Two weeks of healthy school lunches for kids! These are the lunches that my kids LOVE, and they are EASY to make!
I hate to say it, but back to school time will be here before we know it. My youngest goes back to preschool in less than two weeks, I start back to teaching in 3 weeks, and the week after that Julia starts 2nd grade. I’m not ready for this summer to be over, so I’m soaking up every last day while also getting organized for the busy back to school season!
Getting back into a routine after the relaxing days of summer helps us to make the back to school transition smoother. We’re already working on moving up our bedtime schedule. Planning for healthy breakfasts so we fuel our bodies right in the mornings also helps.
Back to school also means getting back into a routine of packing lunchboxes every day. It’s important to me to pack a healthy lunch for my kids, because I know that they learn better when their tummies are full from a balanced meal. I try to include a fruit, vegetable, grain (preferably whole grains), and a protein in their lunch each day. We usually pack our kids lunches the night before because our mornings are very busy on school days.
Sometimes when it comes to packing lunches, we feel like we’re packing the same thing day after day. That gets boring, fast. So I’ve done some brainstorming to create two weeks’ worth of healthy lunches. These are things that (for the most part) my kids like to eat. They do each have their own preferences when it comes to vegetables and fruits, and their favorite meals are often changing. One week, cheese roll ups may be my 7-year-old’s favorite, and the next she’s tired of them and wants something new. Keeping her lunchbox filled with a variety of foods each day helps.
My kids love to eat from their school lunch box, at home! They were so excited on the days when I photographed the lunchboxes for this post, since they got to eat the lunches when I was done. If your kids are picky about foods, I recommend letting them try new things in their lunchbox at home before sending those foods to school. And even if they don’t eat certain foods, keep offering them. My kids won’t eat snap peas, but they did try them when I put them in their lunchbox the other day. I’ll keep offering snap peas from time to time, and one day they just may surprise me. 😉
I hope these healthy school lunches will spark some inspiration for you!
- If your child’s school is nut-free, sunbutter is a good alternative to peanut butter, almond butter, and other nuts butters.
- The lunchbox pictured in these photos is from Pottery Barn Kids, and is unfortunately no longer available. They currently offer this bento box, and I also recommend the PlanetBox as a similar alternative to the lunchbox pictured. Amazon offers many bento box options as well. We always include a cold pack in our kids’ lunchboxes, to keep cold foods fresh.
Our 10 Favorite Healthy School Lunches:
- Cheese roll ups (whole grain tortilla, cream cheese, cheddar cheese slices), apple slices, peanut butter chocolate chip energy bite, cherry tomatoes, bell peppers and white bean dip.
- Bean and cheese burrito, peach slices, mini almond shortbread cookie, cherry tomatoes, pineapple.
- Whole wheat english muffin pizzas (Top english muffin halves with tomato sauce, a sprinkle of oregano, and grated mozzarella cheese. Melt cheese under broiler for 3-4 minutes.), bell pepper and carrot sticks, raw almonds and dark chocolate chips, black olives, apple slices.
- Cherry tomato, apple, and cheese skewers (cut sharp points off skewers), cantaloupe, mini chocolate chip banana muffin, bell peppers & snap peas, cucumber slices, white bean dip (made with a combo of cannellini beans and chickpeas).
- Whole wheat pita bread, carrot sticks, white bean dip or hummus, salted cashew energy bite with cranberries (made with almonds instead of cashews due to Julia’s allergy), bell peppers, snap peas, strawberries.
- Whole grain waffle (from the freezer), cherry tomatoes, peanut butter chocolate chip energy bite, hard boiled egg, strawberries & blueberries.
- Almond butter banana roll-ups (whole grain tortilla, spread with almond butter, place banana in center, roll up and slice), strawberries, energy bite, cantaloupe, celery sticks, bell pepper.
- Sunbutter and jelly sandwich on whole wheat, raspberries with dark chocolate chips, cheddar cheese cubes, carrot sticks, blueberries & strawberries.
- Quick pasta salad (4 cups cooked mini farfalle pasta tossed with a mixture of 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon lime juice, 1 teaspoon honey, and 1/4 teaspoon mild chili powder. Add 1 cup each of canned corn, black beans, and halved cherry tomatoes.), whole wheat toast sticks with butter, strawberries, hard boiled egg, cantaloupe.
- Cooked chicken, brown rice & ketchup, cucumber slices, mini chocolate chip oatmeal cookie, cantaloupe & strawberries, cherry tomatoes.
What are your kids’ favorite healthy school lunches? Please share your ideas in the comments. 🙂
More inspiration for planning for healthy eating: