Here’s How We Roll: A Quick Healthy Lunch Idea

My mom used to say she felt like a short order cook when my three siblings and I were young.  Now I understand.  There’s only so many battles I can fight in one day with the little people, and the lunch menu isn’t one I usually choose.  Although I encourage my kids to try new foods at times (usually at dinner), I often end up as a semi-short order cook at lunch.

One of the quickest, healthiest, and most popular lunches around here are what we call “roll-ups”.  The thing I like about roll-ups is that I can tailor them for each kid and for me, too.  I can also sneak in extra veggies for us, since cheese covers up a “multitude of sins.”

Here are the basics of the “recipe” and a few ways we roll, but this is your game, baby.  Feel free to do some of your own short order rolling for your gang.

1 – Start with a whole wheat or whole grain tortilla.  This isn’t easy, to be honest. Most prepackaged tortillas are full of tons of unrecognizable, highly processed ingredients and preservatives that I’m not excited to feed anyone, much less my little ones.  The best tasting tortillas with real ingredients I’ve found are from Trader Joe’s (as you may know, I heart TJ’s). I buy several packages when I make it to TJs and freeze them until ready to use.

2 – Use a binder like shredded cheese, cream cheese, hummus, or a nut butter to add fat (to make it yummy and filling), protein, and so the whole thing will stay together once it’s rolled up.

3 – Add any additional ingredients that make sense with your binder (i.e. honey, veggies, deli meat).

4 –If needed, microwave your roll up for about 10-20 seconds to soften the tortilla, melt cheese or melt the nut butter a bit.

5 – Roll up and eat burrito-style or cut into “sushi” slices.

Here are a few of our favorite roll-up combinations, but the possibilities are endless really.

Peanut Butter and Honey Roll-Up

Hummus, Cheddar Cheese and Turkey Roll-Up

Sneak a little spinach into the Hummus, Cheese, and Turkey Roll-Up to up the nutrition…

Cream Cheese, Spinach, and Avocado Roll-Up

 Let’s hear your ideas.  What would you add to your roll up? 

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  5. Vikki says

    when my mom got sick and there were dozens of doctors visits I’d make up peanut butter and honey crunch roll ups, to carry with. They didn’t need to be refrigerated and are very portable. I simply spread tortillas with natural peanut butter, drizzle with a little honey and then sprinkle with homemade granola. the granola gave it a nice crunch and added a little more nuttiness. they are our go too snack when I know we’re going to be out and about all day.

    my personal favorite is to chop up some romaine lettuce, add shredded carrots, minced onion and thin sliced sweet peppers (red if I have them). Place it all in a bowl and drizzle with cumin lime dressing. next lay out your tortillas, make a small bed of salad down the middle and top with left over chicken. I don’t care for cheese on mine by most of my family does. then roll it up, cut it diagonally through the middle and wrap each end in a paper towel to help hold it all together. So fresh, so good and uses up left overs from my fridge.

    • Rachel says


      Love the granola addition for crunch, and the chicken wrap suggestion, too. I’ll have to find a cumin lime dressing recipe. Sounds delish!

  6. Sara Gorman says

    We like to roll up peanut butter and banana!

    • Rachel says

      That’s a great idea! My daughter would love that.

  7. Jena Meyerpeter says

    We’ve been known to roll with pb and j. My favorite is turkey burger (i usually have it cooked up with onion waiting in fridge), shredded spinach, and plain greek yogurt. Warm it up for about 15 seconds and it’s yummy and oober healthy. Warm green yogurt sounds gross but it actually gets a bit melty is quite good.