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.
Starting 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:
- A healthy main dish
- A fruit/veggie side
- 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
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
Group 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.
Cherry tomatoes with low-fat dressing
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!