Healthy and Creative Lunch Box Ideas for Kids

Get kids involved in packing their lunch so they are more likely to eat it. Show them how to use cookie cutters to shape sandwiches or make fruit skewers for fun food art. Some kids don’t like sandwiches so try using different types of breads or thins such as tortillas. Also try a variety of fillings such as hummus and cucumber, turkey meatballs and a Greek orzo salad.

Sandwiches

If your kids are stuck in a sandwich rut, switch things up by using cookie cutters to shape their sandwiches into fun shapes or try these creative skewers that combine both fruits and vegetables. These are great lunch box ideas to keep children interested and engaged at school so they don’t leave their food uneaten.

Other fun and healthy lunch ideas include these tacos made from whole edamame in the shell, chicken tortilla rolls and a variety of veggies such as cucumber and carrots. These vegetable sushi bites are also a tasty way to get more veggies into your kid’s diet.

Another great idea is to use stackable lunch boxes that have larger sections for main meals and smaller ones for snack foods. This way you can pack a sandwich in the large section, then include a few veggie or fruit sticks, crackers and a small dip container such as celery, kiwi slices or marinated olives in one of the smaller sections. This is an especially great idea for kids with sensory issues as it keeps their meal from being overly overwhelming to eat and encourages them to try new foods.

Salads

The addition of salad can add freshness and variety to lunches, especially if kids are tired of sandwiches. Try a homemade hummus salad that includes quinoa and feta, or one with more bold flavors like Greek Orzo Salad. Top a salad with dried fruit for a sweet treat that also provides fiber and vitamin A. Make sure to choose a low-salt or no-salt added option to avoid excess sodium. Nuts are another good source of protein, and 1 ounce (28 grams) of raw or dry-roasted nuts provides 5 grams of protein, as well as iron and zinc.

A hummus wrap, a hard-boiled egg, some crunchy vegetables and a piece of melon provide the protein in this lunch box idea that also has an appealing visual appeal to please picky eaters. For kids with a nut allergy, substitute the peanut butter in these bite-sized rolls with sunbutter or a similar product.

Fruit

The last section of your kids lunch box should include a selection of healthy fruits and vegetables. Providing them with a variety of foods will keep them interested in eating and help ensure that they are getting all of their vitamins and minerals. You can make it more fun for them to eat by cutting the fruit and vegetables into different shapes or putting them on food skewers.

You can also pack things like sliced strawberries with reduced-fat cream cheese, mandarin orange slices, or a banana. These fruits are easy to open in your kids lunch box and won’t spoil quickly.

You can use these fruits as a snack or pair them with other items that are part of their lunch like whole grain crackers, granola, or low-fat yogurt with chocolate spread. Some of these healthier snack ideas are ideal for kids who prefer cold lunches. You could even pack them in a thermos such as this OmieBox lunch box (aff link) if your child prefers hot meals. Lastly, don’t forget to pack them a glass of water or a drink of their choice.

Meat

When it comes to lunch, kids need a well-balanced meal that includes protein, whole grains, fruits and vegetables. The right choice of healthy foods can give them the energy they need to make it through their day. Avoid the “lunch rut” with these quick and creative lunch ideas. From sandwiches and salads to roll-ups and wraps these meals are tasty, nutritious and easy to make.

A little advance planning goes a long way in making the school mornings less hectic. Start the night before by making a list of items you need to pack and by checking the fridge and pantry for supplies.

Repurpose dinner leftovers to create a fun and nutritious lunch. For example, grilled chicken can be turned into a tasty sandwich and cooked pasta can become a refreshing and filling pasta salad. Invest in a set of quality hot lunch box for office such as these bento-style containers which offer separate compartments for different food items. Make sure your child’s box has a thermos (aff link) for those items they prefer to be warm.

Vegetables

Vegetables are food items that come from plants with soft stems as opposed to trees and shrubs, such as lettuce, carrots and cucumbers. This group of foods are very important for kids because they provide a lot of nutrients and fibre. Try a hearty veggie bowl for your lunch box packed with quinoa, bulgur, or another hearty whole grain, shredded chicken or tofu and a rainbow of vegetables. Add a sweet and savory sauce or hummus for dipping.

This meal prep-friendly vegetable roll up is a great way to incorporate healthy veggies into your kids’ lunches. If rolling is too much work, try this fun and tasty veggie sushi instead and pack soy sauce for dipping.

Use Bento-style lunch boxes that include several small divided containers for different foods. This teaches kids the importance of a balanced diet and that it’s not just about eating their favourite foods over and over again. This also helps teach them how to make a good selection of foods for their meals.

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