At last, temperatures are dropping, summer is coming to a close, and in nearly every part of the country, school is back in session. With every new school year comes a laundry list of activities: lengthy homework assignments. martial arts, gymnastics, and dance class, and that’s just the after school schedule! Doesn’t it feel like every waking moment during these school months is consumed with some extracurricular activity?!
With so much to do and so many places to be, sadly, it becomes way too easy to start turning to quick meal fixes and unhealthy convenience foods for our kids’ lunches instead of healthy and freshly prepped food.
Bonus: if you’re looking for lunch boxes, this Ruby-approved unicorn lunch box is sure to do the trick. We’re also loving this for the boys, and this for Marley. If you’re looking for a grown up lunch box, this is our absolute favorite—just look at all those compartments!
For the Powell Pack, making sure all of my littles are getting the nutritious lunches they need to fuel their full day is imperative, and sometimes, that means planning those school time meals days in advance! It also means breaking away from the white bread sandwich norm and prepping yummy, creative, healthy foods that my picky eaters won’t crinkle their noses up to!
My Favorite Healthy School Lunch Ideas:
Kid-friendly Kabobs: The kids have SO much fun with these finger favorites, I mean, it’s a meal on a stick—what’s more fun than that?! These sturdy lollipop sticks make them easy to prep too! Plus they come in multiple colors. Our go-tos are fruit kabobs, breadless sandwich kabobs, and one of my faves—salad on a stick! Round up your favorite bit-sized ingredients, stack them on a lollipop stick, and you’re good to go!
Meat and Cheese Roll-Ups: Instead of packing a standard sandwich, take a couple of pieces of deli meat and roll cheese inside for a yummy meat and cheese roll-up. Better yet, throw a few slices of cucumber or tomato in the middle and wrap the entire roll up in a piece of iceberg lettuce for a mini lettuce sandwich! Add a side of mustard or flavored hummus for dipping, and your kiddos won’t even miss that carb-loaded bread.
Dip Day: Speaking of dipping…If your kids are anything like mine, they’ll eat just about anything they can “dip.” Try sending an entire dipper lunch! Here’s how: pack tuna or chicken salad prepared in a light mayo with some crackers for scooping. For sides, send them with apples and celery with peanut butter, carrots, and broccoli with hummus, or berries with yogurt dip.
These school lunches have been such a staple for the Powell Pack. Just look at this #throwback photo of Cash!
These finger foods are not only good for your kids, but they are easy to make, easy to clean up, and hands-on entertainment for the kids. Total win! Plus, You’ll make the grade as a “cool mom” too! These containers are perfect for these school lunches—there are perfectly portioned compartments, and they’re completely dip-friendly. 🙂
Additional quick, healthy snack ideas:
- Cubed fruit
- Trail mix
- Hard-boiled eggs
- Frozen fruit smoothies (click here for some pre-packed smoothie ideas)
So when it comes time to pack lunches for your kiddos this school year, break out of the brown bag blues and try your hand at some of these creative lunches. They’ll keep your their tummies full and their bodies moving! What are your family’s lunchtime favorites?!