Back to School: 40 Healthy Lunch Ideas for Kids

kid-lunches

Filling lunch boxes with a variety of healthy lunches is my September resolution. Martha Stewart I am not, but I want quick, realistic and healthy lunches when I am packing those lunch boxes for my kids.

The above image shows how colour makes food irresistable. I have never packed a rainbow lunch, but a colour-themed lunch is always a hit. This year, to conquer a lunch-making rut, I am going to pick one colour (based on whatever is on hand) and pack away.

40 Healthy Kids Lunch Ideas

Colourful Ideas
Red Day: strawberries, red peppers, pepperoni on crackers, cherry tomatoes and licorice

Green Day: green peppers, kiwi/grapes, cucumbers sandwiches, green jujubes

Orange Day: orange slices, carrots, vegetable soup and cheddar cheese

Lunch Presentation
I recently wrote about my favourite PlanetBox containers. They have revolutionized my lunch making because the boys feel like they’re eating a picnic – and who doesn’t love a picnic?

They are an “investment” product on the upper end, but after using them earlier this year, they still look new. I recommend any bento style box or picnic box that eliminates the hunt for matching lids and containers in the morning. Even if you don’t line up the cucumbers and cut the sandwiches into flower shapes, the entire spread is appealing.

Here is a list of healthy lunch ideas, by category, to get you started:

Sandwiches or Alternatives

  • Bagels – my kids love them toasted with butter or cream cheese.
  • Cheese wrapped with deli meat – pickle on the side.
  • Pita – fill with tuna or chicken salad or chopped lettuce and deli meat.
  • Cheese and crackers – we make our own “lunchables” (much more economical).
  • Leftover grilled chicken – cut into strips for a wrap (side note: my boys despise whole wheat tortilla wraps, but we just recently discovered a big hit called “Ancient Grains” by Dempsters).
  • Ham cubes with chunks of cheese and crackers on the side.
  • Mini-buns – perfect for little hands, with cold cuts or jam.
  • Perogies – quick to make and easy to store in a thermos, sour cream for dipping.
  • Chicken nuggets – heat and keep warm in a thermos, with plum sauce or ketchup.
  • Warmed-up leftovers of their favourite dinners – if it was a hit last night, why not try it again?
  • Rolled deli meat and rolled cheese with melba toast on the side.
  • Muffins – perfect project for kids the night before – carrot/blueberry/oatmeal – eater’s choice!
  • Tea biscuits with jam on the side.
  • Grated cheese, raisins and crackers.
  • Pasta – toss with olive oil and favourite pizza toppings, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
  • Chili in a thermos with a biscuit or bun.
  • Homemade soup with crackers on the side.
  • Leftover waffles or French toast with syrup for dipping.

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SOURCE: MrsJanuary.com
Cassie Howard