10 Quick and Easy Healthy Lunches for School

For many parents who prepare lunch for their kids, easy-prep and healthy foods are primary concerns.

Here are 10 lunchbox or at-home lunch ideas that can be altered to suit what is in your fridge as well as your children’s likes and dietary needs:

  1. Spread reduced fat cream-cheese on whole-grain bread or a bagel and cover with sliced strawberries or blueberries.
  2. Spread 8-inch whole-grain tortillas with pizza sauce and layer with dark leafy greens and shredded mozzarella cheese. Roll up the tortilla(s) and microwave about 45 seconds or until the cheese melts. Slice the roll-up into bite-size rounds.
  3. Pack some turkey breast or lean roast beef deli slices, bread sticks, and a small container with a dip (e.g., mustard, hummus, ranch dressing). At lunchtime kids can wrap the turkey slices around the bread sticks, dip it and enjoy.
  4. Kids love eating colorful foods with crunch. Perk up the lunch box with a variety of colorful cut up veggies and low-fat ranch (or other) dressing or peanut butter for dipping.
  5. Make peanut butter and no-sugar-added jelly sandwiches on whole-grain bread, and use cookie cutters to create fun and surprising sandwich shapes. Parents can enjoy the cookie cutter “scraps” for breakfast or lunch so nothing is wasted. For variety, use banana slices or raisins instead of jelly.
  6. With a fork, mash up some black beans, pinto beans or reduced-fat refried beans. Moisten the mash with salsa, sprinkle with lime juice, and add whatever else you may have on hand such as chopped onion, chopped olives, diced tomato or shredded carrots. Spread on a whole-grain bun or bread, or put in a pita pocket. Sprinkle with shredded cheese or top with avocado slices, if desired.
  7. Mash up a hard-boiled egg and mix it with some low-fat mayo or yogurt. Add some diced tomato, blueberries, sliced strawberries, or pieces of whatever fruit is on hand, and spread on whole-grain bread, bagel or bun.
  8. Mix your leftover cold whole-grain spaghetti or linguini with some olive oil and frozen veggies such as carrots, snow peas or broccoli. Send a container of marinara or other sauce to add at lunchtime – the veggies will thaw by then.
  9. Pack a hard-boiled egg or pieces of leftover cold chicken, whole-grain crackers, sticks of cheese, some fruit and hummus or other dip.
  10. Roll some low-fat cheese sticks into slices of deli turkey, roast beef or lean ham. Place the roll-up in a whole-grain hot dog bun. Include packets or containers of your child’s favorite hot dog condiments such as ketchup, mustard or relish.

Lunch packing tip: If you freeze banana slices, berries or grapes before packing them into containers, they will keep the lunchbox cool and thaw by meal time.

Source: Eating Well
Photo credit: Melissa on Flickr

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