Coming up with healthy lunch ideas for kids can seem impossible. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are 13 kid-approved healthy lunch ideas that will make making lunches a snap. With options like sneaky healthy cookies, pizza, and fun wraps, not only can your kid’s lunch be healthier, it can be more fun too.
What makes a lunch idea healthy?
It can be difficult to know if the lunch you pack is healthy. There are five things that can help you know if your child’s lunch is healthy.
- It has a protein (meat, cheese, dairy, nuts, and legumes are all great sources of protein)
- It has veggies (green and colorful vegetables are great additions to a healthy lunch)
- It has fruit (fruits contain vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and are a naturally sweet treat)
- It has whole grains. (whole grains have protein, fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants)
- Watch out for added sugar! (Check out our article on Sugar Content of Kids Snacks)
You can find 5 more ways to make healthy choices for your kid’s lunch in this article.
Healthy lunch ideas for kids at school
I know the first ingredient is broccoli so you may be a little hesitant, but these bars are a favorite around here. They are easy to make and packed with fiber. Add some apple slices or orange slices to make it a more rounded lunch. You can also use this as a side to another lunch idea.
These gyro lunch boxes are a great way to get in protein and fiber into your child’s diet. It’s a good vegetarian option that comes with a tasty Tzatziki sauce made with Greek yogurt. It’s a fun build-your-own lunch that’s not a Lunchable.
Wraps are a great low-carb way to get the satisfaction of a sandwich. I like the veggie wraps for a vegetarian lunch, but you can also add ham, chicken breast, or even turkey for your kid that wants some meat in their lunch. Add some fruit or yogurt and lunch is ready.
If you have a busy week ahead, then these protein snack packs are here to rescue you! You can have all your child’s lunches ready ahead of time by preparing these as the main course then adding in various sides like sliced fruits, yogurt, crackers, and vegetables with a dip. That way it feels like a new lunch every day of the week, but you only had to put the work in on Sunday.
If kids ruled the world, pizza would be served every day of the week. But we know that’s not healthy, and diets need variety. These dippers are an excellent way to pack pizza in your child’s lunch without feeling guilty about it.
5 Easy kids lunches for summer
These filling little muffins are a great make-ahead item to add to your child’s lunch. Pair this with some cucumbers, seasonal fruit, and a protein-filled dip for a delicious summer lunch.
These cool, flavorful wraps are a great healthy lunch choice for summertime because you can make it ahead and take it with you on your summer adventures. Pair it with some seasonal berries or cool yogurt and ice water.
For summer days that you find yourself at home, tomato pasta is an easy crowd-pleaser that you can probably make right now with stuff from your cupboard. Serve with a small salad or some fun-shaped cucumbers.
Making breakfast for lunch is a fun way to mix things up with your kids. When you are at home this summer with your kids this is an easy lunch that will satisfy you and your little ones.
Tacos and mac and cheese together? Your kids are going to be begging for this lunch. And it is so yummy that it is a winner for parents too. It has ground turkey and hidden veggies that make this a healthier alternative to tacos or mac and cheese. Serve it with some fruit or yogurt and you have a complete lunch.
3 Bonus kid-friendly lunch ideas for picky eaters
A great way to get your picky eater to eat their lunch is to add something fun and sweet to the end. With these cookies, they get something sweet but you know that they are good for them too. Want to know the secret? These have chickpeas in them taking the place of some of the peanut butter. Making these cookies a sneaky way to get fiber and protein in your kid’s lunch.
These Peanut Butter Balls can be the star in snack food lunch. Add in some of your child’s favorite seasonal fruit and veggies sliced with a fun dip and you have a lunch that your picky eater will gobble up.
Adding pizza is one of my go-to solutions for picky eaters. And these pizza scrolls are a great way to get in some hidden vegetables along with protein The nice thing about these are that you can freeze them, and use them in your child’s lunch later.
Coming up with healthy lunch ideas for kids does not have to feel like rocket science. For summer lunches, I have included things you can pack and take with you and things you can make on lazy summer days at home.
School lunch ideas include ideas like gyro-style Lunchables, veggie wraps, and more to entice your child to eat healthy while still having a fun lunch. I have even included some ways to get your picky child to step away from the chicken nuggets and eating some healthier snacks that they think are treats!
Making sure your child has a healthy lunch can help set them up to have a peaceful afternoon and evening without dealing with an afternoon slump and 5 o’clock crankies.
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