Spoiler Alert: This post is the result of my personal rant against trying to prepare easy and healthy school lunches for my kids. It’s not them that makes it such a challenge – for some reason it’s me. Finding healthy lunch ideas feels impossible. I like simple and easy school lunch ideas or recipes that any mom (including me) can whip up for her kids or teens and maybe even have a bit of a healthy, clean-eating lunch left over for herself. I’ve started off with a school lunch foods list…
Is it just me? Fixing lunches has somehow become the bane of my existence. It just seems…well, hard! I don’t know why – there’s no rational explanation. I just can’t stand packing lunches.
Tastes change from day to day. Things were too cold. They were too hot. I didn’t pack what they wanted to eat. They love it for dinner – but it’s yucky when they see it again the next day for lunch. I’d love for you to comment below and tell me your child’s latest reasoning (and I use that word loosely) for not eating their lunch.
Trust me, I can “mess up” a school lunch ten ways from Sunday. But I’m sharing a few of my tips, tricks, and hacks and I called in some reinforcements from around the web to share their most favorite kid friendly, simple, healthy, lunch box ideas.
Healthy Lunch Ideas That I Don’t Do
I don’t do anything remotely cute with lunch food stuffs. So you don’t have to worry that there will be anything so fancy here that it will make your eyes roll back in your head while you fall to the sofa with a sleeve of Oreos saying, “Oh, puleeeeeeze! I barely have time to take a shower.”
I don’t make animals out of sandwiches. I don’t make emojis out of pancakes. I don’t make it look like extinct reptiles are eating their healthy lunch in order to entice my kids to eat theirs.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not knocking the moms who do. I just don’t have a nervous system that can handle that kind of daily pressure or rejection when it doesn’t get eaten.
If I get a pretty healthy lunch in the box and that makes it into their belly – my work here is done.
Lunch Is Their Fuel For The Afternoon
If you’re like me, you want to make sure that your children have a nutritious and varied lunch that will help fuel them throughout the remainder of their day. My boys, 4 and 7, also have a snack break at school – so I also need something that’s easy for them to grab at snack time.
Related Post You May Also Enjoy: The 2 Most Unhealthy Lunch Options That You’re Probably Giving Your Kids
Studies have shown that children who eat a well-balanced lunch often do better in school and are more alert.” (source) They are better behaved, are able to focus better, get in trouble less frequently, and perform better on tests! (source)
Here’s one of my tips: I always try to make enough of the protein for dinner the night before so that I can send that for lunch in a thermos (steak, meatloaf, chicken breast, etc.). Then I can add in fruits and veggies that I have. It always gets harder when there isn’t anything left over or it’s something that doesn’t reheat well (fish, for example). So then I have to start from scratch.
And remember that you don’t pack is just as important as what you do pack. Sugary or processed foods with little or no nutritional value top the list of poor lunch options. You want to think of foods that rev your energy, are satisfying and lasting, but don’t make you feel like you want to curl up on the sofa and nap!
Related Post You May Also Enjoy: 4 More Hidden Unhealthy Lunch Options
So What Are My Best Healthy School Lunch Ideas?
If you thought you had lots of ideas, but now you feel like you’ve used them up – there are so many great ideas here that you will definitely find a new stash of “keeper” recipes! Check out these fun, healthy school lunch ideas to get you moving toward a satisfying and nutritious lunch for your child.
Three Of My Best Tips To Get Them To Eat It
Moms around the world use this time honored tactic to get kids to do what we want them to: make it fun!!! I love the idea of my son getting a sweet little note or joke in his lunch box to make him smile and give him something to share with his friends.
If you aren’t the most creative in this particular department, here are some of my favorites to help you get a smile or a laugh out of them even if you can’t be with them:
We’ve all heard, “We eat with our eyes.” So, I try to make it pretty – definitely not a work of art – but attractive. Here are a few of my favorite ways to “pretty” up the lunch box:
I have one more secret…you know how they say that kids will eat food that they help prepare (or even that they grow)? Well, a lot of times, I find that to be true. But since I don’t make “pretty” food…
I have a friend, Tiffany, over at Peanut Blossom who does make pretty food that’s delicious and healthy. She also happens to take beautiful photos of said pretty, delicious, and healthy food. So much so, that she put her most beloved recipes together in The Ultimate Kids’ Cookbook!
So if your kids
- enjoy cooking;;
- you’ve always wanted to cook with them; or
- maybe you just want them to learn how to make pretty food…
now is your chance!
Don’t Forget To Pin This To Come Back To All Year Long: