Breaking the Brown Bag Blues: Healthy School Lunch Ideas!

Heathy School Lunch Ideas

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. πŸ™‚

Additional quick, healthy snack 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?!


Related Reading:

Fun With Food
What’s for Lunch – Back-to-School Style
Back to School Workout Ideas: From Toddlers to Teens to You!

15 Responses

  1. What a cute Mini-Chris Man! Ca$h is the dude! I love your blog and wish I can meet you guys and attend your medical bootcamps.

  2. I have to agree! These are great kid lunch ideas but so many of us are not home during the day. I confess to standing in the kitchen in the evenings and often before work, trying to think of something satisfying to take for lunches and snacks that fit well with watching what I eat. A post for grown-up lunches would be great too.

  3. I’ve been looking for some great lunch ideas for myself…and I’m going to use these tips! Thanks so much Heidi! Packing lunches is my downfall and I often skip lunch…it’s my goal to fix this!

  4. Ummm, YUM! I am probably going to have those lunches myself! My baby is too little bitsy for school aged lunches. Though, he gets plenty of fruits and veggies with his homemade baby food. Thanks for the tips! Love it.

  5. You are such an awesome mom and I am always looking for ideas yours are great!! Where we are from (Vermont) you cannot have peanut or nut butter of any kind in school, so I mix up sunbutter with some vanilla yogurt and use that as a dip for fruit my grandson loves it. Oh and I will be buying some candy sticks today thanks for the ideas!!

  6. Hi Heidi!

    I love your suggestions for kids lunches! I also think these are great snacks for adults too! My favorite are cucumbers which I love to bring as go to snacks when I’m out and about or need a salsa and “chip” fix. Baby carrots are so easy to take on go and same with mini bell peppers. Today, my hubby and I saw a movie, and while everyone was eating those greasy movie popcorn, I was crunching away on carrots, cucumber, and mini bell peppers. 105 calories later I was full, content, and not to mention felt pretty darned smart! =) I love the nonfat Greek yogurt, granola, and fruit combo too! Thanks for the tips!

    Kindest Regards,
    Em =)

  7. Always have nice things to say to you and Chris πŸ™‚ I was wondering if you could help me with teens lunches. She tells me (my 14 yr old Barbie) the school lunches are awful. Thanks for any help πŸ™‚ PS this is a child who loves bread way too much

    1. The lunches in this post will work for kids of any ages, so give them a try! And let her use her creativity to plan her lunches-she’ll be more likely to eat it, and she’ll be learning some great skills. πŸ™‚

  8. The cover picture is so cute cashy is such a photogentic toddler ‘ i wonder where he gets it from πŸ™‚ Love the ideas and tips . Love ya #EWL#TEAM
    Heey By the way Mrs. Heidi and Mr.Chris Powell i sent you guys a letter of my thoughts amd thankfullness , and you Heidi told me you couldn’t wait to read it i was wond if you guys got it , can ya let me know please and thank you ! Hope you guys enjoy the rest of your day God bless : )

  9. Dear Heidi and Chris , i sent ya my letter of thoughts and thankfulness , i told you mrs . Heidi and you told me you couldnt wait to read it , i just wanna know if ya got it ? Can you let me know pls and thank you ? #you guys are the best !

  10. Omg cashys face on the main picture is so adorably cute such a photogenic toddler ! I wonder where he gets it from ” ?ya lovelydee #EWL#POWELLPACKRULE

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