School Lunches

Lots of parents worry about thinking up ideas for healthy lunches that their kids will actually eat. After all, lunch is key—it’s the fuel that will get kids through the day. But never fear—we’ve got some healthy ideas that will get them excited to open their lunchboxes.

Lunchbox Basics

  • Include protein to help your child feel full longer.
  • Switch it up. Try to offer foods with different colors.
  • Be sure to wash all fruits and veggies.
  • Clean your child’s lunch box every day.
  • Get your child involved. Younger kids can help choose what goes in their lunch. Older kids can even pack their own lunches.

Did You Know?

Do your best to make lunches fit the MyPlate guidelines. That means the meal should be ¼ protein, ¼ whole grains, and ½ fruits and veggies.

 

Need New Lunch Ideas?

We all get tired of the same old, same old. Spice up lunch with some of these healthy combos:

  • Fruit with yogurt
  • Veggies and hummus
  • Black bean tacos
  • Turkey and veggie wrap
  • Chicken pita
  • Peanut butter and banana sandwich on wheat bread
  • Baked cinnamon apples
  • Mini “pizzas” made with English muffins for the crust
  • Granola or trail mix
  • Hard boiled eggs 

Mom tip

“I got my kid to try hummus when I reminded him that his favorite superhero ate hummus every day. Plus most kids love to dip their food in anything!” –Sandy

 

Healthy & Yummy

Try these tips for snacks to take to school.

Make a Lunch Plan

Lunch is more likely to be a hit if your child helps choose it. A list of foods that you can mix and match can help you make a plan. 

  1. Look for a free menu you can download and print that has healthy lunch options.
  2. Have your child fill in the blanks with favorite fruits, vegetables, grains, proteins, and dairy. 
  3. Kids can then mix and match to make a lunch menu for the week. 

Keeping Food Cold

  • Use an ice pack or freeze a bottle of water in your child’s lunch kit.
  • Use an insulated lunch box if possible.
  • Freeze fruits like grapes and cherries. They will keep the lunchbox extra cold, and they taste great as an icy treat!