~ The perfect end to our series on healthy school lunches! Filled with much more than just empty calories, these deliciously nutritious treats are a terrific way to finish off your kids’ lunch boxes! Be careful, though … these healthy desserts are so tempting, and so sweet-tooth satisfying, your family may gobble them up before they ever make it to a lunch box! ~
It’s hard sending your kiddos off to school, isn’t it? Off into the big world on their own?
Don’t you sometimes wish you could secretly stow away and go along – quietly reminding them to turn in their homework, or giving them little pick-me-up hugs?
We often think that’s why parents will pack sugary desserts in school lunches, probably much more often than they’d dole out sugary treats at home. It’s one little way you can brighten your kids’ day, like a little hug when you can’t actually be there to hug your little ones yourself.
And yet, what our kiddos REALLY need is complex carbs, protein and other solid, sustaining nutrients to get them through the rest of the day, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, alert and energized and ready to learn.
So today, we tried to find the perfect crossroads of sweet treats and nutrition, with healthier desserts you can actually feel a lot better about packing in their lunches!
These recipes are sweet and satisfying, for sure. Your kids will loooooove them and feel special when they open their lunch boxes to find a yummy little “hug” from you.
Even better, though – you’ll love these recipes, too, knowing that they’re much more than just rampant sugar and empty calories. After you check out our post on lunch box main dishes, and fill in around the edges of with some of the healthy school snack ideas and lunch box sides dishes we posted last week, these desserts are a great way to finish off a totally kid-friendly yet really nutritious lunch box!
We looked for treats that would pack well and can be made ahead – perfect for school lunches. But we’re pretty sure you and your kids will like these healthier dessert recipes so much, they’ll find their way into regular rotation for lots of other dessert times, too!
One note … some of these lunch box treats do include nuts, so if your school has nut-free policies, you might want to save those recipes for dessert at home. Nuts are a terrific source of filling protein and healthy fats, though, so we wanted to include several recipes with nuts for those of you whose schools have nut-friendly lunchroom zones.
So here’s one less thing to worry about as you send your kiddos off to school! Hmmmmm … now about those homework reminders …
1 No-Bake Blueberry-Almond Oatmeal Bars with White Chocolate from Two Healthy Kitchens
2 Chocolate Dipped Walnuts with Sea Salt from Liz at The Lemon Bowl
3 Healthy Banana Cookies from Kelly at Tasting Page
4 Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites from Margaret Anne at Natural Chow
5 Skinny Funfetti Cake Batter Granola Bars from Amy at Amy’s Healthy Baking
1 Blueberry Lime Chocolate Clusters from Abeer at Cake Whiz
2 Flourless Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars with Chocolate Chips from Erin at Well Plated
3 Almond Cookies from Caroline at Taste Love & Nourish
4 Healthy No Bake Cookies from Krista at Far From Normal
5 3-Ingredient Chocolate Lava Dip from Two Healthy Kitchens
1 Kentucky Derby Chocolate-Pecan Cookie Bars from Two Healthy Kitchens
2 Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies from Taylor at Food Faith Fitness
3 Surprisingly Decadent Brownies from Two Healthy Kitchens
4 Healthy Chocolate Cherry Snack Cookies from Erin at Well Plated
5 Peach Pie Oatmeal Cookies from Amy at Amy’s Healthy Baking
1 4 Ingredient Healthy Almond Chocolate Cookies from Heather at French Press
2 Pistachio-White Chocolate (No Butter!) Butter Cookies from Two Healthy Kitchens
3 Strawberry Oatmeal Cookies from Abeer at Cake Whiz
4 No Bake Cookie Bites from Cara at Fork & Beans
5 No Bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars from Krista at Joyful Healthy Eats
And don’t forget about all our healthy main-dish lunch box recipes, and great school snacks and lunch box sides!
6 thoughts on “20 Easy-to-Pack, Healthy Desserts for Kids’ Lunches”
My kids would love all of these treats! Unfortunately, they can’t take the majority to school in their lunches since they contain ground/tree nuts. Bummer (> _ <) but we'll make some at home during the winter holidays. Thanks for the great list!
If your kiddos’ school restricts peanut butter and other nut butters (more and more schools do now – definitely in increasing numbers since we first posted this list) – a great tip for adapting many recipes that call for peanut butter and other nut butters is to try swapping in WowButter (a soy-based, nut-free product), or a nut-free sun butter (made from sunflower seeds). I can’t 100% vouch for how these swaps would work in some of the other bloggers’ baked recipes here – without personally trying that swap first – but it’s easy to try in unbaked recipes (like we do in our own recipe for No-Bake Apple Pie Cheesecake Pinwheels. I hope that helps give you some new options for school! Enjoy! ~Shelley
The banana cookies are amazing! My kids love them and I can’t help gobbling some up my self. #momlife #Cookies #banana #love #yum #Delicious
Oh that’s so wonderful to hear! It can be really tough to find healthy lunchbox desserts and treats that the kiddos will be excited about – I’m so happy we helped you find a new favorite! And hey … no worries on snagging a few for yourself, too! You deserve it!! 😉 ~Shelley
Thank you so much including my blueberry lime chocolate clusters. I can’t wait to try some of these other ideas for my my little one’s lunches. He’s gonna love those little bears! 😀
Hi Abeer! We were SO excited about those blueberry lime clusters! Seriously delish!! Hope your little one has fun with all these yummy desserts!! 😀 ~G&S