Healthy School Lunch Ideas
Most of us are always on the look out for easy, simple, yet healthy school lunch ideas for our kids. With the wave of easy lunch packs, many have started questioning the nutritional value of these "easy" lunches and have begun searching for alternatives. Personally I don't care for Lunchables and other non-healthy school lunch ideas they've put on the market recently. Like any mother, my time is extremely limited. Even still, I am always looking for quick, easy, and healthy school lunch ideas for my kids in school and at home.
Helthy school lunch ideas don't have to be difficult or fancy. Some times the simplest thing can be the most healthy and popular with your children. Below are individual healthy school lunch ideas you can use on a regular basis, or rotate for a variety.
SandwichesSimple yet often forgotten as a healthy school lunch idea. So many different sandwices can be made starting with just 2 pieces of bread. They don't have to be the same every day, either. Try PB&J, turkey, cheese, or even left overs from supper the night before. Roasts and chicken make excellent healthy school lunch ideas.
If you want to get really healthy, then try making the bread yourself. White bread can be used in all kinds of different cold school lunch ideas for kids. Check out our recipe for classic white bread here.
Tired of the same old thing? Need some suggestions for sandwiches? This ebook features over 300 different sandwiches you can use for healthy school lunch ideas.
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AppetizersWhile some may not be appropriate as a meal, there are lots of healthy school lunch ideas in the appetizer section of your favorite recipe book. You might find that a young child could easily eat many of these recipes as a meal. Vegi Pizza and Cream Cheese Dill Wraps are good examples of a healthy school lunch ideas. (Recipes Below)
Healthy School Lunch Ideas: Vegi Pizza
Ranch Dip Mix
Spread Cresant Rolls out on a greesed cookie sheet, making a crust for your "pizza". Bake as suggested. Let cool completely. In a bowl, mix cream cheese and ranch dip mix, then spread on to your crust. Cut up vegetables and sprinkle on the "pizza". Refridgerate 1 hour. To save even more time, you might want to make this the night before as a side dish for supper.
Healthy School Lunch Ideas: Cream Cheese Dill Wraps
Dill Pickle Slices
Thin Sliced Lunch Meat
Healthy school lunch ideas don't get much easier than this recipe! Spread cream cheese on lunch meat, wrap around pickle. Done! For younger children it might work as a whole meal, but most will probably need additional foods in their lunch box. Use this idea with any of the other healthy school lunch ideas listed on this page.
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Adding a slice or two of homemade bread can make nice treats. While it won't make a meal of it's own, it's great as a side. If you have a bread machine, making bread requires little efford. You can find many free bread machine recipes at RecipesForMom.
Click Here for Bread Machine Recipes.
Muffins & Healthy CookiesYou can easily make healthy snacks to include with the healthy school lunch ideas listed on this page. Some healthy snacks would include banana muffins, oatmeal cookies, and other muffins and cookies with healthy ingredients. Check in your recipe book for more ideas and recipes.
Other Healthy School Lunch IdeasThe following ideas were submitted, and are fantastic! If you have something to add, see our form below.
"Make lunch time extra special, include a small note, picture, coloring page and crayon, etc. in the lunch each day. Change what is in there from day to day. It will let them know you are thinking of them and will give them something to look forward to."
"Let your child help make his/her lunch. Discuss the food groups and make a chart of what should be in their lunch, then have your child choose one item from each of the food groups to put in their lunch. Kids are much more likely to eat a lunch they packed rather than trade it for junk food, and it is a chance to reinforce healthy eating. Even a preschooler can do this with a little help."
"Put out some bread, peanut butter, grated carrots or cheese, raisins, sliced bananas, dried fruits, crushed pineapples. Let your child make his/her own sandwich. For a little more fun, have each child make-a-face sandwich. Cut bread into a circle, spread with peanut butter, and make "hair" and "eyes" with raisins, carrots, apple slices or coconut."
Let each child make their own pizza. Let them choose from English muffin halves, pita bread, bagel halves or bread. Let your child spread sauce on top of their choice and have them choose their favorite toppings such as mozzarella cheese, pepperoni, green peppers, olives, or mushrooms. Then bake the pizzas for about 10 - 15 minutes at 450 degrees. Kids LOVE cold pizza!"
"Make your own fruit leather. It's so much better than all the expensive, full of sugar and other questionable stuff "fruit" snacks at the store. First you need a dehydrator. Then mash and strain berries, peaches, plums or spread sugar free organic applesauce on the fruit leather tray of a dehydrator. Follow the manufacturer's instructions. Cut into strips to make fruit roll ups. For fun add food coloring or a bit of colored fruit or veggie. Swirl the color through the fruit before baking in the dehydrator."
"Cut sandwiches into fun shapes with cookie cutters. You can also cut slices of ham or cheese into fun shapes.
Change the bread or don't use bread at all - try pita bread, bagels, tortilla wraps, or even crackers or breadsticks.
Dip - kids love to dip, so try apple wedges with a strawberry or peanut butter dip; cut up veggies and include a cream cheese dip. To make a bigger lunch, include pieces of pita bread, breadsticks or crackers."
Healthy School Lunch Ideas & Choices|
by Karen Clark, Mom of Three: 11, 8, and 2
Independent Director for Story Time Felts
Do you have a picky eater like I do? Is it a struggle every day to figure out a nutritious lunch to pack for your children like it is in our house? I've put together a list of choices from which my kids can select options for their lunches. I know in our house, the less I have to think in the morning the better! I put this list on the fridge and let the kids choose how they'd like to build their lunch! If they follow the guidelines, choosing from each category, I can rest assured that they have a nutritious lunch box! I hope this helps some of you as it has helped me!
LUNCH BOX CHOICES
Protein Foods (choose 1 or 2)
* shaved lean meat
* hard boiled or chopped egg
* cheese cubes
* string cheese
* cottage cheese
* chicken drumstick
* peanut butter
* beans, mashed or whole
Grains (choose 1)
* English muffin
Veggies/Fruit (choose 1, 2 or 3)
* baby carrots
* cucumber spears or coins
* green beans
* melon, cubed or cut
* orange wedges
* kiwi slices
* pineapple cubes
* 2-3 cookies
* frosted cereal
* fruit/dessert yogurt
* pudding cup
* granola/breakfast bar
Beverages (choose 1)
* 100% fruit juice
* water bottle
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