurriculars

  • For many, the day is only halfway done once school is out and after-school activities can require a lot of fuel.  Beef Jerky Trail Mix supplies a boost of energy to power students in between meals. Equally important, it can be made in advance with your pre-packaged trail mix, or feel free to DIY with your favorite nuts, seeds and dried fruit. Parents are sure to love it too!

Cook Once, Eat Twice

  • Back to school time can be expensive, but dinner doesn’t have to be. Recipes like this larger-batch One Pot Lasagna Pasta give you so many options. Using ground beef and getting creative with ingredients you might already have in your fridge or pantry like pasta, jarred marinara sauce, veggies and cheese is the perfect way to get dinner on the table quickly not just once, twice with leftovers or planned-overs.

Please see the clips below from Beth’s appearance on Good Day PA:

To keep the inspiration going, you can find more beefy recipes on

Media Contact: Beth Stark, PA Beef Council, Director of Channel Marketing and Nutrition Outreach,


The Beef Checkoff Program was established as part of the 1985 Farm Bill. The checkoff assesses $1 per head on the sale of live domestic and imported cattle, in addition to a comparable assessment on imported beef and beef products. States may retain up to 50 cents on the dollar and forward the other 50 cents per head to the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board, which administers the national checkoff program, subject to USDA approval. Internal links within this document are funded and maintained by the Beef Checkoff.  All other outgoing links are to websites maintained by third parties.