Healthy School Lunches You Can Pack For Your Kids (Pssst! They Aren’t Sandwiches!)

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While school lunches are the more convenient option, they are definitely not the healthier or cheaper choice.

School lunches can cost up to $5 in some states and they usually consist of a slice of pizza, some limp, tasteless vegetables, and a container of juice or milk. That isn’t a substantial lunch for $5.

And with congress fighting over how much tomato paste equals a serving of vegetables on school pizzas, it’s hard to know just when they will actually step up to the “plate” and make sure our kids are getting some honest to goodness nutrition on their lunch break.

So what can you do to ensure that your child will not only eat their healthy lunch, but enjoy it too? Here are 3 suggestions the kids will love.

Turkey Cheese Wrap
-1 flour tortilla (whole grain is best)
-1 tablespoon of cream cheese
-Turkey, preferably the real, unprocessed variety sliced thin
-Lettuce, opt for darker leaves for more nutrition
-1 slice of Cheese (optional)

How to:
-Lay your tortilla on a plate or napkin.
-Spread the cream cheese all over the tortilla.
-Lay the turkey, lettuce, cheese, and tomato on the tortilla.
-Roll the tortilla from one side to the other like you would a burrito.

Why this works:

This tortilla puts a unique spin on the traditional turkey sandwich. It’s easy to put together and easy to transport in a paper bag. Simply pack with a cold pack to keep it fresh.

Veggie pasta
-1 bag bag frozen vegetables
-2 cups bow tie pasta
-1 cup healthy spaghetti sauce, no sugar added

How to:
-Cook pasta to package directions
-Cook vegetables to package directions
-When done, drain both and combine
-Pour spaghetti sauce over the top and mix

Why this works:
The pasta and vegetables are both extremely easy and quick to cook. While this is a warm dish, it can also be enjoyed cold and tastes just as delicious!

Bagel pizza
-1/2 whole grain bagel
-2 tablespoons of pizza sauce or marinara, no sugar added
-2 tablespoons of cheese
-Vegetables of choice, chopped

How to:
-Cut the bagel in half.
-Spread pizza sauce on bagel.
-Place the vegetables on sauce.
-Sprinkle cheese on top.
-Microwave for 1 minute.

Why this works:
All kids love pizza. This pizza dish can be enjoyed cold which makes it a great lunch choice for kids. It is extremely easy and quick to make.

All the above recipes can either be packed in a Ziploc bag or container, and then placed in a lunch box. Just remember that if you are using a cold pack, keep the cold pack in a Ziploc bag as well and wrap in a paper towel.

And don’t forget about simple snacks like cut up fruit, homemade granola or trail mix, and vegetable sticks with a healthy dip like hummus.

Homemade lunches can be both affordable and delicious if you put a bit of forethought in to them. And your kids won’t have to suffer through another plate of questionable food while at school.

4 Comments on "Healthy School Lunches You Can Pack For Your Kids (Pssst! They Aren’t Sandwiches!)"

  1. Shey  August 26, 2012

    Question about lunch meat… Other than baking a ham and a turkey, what's the best type of lunchmeat to get? Isn't it all processed?

    • Shannan Kelley Lentz  August 26, 2012

      Chicken breast is a great choice also. No it isn't all processed you just have to read the labels. Or roast a chicken, turkey and a ham and yourself and slice and freeze in portions.

    • Skinny Ms.  August 27, 2012

      Shey, I hope you have Boar's Head at your grocery store. It is fantastic, although a little pricey, and no added preservatives. Here's their link.

  2. Tee  October 28, 2013

    It's not clear why you contrast this with the school lunch pizza, or say they're not sandwiches when the wrap certainly is. There are certainly lots of data out there about need to limit or eliminate so much grain and wheat, each of these suggestions is heavily weighed toward just that.


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