~ School lunches don’t have to be boring, and you don’t have to resort to less-than-healthy, store-bought lunch kits to keep the kids happy! These kids’ lunch ideas will have them happily munching through an entire month’s worth of yummy, healthy school lunches! ~
We both sent our kiddos back to school yesterday after another amazing, adventure-packed, super-fun summer. (Happy-sad, always! So excited for them, but so sad to see another summer come to an end.)
But already, just one day into the school year, we’re already battling “The Slump.”
You know … The Slump!
Uh-huh. We’ve all been there!
The “What shall we pack for lunch today? SLUMP“ … the one that seems to set in earlier and earlier each school year, as kids grow weary of eating the same-old-same-old and we grow weary of packing it.
So here at THK, we started planning ahead this school year, to ward off The Slump before it rears its unwelcome little head.
We asked our top blogging buds across the Internet for their very best easy, healthy kids’ lunch ideas. And we got loads of great suggestions! A whole, entire, wonderful month’s worth of suggestions, in fact! Four whole school weeks’ worth!
That’s definitely enough to ward off even the toughest Slump!
We’ve got lots of variety, too – truly something for everyone, from the tiniest kindergarteners to the almost-graduating high schoolers, picky eaters to adventuresome palettes, and everything in between!
- Sandwiches and Wraps! – Does your family like the convenience of just throwing together easy sandwiches, but sometimes wants fresh ideas for fillings and flavor combinations? No problem – we’ve gotcha covered! Way beyond PB&J!
- Fun Shapes! – And what about those fun sandwiches shaped with cookie cutters and made into all sorts of darling animal shapes? We searched to find some that were actually EASY – no Martha Stewart stand-in or food sculpting artist required! Whimsical enough to brighten their day, but easy enough that you’ll actually make these!
- Oh, Yes … Lunchables, Too! – Do your kids beg for Lunchables and Bento Box lunches? We’ve got fun, put-your-own-lunch-together-just-how-you-like-it ideas they’ll love!
- Peanut-Free Recipes! – Every school handles nut allergies differently, so we’ve included lots and lots of nut-free recipes that will be perfect in nut-free lunchrooms, but we also wanted to offer a few recipes that include nuts and peanut butter for those kids (like ours) whose schools have nut-friendly zones in the lunchroom. Whatever your school’s lunch policies, your kids will find something here they’ll love!
- Simple … and Also Adventuresome! – Are your kids a little skeptical of anything too new or unusual? Not to worry – we can still help you put a happy little spin on their lunchtime routine! And if your kids are into trying new foods and flavors, well there’s something here for them, too!
(Psssst … we’re pretty sure you’ll want to make extras each morning, because you’re going to want to eat these amazing lunch recipes yourself, too! 😀 )
Once you’ve whipped together one of these main dish recipes, all you have to do is toss in a drink, and maybe a couple of easy sides to round it all out. Fruit slices and veggies sticks are always great, but if you want even more fresh ideas for easy-breezy, healthy lunchbox sides, be sure to check out next week’s post! We’ve got recipes for everything from fruit kabobs and granola bars to homemade Fruit Roll-Ups … and so much more!
Happy school year, friends! May your routine be NOT boring, and may all your lunches be deliciously healthy!
5 BLT Egg Salad from Two Healthy Kitchens – Perfect in a sandwich, or as a yummy dip with crunchy whole-grain crackers!
2 Mini Deep Dish Pizzas + Dessert! from Two Healthy Kitchens – Make these ahead and keep them in the fridge, then pop a couple in each kiddo’s lunch throughout the week! So simple! (With a healthy dessert included, too – yay!)
3 Frozen Pasta Salad from Christine at Cook the Story – Easy suggestions allow you to adapt this pasta salad to fit each of your children’s preferences … and also to turn this make-ahead recipe into a warming lunch box soup or hearty pasta dish to serve in a thermos. So many great ideas here!
4 Egg-amole (Mexican Egg Salad with Avocado and Greek Yogurt) from Two Healthy Kitchens – Perfect as a twist on egg salad sandwiches or served with whole-grain crackers and veggie sticks!
5 Peanut Butter with Honey, Cinnamon & Cocoa from Brittany at Brittany’s Pantry – Two kid-appealing recipes for easy homemade peanut butter spreads! Sure, you can use these to make fabulous sandwiches, or as spreads for multi-grain bagels, rice cakes or whole-grain crackers. But you could also try packing these as dips for sliced apples, pears and pretzels. So many options!
1 Easy Pepperoni Bread from Two Healthy Kitchens – Delicious hot out of the oven, or as a leftover the next day. Make a double batch, and you’ve got school lunches and dinner covered!
4 “Veggie Faces” No-Bake Vegetable Pizzas and Wraps from Two Healthy Kitchens – If your kids love Lunchables, they’ll love all these super-fun ideas for make-your-own pizzas! Really flexible for even the pickiest eaters!
3 No-Bake Fruit “Pizzas” from Two Healthy Kitchens – You can create these adaptable fruit “pizzas” in the morning and cut them into wedges for your kids to enjoy at lunch. Or, you can send these along bento-box-style, with little containers of fruit and other toppings. Your kids can make their own yummy creations … just as fun as Lunchables, but so, so much healthier!
5 Healthy Chicken Salad with Grapes, Apples and Tarragon-Yogurt Dressing from Two Healthy Kitchens – Great as a sandwich or wrap! Or, your kids can dip whole-grain crackers and pita wedges – fun finger food!