Need healthy school lunch ideas for kids that they will eat can be easy when you have a few ideas in your back pocket. Head back to school with fun lunches all of your kid’s friends will want. You’ll find both cold and warm ideas for easy lunch boxes even a picky eater will love. Many of these lunches are great for adult lunches too. I have some of them for lunch!
9 Healthy School Lunch Ideas For Kids
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How To Prep Your Kid’s A Healthy Lunchbox
Making a healthy lunchbox doesn’t have to be a challenge. I often use leftovers from dinner and I keep a variety of fruits and vegetables in the house each week to help round out the lunchbox.
Here are a few questions I try to ask myself when I am making my kid a healthy lunchbox.
- What is the protein in this lunch?
- What is the healthy fat in this lunch?
- How many colors of fruits and vegetables do I have? (I aim for 3-4)
- Did I include whole grains?
How To Help Your Kid Eat Healthy Lunch Ideas
- Serve fresh fruits and vegetables at home often. Send a mix of them to school too.
- Test new main items at home first. If they enjoyed dinner at home they are more likely to enjoy it for lunch because it is now familiar. Some things take many tried before kids will like it. (7-14 before they decide!)
- Try offering a single bite or two of a new food. This works well with fresh fruits and vegetables, just add a piece or two next to fruits and veggies they love.
- Pack lunch together. It can help to eat a healthy lunch if they helped pick it. I love the Lalalunchbox app
- Serve lunch for snack time. Sometimes my kid is chatty and doesn’t eat all of her lunch. When I can, she eats leftovers from her lunchbox as her after school snack.
- It’s ok if they don’t eat it.- Really it’s ok! Try again in a few days and pack something different tomorrow!
As parents, we are in charge of providing the food, and our kids are in charge of eating.
Keep providing and don’t give up!
Where Do I find these fun bento lunch boxes to make my own healthy lunch ideas?
1. Cheese And Crackers Lunchable DIY
So many kids bring the very popular Lunchables to school every day. But a sharp knife with a block of cheese and you can have a cheese and crackers style lunch in minutes. Prep for the whole week at once, and mix it up with different kinds of cheeses like cheddar, colby, mozzarella, swiss or even string cheese! I try to pick cheeses when I can that don’t have added growth hormones and whole grain crackers.
I rounded out this healthy lunchbox with a sweet treat- our favorite clementine chocolate chip muffins. These muffins keep well in the freezer and are defrosted by lunch if you pull them straight from the freezer.
2. Granola, Fruit And Yogurt Parfait Healthy Lunchbox
Don’t overlook a parfait when thinking about healthy lunch ideas for kids! I often use plain yogurt sweetened with a little honey in my kid’s lunchbox, and then add lots of fruit and granola toppings. Sometimes I’ll use flavored yogurts (often Stoneyfield), but watch carefully the total grams of sugar. Many brands of yogurt for kids are super high in sugar.
Sometimes I’ll include a few chocolate chips or sprinkles for a treat. I also added a some cucumbers and sugar snap peas, and a few of Annie’s Whole Wheat bunny crackers as a side.
This lunchbox includes one of our favorite Lunchbox love notes to encourage your kid throughout the day. Encourage and recognize teachers with this easy and fast first day of school teacher gift. This three-minute gift has a free printable so you can even throw together the gift tag at the last minute.
3. Fluffy Pancakes (with almond milk) Lunchbox
Breakfast for lunch? Yes girl, the kids love breakfast in a lunchbox!
Make these fluffy pancakes with almond milk for brunch on the weekend, then serve up the leftovers in the lunchbox. These pancakes freeze well, and you can also use coconut milk in the recipe if your school is nut free.
Also try my Easy GreenMint Chocolate Chip Pancakes With Spinach or my Mini Pink Raspberry Pancake Kabobs for another healthy lunch idea. (no food dye in either recipe!)
I’ve added some sugar snap peas, cucumbers and a mini yogurt parfait with raspberries and granola. That parfait can be eaten on top of the pancake in this lunchbox if my kid is feeling it.
4. Basil Pesto Tortellini Healthy Lunch Idea
Pasta can be an easy win with some kids, and my kid is no exception! I mixed together some leftovers from dinner that include tortellini pasta, chicken, bell peppers and blanched broccoli which can be eaten cold.
Check out a summery version of this Pesto Pasta Salad recipe that’s perfect for a BBQ or dinner. The leftovers pack great in a lunchbox!
I go easy on the pesto and only use a small spoonful as it has a lot of flavor. This is my favorite jarred basil pesto, and I also like the pesto you can find at Aldi!
Added to this lunchbox is fresh watermelon, cherry tomatoes (slice for young kids!) and a few Mango gummies from Trader Joes.
5. Black Bean And Cheese Quesadilla Lunchbox
Does your kid love mexican style food as much as mine? These black bean and cheese quesadillas were a hit with her and easy to prep ahead. These quesadillas are cut with a lunch punch food cutter, but you can simply use a knife also.
6. Chicken Mango Fresh Spring Rolls Lunchbox (Great Healthy Lunch For Adults too!)
Have you ever tried to use rice paper rolls to make fresh spring rolls? This mango chicken spring rolls recipe is a healthy lunch idea for both kids and adults.
Not only does this use leftover chicken from dinner, but it’s also totally customizable. Rolling just two or three for a lunchbox is super fast, and makes a healthy sandwich free lunch idea!
I’ve added strawberries, sweet potato crackers, cucumbers and string cheese to this lunchbox.
7. Easy Kid’s Kabobs Lunchbox
This is almost a trick because it has the ingredients of a sandwich but on a stick, so it’s not quite the same. Give it a try, a little kabob can be magical for kids! This version has ham, cheese, whole wheat bread and cherry tomatoes. (Slice in half for younger kids!)
Also in this lunchbox is cucumbers, baby carrots, raspberries and pomegranate seeds.
For a sweet treat I included a few store-bought Larabara chocolate protein bites this time but they aren’t my kid’s favorite. She prefers my homemade chocolate walnut energy bites every time!
8. Build Your Own Tacos Kid’s Lunchbox
Tacos are always a hit for lunch for both kids and adults. But can you pack it in a lunchbox?
Using my Omiebox lunchbox I can send warm taco filling of ground turkey, beans, cheese and corn. In a pinch, I sometimes send my turkey chili with less broth. It took a little finagling but this trick helped me to encourage my kid to eat the onions in the mix.
This lunch also features some strawberries, blueberries and a little lettuce for on top of your tortilla.
9. Cobb Salad On A Kabob Kid’s Lunchbox (Low Carb Lunch For Adults Too!)
Kids need some carbs to fuel through the school day, but many adults may be limiting carbs for themselves. Try this Cobb salad on a stick kabob lunchbox idea!
Lean turkey (I try to pick nitrate free), hard-boiled eggs and cherry tomatoes make a delicious lunch. I like Great Day Farms hard boiled eggs in a pinch, but also make my own easy to peel hard-boiled eggs.
I’ve also added cheese, carrots, some thin pretzels (kids need some carbs remember!) and raspberries.
Hummus would also be great with this lunch. You can even check out tons of ideas of what to dip in hummus that works great for lunchboxes.
Need more protein ideas? My friend over at High Chair Chronicles has a great list of Protein Ideas For Toddlers that also work great in lunchboxes too!
Need more healthy lunch ideas for kids? Check out these fun sandwich lunchbox ideas!
Other Ideas You Will Love That Work In Lunchboxes
Did you try one of my healthy lunch ideas for kids? Tell me about it in the comments or tag your lunch on Instagram with @onmykidsplate