Healthy school lunch and snack ideas for families

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Try one of these mix-and-match ideas to help you create a lunch your child will eat! Include them in any stage that is appropriate for them. If they can help shop, wash, cut or put together their lunch, they are more likely to eat it. It is sometimes easier for kids to eat a healthy lunch when it is presented in a bento box. This is a box with several different compartments. This is by no means a complete list but can help spark your creativity or help with ideas when you need them. Offering a variety will help them get the nutrients they need for growth and development, being mental alert and ready to learn! 

Healthy Lunchbox Ideas 

Main items with whole grains and protein: 

  • Whole wheat English muffin with chicken salad 
  • Cheese and whole grain crackers 
  • Mini whole grain bagel with tuna salad 
  • Turkey and cheese whole wheat tortilla rollups 
  • Nut butter and jam on whole grain bread 
  • Rolled up deli slices and cheese with whole grain bread 
  • Hummus and pita bread 
  • Whole grain pasta salad with feta cheese 
  • Whole wheat quesadilla with ham and cheese 
  • Hard boiled eggs and quartered pita bread 

Fruit: 

  • Cut-up apples 
  • Pineapple slices or chunks 
  • Unsweetened applesauce 
  • Quartered orange 
  • Strawberries 
  • No sugar added fruit leather 
  • Raspberries, blackberries or blueberries 
  • Kiwi slices 
  • Unsweetened fruit cup 
  • Melon chunks 

Veggies: 

  • Cucumber slices 
  • Cherry tomatoes 
  • Pepper strips 
  • Sugar snap peas 
  • Baby carrots 
  • Celery sticks 
  • Edamame 
  • Broccoli 
  • Green beans (canned or fresh) 
  • Jicama strips 

Dairy: 

  • Cheese sticks 
  • Yogurt 
  • Cottage cheese 
  • Cheese slices/cubes 

Other; snacks, healthy fats and dips: 

  • Avocado slices 
  • Hummus 
  • Ranch 
  • Salsa 
  • Guacamole 
  • Tortilla chips 
  • Popcorn 
  • Whole grain cheese crackers 
  • Trail mix 
  • Granola bar 
  • Homemade muffins 

Beverages: 

  • Water 
  • 100% Juice 
  • Almond, soy or rice milk 
  • Cow’s milk 
  • Sparkling water 

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