For the past four years, I haven’t had to worry about making her lunches during the week because they were provided at the child care center she attended. Outside food wasn’t brought in so every child got the same meal unless they had an allergy. While I am in full support of the school lunch program, I realize that if other kids are bringing lunch from home she will most likely want to pack a lunch some days too.
What will I pack?
Over the past week I’ve been brainstorming easy, healthy lunchbox ideas that I think she will like. We all want our kids to eat healthy, but goodness it’s not always an easy task. If packing lunches is also part of your daily routine, try using MyPlate as a guide. MyPlate includes five basic food groups: fruits, vegetables, grains, lean protein, and dairy, and basically serves as a visual guide to building a healthy meal. Greenlee loves to help me in the kitchen, so I plan to give her a few options from each food group, let her choose what she likes, and then involve her in the shopping and packing process. She’s super independent so I feel pretty confident she will love doing this.
Here are 5 easy, kid-friendly lunch ideas that I hope will be helpful to you. They can all easily be adapted to your kid’s personal preferences.
- Pizza Kabobs (tortellini pasta, bell pepper, string cheese cut into chunks, turkey pepperoni, and cherry tomatoes), pizza sauce, and grapes
- Turkey, cheese, whole wheat crackers, mandarin oranges, veggies/French onion dip
- Peanut Butter/jelly sandwich on whole wheat bread, banana, yogurt, sugar snap peas
- Ham and Cheese Rollups (ham slice, whipped cream cheese, and shredded cheddar), apple slices, carrots/ranch, pretzels
- Chicken quesadilla, salsa, peaches
A few other things that came to mind that I need to stock up on are reusable silverware, antibacterial wet wipes so she can clean her hands before and after eating, and ice packs. I’ve also found a ton of free printable lunchbox notes that I can’t wait to slip in to Greenlee’s box just to show her I’m thinking about her while she’s away at school.
Click here to download my FREE printable Grocery List before you shop! It’s grouped together by categories which makes getting in and out of the store so much faster.
What are your best tips for packing school lunches? Share with me on Facebook!