Thank you, Panera Bread, for sponsoring this post! As always, all thoughts and opinions are truly my own.
I just love the start of a new school year – it’s so fun to watch my kids get excited over their new school supplies and countdown until the first day. Even though the new school year is exciting, it’s also very busy!!
Between getting the kids ready for school, dropping them off, running errands, working, walking the dog, helping with homework…that leaves very little time to spend on preparing dinner. As a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, I pride myself on feeding my family a nutritious meal, so for those busy nights, we head to Panera Bread!
Panera is a regular in our weeknight dinner rotation because we can get a wholesome, nutritious meal without spending time prepping and cooking. It’s also one of our favorite places to grab a quick, tasty breakfast or lunch. There are so many reasons why I love Panera, but my top reason is because they have tons of options that are super customizable for my family’s varied tastes, all made without artificial sweeteners, preservatives, flavors or colors from artificial sources.
Panera also offers half portions of all their menu items, so the kiddos have tons of options to choose from. We love to take advantage of the You Pick Two ® option! It’s perfect for our family because it allows us to mix and match food to create our ideal meal. My kids love the mac and cheese, and ALL of the salad options, so I usually order a salad and a side of mac and cheese for them.
Salads are such a great way to add in a few extra veggies! Because Panera’s salads are so delicious, my kids completely forget that they are getting a hefty serving of nutrients with each bite. And because they’re customizable, my kids like to add in apple chips every chance they get. It’s the perfect way to add a little sweetness and a little crunch!
I’m also a fan of a little sweetness and a little crunch. My absolute favorite menu items are the Fuji Apple Salad and anything with avocados!! Somehow the cashier knew about my love for avocados as soon as I approached the register…maybe it’s because she caught a glimpse of my shirt. 😊 I love avocados because they contain a healthy source of fat and antioxidants. I love to get the Turkey Avocado BLT sandwich because Panera knows how to pile on the avocados!! I also request avocados on any of my Panera salads.
When it comes to beverages, we are huge fans of the Agave Lemonade. It’s so refreshing and I don’t mind the kids drinking it because it has less added sugar than soda and is made with simple ingredients.
Now, there are times when my 2-year-old decides to have one of his toddler tantrums which causes us to bypass dining in, so I’m very grateful for the delivery, Rapid Pick-Up ®, and drive-thru options. It allows us to get a wholesome, quick meal without any hassle!
I hope that you enjoyed my easy dinner solution for those busy weeknights! Whether you’re in the mood for soup, a salad, sandwich, or sweet treat…Panera’s got you covered. Also, be sure to look for Panera products at your local retailer. They have a selection of yummy soups, chili, pasta, bread and salad dressings, that you can choose from to keep on hand for a quick meal whenever you need it!