5 Healthy School Lunch Box Foods Kids Actually Love

We’ve been trying out a variety of new foods for the twins, since they’re now 14 months and open to eating just about anything. But it’s a whole new world for them…and for me! I try to keep things well-rounded, healthy, and tasty. All of that without unknowingly inciting a 1-year-old temper tantrum! HA! 

It got me thinking: I wonder if it gets easier or harder to feed kids as they get older? I mean if your kids are in school, and you’re running low on ideas for how to pack healthy school lunch box foods they actually love, what do you do? And if your kids are picky eaters, you can understand why packing a school lunch is becoming cumbersome. You’re at that point where you’re looking for some fun, new ideas, right?

Consider the following five healthy school lunch foods your kids will love!


Creatively Cut Foods

You don’t have to be super creative to have fun with food. A cookie cutter in the shape of your child’s favorite cartoon character or animal will do the trick. Some star shapes or hearts can help accent your masterpiece, and your child’s lunch sandwiches or snacks will be far from boring.

Simple Substitutions

The trick to getting children to eat their lunches is to incorporate their favorite foods into their meals. If they like carrots, make them the main ingredient in their lunches.

Are they not fans of turkey? Substitute it for chicken breast, which offers a great serving of protein for lunch. These ideas are all healthy options. If your child’s school doesn’t allow peanut butter to be brought from home, add some apple butter or pumpkin butter to change up the PB&J sandwich.

Delicious Salads

Forget plain lettuce-based salads. Don’t ignore pasta salads with peas, cubed turkey breast, and avocado dressing. Remember that children need protein, good carbs, and good fats to have a balanced diet. When you’re looking for healthy lunch recipes for kids, the possibilities are endless.

Cool Vegetable Concepts

Lunches should be balanced meals. For alternatives to meat-based lunch ideas, why not think about the following vegetarian options?

  • Avocado, tomato, and chickpea salad with hard-boiled egg
  • Lentil soup served with steamed tofu and seaweed salad
  • Vegetable tostadas
  • Vegetable quesadillas

Remember that legumes and other vegetables are an essential source of vitamins and protein for your kids. Healthy lunches mean healthy kids!

Fruit & Vegetable Extras

Kids are sometimes finicky about what they find in their lunch boxes. As parents, it’s our job to make sure that everything they need is in that lunch box: napkins, forks, spoons, and straws. But what other healthy options can you add to complete their meals? Some suggestions include the following:

  • Granola
  • Yogurt (in your child’s favorite flavor)
  • Natural fruit juice box
  • Serving-sized fruit, such as bananas, grapes, or strawberries
  • Serving-sized vegetables, such as celery or carrot sticks, hummus, or cucumbers

Fun and colorful lunch boxes themselves can also help encourage your kids to eat the lunches you’ve prepared for them. Imagine how you’ll feel when they come home and their lunch boxes are empty.

Naturally, you can feel a bit overwhelmed by Pinterest images of amazing looking lunch box ideas. At the end of the day, however, it’s all about your child’s health and how you’re contributing to it. You don’t have to be a food artist. Creative pairings of flavors and textures can create an appealing lunch for your child. 

What is YOUR child’s favorite lunch?!

Due to the amount of comments from all of my wonderful readers, it is not always possible for me to respond to each one. However, I absolutely do read them all, and if you’d like to address something specific, or have a question for me, please don’t hesitate to email me at Kristen@theroadtodomestication.com. I will respond to your email as soon as possible! Thank you for visiting the blog!

3 thoughts on “5 Healthy School Lunch Box Foods Kids Actually Love

  1. I like everything I see here and the best part, according to my wife, I’m in my second childhood so I can enjoy them myself. Often when we travel here in Mexico I pack my lunch because I am not a fan of those outdoor roadside stands. These will be perfect. Thanks for some new ideas.

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