Healthy School Lunch Recipes & Ideas

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School lunches might be a convenient option, but they’re definitely not the healthiest choice. With the recent national focus on preventing diabetes and obesity in our youth, I will admit that school lunch is getting better than when I was a kid. But, still, many schools offer little more than a slice of pizza, some limp, tasteless vegetables, and a container of sugar-filled juice or milk. That’s not a substantial option for your kids! Instead, why not make them some of these healthy school lunch recipes?

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It’s so much better to pack nutritious lunches for your kids every day. In addition to lacking nutrient density, those school lunches can be expensive, too. Depending on where you live, lunch for your kids can cost anywhere from $3 to $6 a day – which will certainly add up over the school year. These healthy school lunch recipes not only pack all the nutrition a growing body needs, but they taste great and will save you money, too.

We also recognize that your kids need snacks and sweet treats, too. The ones available from the vending machine are usually filled with sugar, carbohydrates, and unhealthy fats. Instead of fueling your kids, they’re actually draining them of their energy and brainpower! We have some great ideas for snacks that you can pack away in your kids lunch.

Healthy School Lunch Recipes

1. Healthy Chicken Burrito Wraps

Swap out your kid’s standard sandwich with these healthy chicken burrito wraps. They’re easy to make in advance and your picky eaters might not even notice they’re healthy with all the tasty cheese!

2. Almond Butter and Banana Sandwiches

Say goodbye to traditional PB&Js and hello to a fun twist on the old classic. You’ll give them a boost of potassium from the sweet banana slices and some beneficial protein and energy from almond butter.

3. Turkey and Cucumber Salad Wrap

Get your kids hooked to greens early with this crunchy turkey wrap. They’ll love the fresh flavors of cilantro and mint, and the creamy, Greek-yogurt based dressing is a great alternative to mayonnaise. Try making your own turkey in the slow cooker using this juicy slow cooker turkey breast recipe.

4. 5-Ingredient Spinach & Pasta Alfredo

Sneaking vegetables into a creamy pasta is a sure-fire way to get your kids to eat a few. If they’re not into spinach, try swapping in broccoli, red bell peppers, or sweet butternut squash.

5. Southwest Chicken Casserole with Black Beans Recipe

This recipe is like a burrito without the wrap – and your kids will love it! It’s easy to make a large batch of this casserole and pack it into individual air-tight containers. You can even freeze it and thaw it out on a later date if you need to.

6. Breakfast Fruit Bagel

These fruit-filled bagels don’t have to be for breakfast. They’re a great way to sneak in a few extra servings of fruit without your kids realizing they’re healthy. They’ll love the sweet flavors and the filling nature of the whole-wheat bagels.

7. Whole Wheat Pita Pizza

Who says pizza has to be bad for you? This is a great non-sandwich lunch option for your kids. They’re easy to whip up using whole wheat pita bread, and you can customize the toppings so even picky eaters will love this lunch.

8. Sweet Potato Chips

Skip the overly-processed potato chips while still giving your kids the crunchy snack they’re craving. These sweet potato chips couldn’t be easier to make and they make the perfect energy-rich snack that also tastes great.

9. Healthy Trail Mix

Trail mix is perfect for boosting brain power and providing healthy nutrition to your kids. Since it’s sweet, your kids will love this sugary treat – without knowing it’s a beneficial source of sugars!

10. White Bean & Herb Hummus

This recipe makes the perfect replacement to unhealthy ranch dressing, but it makes a great snack, too. Pack in some baby carrots or crunchy green beans for dipping into this superfood dip.

11. No-Bake Chocolate-Covered Cookie Dough Bars (Vegan)

No-Bake Chocolate-Covered Cookie Dough Bars (Vegan, Plant Based)

Sometimes you want to pack a sweet treat for your kids – that’s where this healthy, plant-based dessert recipe comes in. It will taste nice and sweet, but it’s not full of processed sugars.

12. 4-Ingredient Peanut Butter Fudge Bars

4-Ingredient Peanut Butter Fudge Bars Recipe

This tasty dessert is the perfect way to sneak some beneficial energy into your kids life. They’re gooey and rich, without any added sugar (thanks to the agave nectar).

If you’re searching for gluten-free options, we have you covered! We have great ideas for gluten free desserts, snacks, lunches, and dinner your kids will actually eat. 

For more great kid-friendly, healthy lunch ideas, check out our Facebook or Instagram page. You can also subscribe to our newsletter to get the latest Skinny Ms recipes sent right to your inbox.

Last updated June 27, 2018

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