Whether your kiddos are learning online or in person, they’ll still need lunch. Looking for healthy lunch ideas for school? We got ’em. Full disclosure: my school lunch for many years included a baloney sandwich, Hi-C punch and a Little Debbie. Those empty calories fueled many a phonics lesson and I love eating vegetables now.
The best trick for getting those healthy lunch ideas flowing is not to overthink it. You can easily make something nutritious for your little ones–maybe even the same thing every day–and tweens and teens are more than capable of packing something for themselves. If they’re learning from home this semester, they may even enjoy the chance to take a break and whip up a hot lunch.
Of course it’s important to achieve a good balance of proteins, produce and whole grains, but that’s over the course of an entire day. Don’t feel guilty for neglecting to pack every color on the proverbial plate into one brown bag. Take a deep breath, try some of these easy ideas and remember that no one packed hummus when you were a kid and they probably turned out just fine.
Little ones will enjoy making their own fruit kabobs, which can do double duty as a side or snack.
Asian noodles take less than ten minutes to toss together, and make use of stray veggies hanging out in your fridge.
If you pack this chicken noodle soup in a thermos, the noodles will get a bit squishy by lunchtime. But aren’t overcooked noodles one of the simple joys of a school lunch?
You could make your own salad dressing if you have time or a willing teen. If not, go for bottled and try one of our ideas for no-cook summer salads that pull their weight as a main course.
Granola is such a work horse. Eat it alone as a snack, sprinkle it over plain yogurt or cottage cheese as a treat. Let your kid mix and match their favorite nuts and dried fruits.
Here’s a secret: you can wrap just about anything up in a spring roll wrapper. The Vietnamese version is a classic for good reason, but you could substitute small strips of lunch meat or tofu for the shrimp and pork and they’ll still be tasty and fun.
Any berry will shine in this Florida blueberry bread recipe. It’s light on the sugar, and adding a layer of cream cheese makes it a complete (and completely delicious) protein.