Need some healthy school lunch ideas for teens that are both full of nutrition and easy to pack? You’ve come to the right place.
When it comes to packing lunches for teens, it’s not as easy as it used to be. They no longer want to pack their food in the best lunch container. Now, it’s not cool at all!
Or perhaps, you’re probably already thinking “what do I do if they think packing a lunchbox is dorky?”, “what if they want to pack it themselves?”, “how much should I pack?”, and of course, “what do I pack so they are not starving when they get home after school? “.
No worries, you aren’t the first to come across these questions or situations. So let’s start with the tips:
1. If your teen feels that packing a lunchbox is uncool:
While packed lunches usually include more of a healthy variety some kids find that carrying a lunchbox just isn’t… cool. In this case, it’s important to find a durable container, that will pack enough food, and will easily fit into a gym bag or school bag. Here are a few of our best durable lunch containers.
2. If your child wants to pack their own lunch:
LET THEM! You’ve been waiting for this moment for years, and now the time has come, embrace it.
Of course, you will want to make sure the fridge and pantry are stocked with healthy options like fresh fruit, veggies, hummus, whole grain crackers, sandwich/wrap ingredients. Otherwise, left to their own devices teens will pack chips, cookies, and 5 packs of string cheese.
3. If you don’t know what to pack:
If you just don’t know what to pack because a single ham sandwich doesn’t cut it, check out the recipes below. There’s a reason they’re our most popular here on the blog.
4. Make sure to pack enough food to keep your teen full, focused, and energized until the end of the day.
This is a major concern for parents. However, it’s as simple as providing a balanced lunch, with healthy fats like cheese, hummus, nuts, and peanut butter (or no-nut butter). Including proteins like deli turkey/ham, hard-boiled eggs, tuna fish; and the right kind of carbohydrates; whole grain bread, wraps, crackers, rice, and fruit.
If you teen stays late at school, it’s best to pack an additional healthy snack too.
5. Pack healthy treats.
Remember when your teen was little and you packed cute lunches for him/her? After school, you’d open the lunchbox and see that some things were left, but the treat was always devoured.
When they’re teenagers, they’ll still want to eat a treat; and while it’s convenient to pack a packaged item, it’s best to keep dessert full of nutrition with fruit, nuts, energy bites, or maybe a parfait.
Before you know it, they’ll be packing their own lunches and you’ll be left wondering, where did my baby go? Time flies, I know.
Here are 10 healthy school lunch ideas for teens:
Philly Grilled Cheese
Leftover steak strips or deli roast beef are perfect for making these hearty grilled cheese sandwiches.
Greek Chicken Flatbread
Change up the usual sandwich with this fun and yummy wrap! Pack it with hummus and veggies for dipping.
5 Healthy Lunch Ideas with Chicken Salad
Chicken salad is a great way to stretch out leftover roasted/cooked chicken multiple ways. Make a large batch, use some for these wraps and serve the leftover with a salad or crackers for lunches, later in the week.
These vegetarian inspired wraps are an awesome source of protein and healthy fats from the hummus, and also perfect on days when you realize you’ve already run out of deli cuts, which happens if you’re feeding teenagers.
Cobb Salad Wraps
This wrap is packed with protein from the chopped eggs and turkey. It’s so simple to make and of course, you could omit the turkey since these are hearty enough with the hard-boiled eggs.
You could call it our all-star lunch! It’s everything you love about burritos, in a bowl! Use your choice of protein like taco meat from last night’s leftover, cooked chicken or black beans. Send this lunch cold or pack it inside a larger thermos container.
As you can see, lunchtime is a BIG DEAL at MOMables and I’m always looking to make lunchtime healthier for my kids and your kids. That’s why you can find more healthy lunch ideas for teens inside my family meal plans which provide you with new recipes, meal prep tips, and shopping lists, every week!
Being a teenager is a big deal, packing lunches, not so much when you have lots of ideas!