The best school lunches are kid-approved, full of nutrition, easy to prep and super delicious. But packing healthy lunches for kids doesn’t always seem like the easiest task.
Today, I’m going to go over the formula for packing healthy lunches for kids so you can pack them fast and feel good about your kids’ nutrition – all year long.
Will Kids Eat Healthy Lunches?
You can pack the healthiest lunch in the world, but if your kids won’t eat it, then it doesn’t matter how much nutrition you’ve included. Here are some tips to help you pack healthier lunches that kids will actually eat.
Kids will get tired of even their favorite lunches if they have to eat the same thing every day. I try to plan 3 lunch items each week that include a combination of leftovers and fresh ingredients. This means no food waste, and it helps me prep lunches ahead for the week.
Re-imagine their favorites
Instead of saying an absolute “no” to the pre-packaged foods they crave, try making a healthier version of what they’re asking for. Recipes like homemade uncrustables, DIY Doritos, and even make-ahead nuggets are always huge hits.
These recipes make them feel like they’re getting the food they requested, while I know they aren’t missing out on essential nutrients in the middle of the day.
Packing Healthy Lunches
I like to make sure each packed lunch is a balance of healthy carbs, fats, and quality protein to keep them satiated and focused for the rest of the school day.
Here are some lunchbox builders to get you started. Mix and match your favorites for a well-rounded kid’s lunch!
- Fruit, all types
- Whole-grain breads
- Baked Banana chips
- Baked/dried fruits
- Energy bites
- Breakfast Cookies
- Homemade Fruit Leather
- Sliced avocado
- Deviled eggs
- Nuts & seeds
- Nut & seed butter
- Avocado egg salad
- Coconut smoothie
Whatever I pack, I try to sneak in a little “extra” nutrition by chopping veggies into a sandwich or quesadilla or serving a side of fresh veggies and homemade dip. Trust me, the dip makes allllll the difference.
Download Your FREE Lunchbox Builder Printable
Use this resource to pack easy, nutritious lunches your kids will LOVE!
Each lunchbox will be filled with a variety of healthy carbs, fats and quality protein to keep them satiated and focused for the entire school day.
How to Make Packing Healthy Lunches Easy
You can pack healthy lunches quickly when you have many of the ingredients on hand and ready to go.
Grab a compartmentalized lunch container and follow this simple formula to pack healthy lunches for kids fast:
What main item will you pack around? This can be a sandwich, wrap, quesadilla, or leftovers.
If your main dish is not veggie-centric, add a serving or two of crunchy carrots, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, or any other veggie your child enjoys.
Pro tip: consider adding a dip such as homemade yogurt ranch or hummus to make eating veggies more delicious.
Bring on the Fruit
Pack a serving of fruit along with the lunch to add colorful nutrition that includes vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber to the lunch.
Pack a treat
Whether it’s a homemade cookie, a square piece of chocolate or a brownie bite, something your child loves is important from time to time.
Want healthy lunch ideas at your fingertips? Then you NEED a copy of this 101 Lunches eBook!
101 Packed Lunches eBook
All my best kid-friendly lunches from over a decade of creating meal plans. Add some variety to your child’s lunchbox with these epic lunches, plus receive my Pack Meals Like a Pro ebook, free with purchase!
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