I am always trying to come up with new ideas for the girls lunch boxes. Neither one of my kids care for cold sandwiches (they get it from their father), so I struggle to find items they will eat. I used to be a stickler for one main item, one side, one veggie/fruit and one snack/dessert. Now, as long as there is no junk food and they have some sort of protein, I can live with it.
Most days, our youngest has a strange combination of items. For example, today’s lunch box contains sweet bell peppers (yellow, red and orange), red grapes, one piece of Babybel cheese, one Nature Valley Granola Thin and some Flavor-Blasted GoldFish crackers. Look, it’s not perfect- but I’ll take it.
I’m always asking the girls what their friends bring for lunch to help with ideas on easy things to pack. Sometimes they will throw out a great idea (quesadillas were a recent one), and other times the response to my question is deafening silence…
Here is a list of quick, easy items for your kids lunch box:
- Hummus & pita chips (you can also use sliced pita bread or cucumbers)
- Nutella & pretzels
- Sliced Bell Peppers (try all colors and see which one they might like!)
- Granola (buy a good quality with fruits and nuts.)
- Hard Boiled Eggs
- Chips & Guacamole (Avocados have lots of good fats in them!)
- Quesadillas (make them for dinner the night before and save one for the lunch box)
- Cheese. Not the orange slices we ate as kids- but REAL, good quality cheeses. Buy a few varieties and see which ones your kids enjoy. Whole Foods has a wonderful $3-and-under bin that allows you to try several types without making a huge price commitment to something you may not like.)
- Popcorn. Make some the night before and place in plastic bags for individual servings
- Banana-Bran Muffins (or any other healthy muffin option. Make them yourself to ensure they are healthy. Avoid store-bought muffins.)
- Meatballs. My kids love meatballs with BBQ or Marinara sauce for dipping. (TIP: Your local party store has small disposable containers like the ones you get with take out orders. I buy a package at the beginning of the school year and they usually last the entire year! Makes sending sauces much easier.)
- Edamame. If you aren’t sure if your kids will eat it- buy a small package in the frozen foods section and try it out.
- Mini quiches. Make some for dinner and save a couple for the lunch box the next day.
- Pasta Salad. Did you make pasta salad for dinner earlier in the week? Add some shredded chicken to it and voila- an easy entree for a lunch box.
- Ramen Noodles. Sounds odd, but they are easy to make in the mornings and one package usually makes two servings for kids.
- Pigs in a Blanket. Make them the night before and they are ready to go the next morning.
- Caprese sandwich. Use thinly sliced sourdough bread, spread with pesto, top with sliced FRESH mozzarella cheese and tomatoes. Top with another slice of bread and you have a wonderful sandwich. Don’t think your kids will like it? Don’t know until you try
- Nuts. Make sure you ask your childs teacher if there any children with nut allergies in class before sending, but almonds, sunflower seeds (seeds only), cashews, or other healthy nuts are great.
- Fruits. Forget the traditional banana, apple or grape. Try dates, figs, prunes, or dried fruits like cranberries, apricots and mangoes.
- Sushi. Ok, I know not every kid likes it (not to mention it’s a bit pricey), but if your kid likes it and you can keep it cold – sushi is a fantastic lunch option.
Favorite QuoteOne cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well. ~ Virginia Woolf
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