School is back in session and our kids need their lunch!

Photo Credit: Gimme Some Oven

Providing your children with healthy foods helps them stay alert and learning throughout the day and provides them with the nutrients they require for growth and development.

Getting lunch and snacks together can be a hassle. It helps to sit down with your children and make a list of the things they would like. Putting most of the lunch together the night before will save time in the morning and you will feel less rushed. Having your kids help prepare their lunch will also make them more likely to eat it. Here are some healthy lunch and snack ideas to help you get started:

Healthy Lunch Ideas

  • Turkey and cheese on whole grain bagel
  • Egg salad with whole wheat crackers
  • Peanut butter and banana on a toasted whole grain English muffin
  • Hummus and veggies in rolled-up tortilla
  • Whole wheat penne pasta salad with pepperoni or ham
  • Chicken salad on a croissant with lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes
  • Leftovers from the night before
  • Homemade “lunchables” with whole grain crackers, cut up cheese and turkey “squares”
  • Soup/chili or stew heated up and placed in a thermos
  • Tuna salad in whole wheat pita bread with lettuce and tomato

Healthy Snack Ideas

  • Grapes
  • Apple slices
  • Cheese stick
  • Carrots and celery sticks with ranch or hummus
  • Greek yogurt with blueberries
  • Apple sauce pouch (no added sugar)
  • Granola bar (made with whole grain and no more than 10g sugar)
  • Popcorn
  • Whole strawberries
  • Cubed melon
  • Whole grain cheese snack cracker
  • Homemade trail mix (combo of dried fruit, nuts/seeds, whole grain cereal like Cheerios or Chex)

Lisa B. Smith, RDN is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with the Southern Ute Shining Mountain Health and Wellness.

Homemade Granola Bars


  • 1 cup rolled oats (uncooked)
  • 1/4 cup flour (whole wheat flour, almond flour, coconut flour or GF blend flour)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup or honey
  • 1/4 cup peanut or almond butter (crunchy or creamy)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/3 cup “extras” raisins, chocolate chips, coconut flakes, almonds or a combination


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F and line an 8×8 pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix oats, flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  3. Melt coconut oil in the microwave for 15-20 seconds. Beat in the eggs. Add in the maple syrup or honey, nut butter and vanilla. Mix until combined.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until just combined. Use a rubber spatula to fold in the “extras”. Spread the mixture into the pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool before cutting into bars. Store in an airtight container on the counter for up to 3-5 day.
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