Healthy School Lunches as Easy as 1-2-3

by Mel on December 3, 2013

Make healthy, kid-friendly meals using our delicious ideas and nutritious recipes.  These simple ideas prove that cooking healthful food for kids is not only easy, but fast, too. Check out these ideas for wholesome packable main dishes and sides that will please even the pickiest kid critics.

 

busy familyStarting your kids off right by packing school lunches with nutritious foods that taste good will help them establish healthy eating habits for life. Instead of a sandwich on white bread, bag of chips, and cookies, try some of the following healthy items for your child’s lunch box.

 

You don’t need to make an elaborate, creative meal every day.  On those rushed days just remember these three simple steps to a healthy lunch:

  1. A healthy main dish
  2. A fruit/veggie side
  3. A food from the dairy group

 

All you need to do is pack something from each of the three groups and your child will have a healthy balanced lunch!  Here are some quick, easy, and nutritious ideas from each of the groups:

 

Group 1 – Healthy Main Dish

Wraps made with whole wheat tortillas, containing either lean cold cuts or low-fat cream cheese topped with veggie slices

Low fat cheese spread on whole wheat crackers.

Mini-burritos made with rice and black beans or refried beans in a tortilla with tomato salsa

Whole grain bagels topped with cream cheese-vegetable spread

Cold strips of grilled chicken with honey mustard dip

Fish-shaped tuna sandwich with lettuce on whole wheat bread

Pretzel Kabobs – ham, turkey, and cheese rolled up together, sliced, and skewered with pretzel sticks

Bean salad

Whole-grain tortilla chips with salsa

Peanut butter and jelly on a whole wheat mini bagel

Whole wheat pita pockets with grilled-chicken strips and veggies

 

Season fruitsGroup 2 – A Fruit/Veggie Side

Single portion-sized cups of unsweetened apple sauce or fruit without added sugar.

Baby carrots, celery sticks, seedless grapes, or apple slices

Dried cranberries or cherries are a sweet alternative for kids bored with raisins.

Mandarin oranges

Shelled edamame

Melon wedges

Cherry tomatoes with low-fat dressing

Pineapple chunks

Cucumber slices with hummus

Sugar snap peas

 

Group 3 – Foods from the Dairy Group

Dips made from yogurt or low fat sour cream.

Individual serving-sized packages of low fat yogurt, cottage cheese, or yogurt smoothies.

Low fat cheese cubes

String cheese and a handful of whole wheat crackers

Fat-free chocolate pudding

Low-fat vanilla yogurt with sliced strawberries

 

Check out our next post with ideas for some recipes for quick and easy main dishes you can pack for your child’s school lunch, and one fun and easy dessert idea!

Mel

Mel

Health Contributor at Creative Bioscience
I always look forward to expressive my passions in life to others and helping people make lasting changes. I live a busy life like the rest of us with kids, work, and everything else that can get in the way. Making time for exercise, and making good decisions about what we eat can often be a challenge. We sometimes lack the motivation and momentum to make lasting changes in our lives. I’ve been fortunate enough to really get my life in order and have some simple strategies to help you do the same. Mel’s favorite product is African Mango 1200
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