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. These ideas a filling, quick and easy to eat and they’re packed with healthy nutrients that will keep your teens feeling their best all day long.
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Teenage Lunchbox Ideas
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 these tips which I’ve pulled together in a video for you. Then, you can read on, for more!
More Mature Lunchboxes
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 kid’s lunch container. Now, it’s not cool at all!
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 more “grown-up” options for teens and tweens:
- Swap the character thermos for this Minimal Food Jar
- Turn in the cutesy lunchboxes for the Packit Cooler Lunch Box
- Say goodbye to boring tupperware and try these sophisticated glass containers
Packing Their Own Lunches
If your teen 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.
My ebook 101 Packed Lunches is perfect for teens who are packing their own lunches!
101 Teen-Friendly Lunches
In this ebook, you’ll find over 100 photographed lunch ideas to inspire teens to pack their own nutritious lunches. Plus, packing tips to keep things fresh and videos so they can follow along as they’re packing.
When they’re using this book, you’ll know that the lunches the teens are packing themselves are filled with nutritious ingredients and something you’ll be glad they’re eating at school.
Filling Foods for Teenage Lunches
Finding foods that won’t leave your teen feeling like they’re “starving” by the end of the day 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 your teen stays late at school, it’s best to pack an additional healthy snack or two, too.
Packing Healthy Treats
Remember when your teen was little and you packed cute lunches for them? 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 homemade parfait.
What to Pack for Teens for Lunch
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 that these are some of the most popular recipes on this site! You can also use my book, 101 Packed Lunches to find even more lunchbox inspiration.
Healthy School Lunch Recipe Ideas for Teens:
These healthy lunches for school are always huge hits with the teens. Or, as “always” as anything can be with teens. This list will give you a good variety to start with from things my own teens and teenage exchange students have enjoyed.
Nobody wants to be seen with a PB&J anymore (or so I’m told), so give them an “adult lunch” upgrade with one of these ideas. I’ll give you a list and recipes below, but for those of you who prefer the visual, you can watch how I pack my teen’s lunches here and grab the recipes below.
Now, on to the recipes!
Philly Grilled Cheese
Leftover steak strips or deli roast beef are perfect for making these hearty grilled cheese sandwiches.
It’s like a grilled cheese “but cooler” & more filling!
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 in 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. Add in a few handfuls of Banana Chips for your teen to snack on between meals.
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. For the teenager who is still a child at heart, include some homemade Strawberry Fruit Leather on the side.
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. When you are done planning all your teen’s lunches, you’ll be ready to make one of these dinner ideas for tonight!
Being a teenager is a big deal, packing lunches, not so much when you have lots of ideas! Here’s one last recipe that your teens are sure to love seeing in their lunchbox tomorrow!Print