Do you hate packing lunches as much as I do? I haven’t even had to pack them yet for Demi, but I’ve packed more than I can count for Richie and I over the years and it’s definitely a task I dread. But even though I’m already cringing at the thought of adding another lunch to the packing list, I also know that it’s totally worth it.
That still doesn’t mean that it’s something I want to spend hours on. As much as I love seeing the gorgeous, detailed bento box lunches on Pinterest, I will not be recreating those! So for those of us who don’t are looking for easy, healthy school lunches, the key is to pack components that don’t require a lot of prep work.
As I’ve mentioned before, when I create meals for kids (and really, adults too!) I aim to include the following components:
- healthy fat
- fiber/whole grain
Now of course, this doesn’t mean that every single meal includes these components but in an ideal world, they would. We don’t live in an ideal world, so it’s important to not look at these and be discouraged that your kids would never eat a certain component that I’ve shown, or that you have to include a protein and a vegetable and a fruit at every meal. Do your best!
I still put all food components on Demi’s plate, even if it’s in small amounts and I’m not sure she’ll eat it. I hate wasting food and it’s really annoying to throw out perfectly good food, but ultimately, she decides what to eat and how much to eat, so I can only do my best to give her good choices to choose from. Sometimes she’ll eat them and sometimes she won’t. It’s important to not turn meal times into a battle!
So here are some ideas and easy components for mix-and-match lunches! (CLICK HERE for 5 more healthy school lunches!)
5 Healthy School Lunch Ideas:
Banana Wrap: Spread whole-grain tortilla with favorite nut or seed butter and wrap around banana. Serve with milk + coconut chips + snap peas + blueberries.
Snack Plate: These are my favorite type of lunches. Partly because you just have to throw everything together, and partly because cheese(!!!). Combine whole grain crackers + deli meat + cheese cubes + grape tomatoes + celery and nut/seed butter + granola bar.
Pizza Quesadilla: Melt cheese and pepperoni in whole-grain tortilla and serve with pizza sauce for dipping + kiwi and grapes + pepper slices + raw carrot cake cookies. You could definitely make a few quesadillas at a time to prep ahead.
Hummus Dippers: Whole grain pita chips + hummus + greek salad (cucumber, tomatoes, and olives drizzled with olive oil) + clementine + bunny cookies.
BBQ Chicken: Cubed chicken or roasted tofu with BBQ sauce + carrots & snap peas + raspberries + nuts or seeds + applesauce.
Hope I’ve given you some inspiration for healthy school lunches! I would love to feature YOUR favorite packed lunches in my next school lunch post. Comment below or shoot me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) to share your favorite healthy school lunches.