Growing Healthy Kids: School Lunch Ideas

by Susan on January 16, 2014

School Lunch 6

I get a lot of requests for ideas on how to get kids to eat healthy.  Considering I have 5 kids of my own, I can assure you that while it can be a challenge at times to keep our kids healthy, it’s far from impossible!  I’m going to share with you some of the things that have worked for us, some of the issues and challenges we’ve faced, as well as some specific school lunch ideas.  These ideas are perfect for both homeschool kids and kids that attend school outside of the home.  I’m sure many of you moms have more awesome ideas and we’d love to hear about them!  Please post them in the comments or on our Facebook page!

Random Kid-Friendly Food Tips:

  • One of my children has Asperger Syndrome, so his food is gluten free.  You can read more about nutrition for kids with Aspergers and ADHD here.
  • My oldest daughter struggles with a vitamin K deficiency.  She’s our biggest challenge with healthy eating as she does not like most vegetables.  I’ve found a few vegetables that she will eat those and I keep those on hand always (cucumbers and snow peas are her favorites).  But since vitamin K comes from green leafy vegetables and she really struggles with getting down salads and greens, I’ve started adding fresh organic spinach to her morning Shakeology!  She’s never even detected it. Problem solved! 🙂
  • Don’t feel every lunch has to contain the typical sandwich!  My kids love preservative-free ham or turkey (we use Hormel brand which can be found at most grocery stores, including Walmart!) rolled with cheese slices.  Try making sandwiches out of waffles, pancakes, rice cakes, or mini whole grain bagels instead of sliced bread.
  • Use organic produce as much as possible.  I also make sure their granola/energy bars and snack crackers are also organic and whole grain.  I choose gluten-free for my little guy with Aspergers.
  • Yogurt tubes are great for lunches on the go.  I get the organic Greek yogurt kind rather than the sugar and chemical loaded brands.  I keep them in the freezer and then just add them to the lunches last minute before they leave the house.  They act as an extra ice pack this way as well.  My kids also enjoy them frozen! (And so do I!).
  • The Ziploc brand divided containers are great for kids lunches, especially lunches that need to be packed and taken along.  I don’t use this for my teenager though as they don’t hold enough food for him.

Some of our favorite lunches:

School Lunch 1

Organic whole grain tortilla wraps filled with preservative free turkey and cream cheese, strawberries, cucumber pieces, cheese stick.

School Lunch 2

Whole wheat mini bagel with preservative free turkey and cheese, Annie’s organic cheddar bunnies crackers, granola bar, cucumbers, Greek yogurt tube.

School Lunch 3

Natural peanut butter and no sugar added jam on whole wheat bread, Annies organic cheddar bunnies crackers, grapes, cheese stick, homemade cookie (a nice treat once in awhile.)

School Lunch 4

Preservative free ham and cheese on whole wheat bread, organic baby carrots, strawberries in plain Greek yogurt mixed with small amount of Maple syrup, homemade cookie.

School Lunch 5

Preservative free turkey and cheese on whole wheat bread, strawberries in Greek yogurt with maple syrup, cucumber slices, apple

School Lunch 6

Preservative free turkey and cheese on whole wheat mini bagel, Stacey’s pita chips, organic granola bar, grapes, organic baby carrots, Greek yogurt tube.

 

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Whole wheat waffles (my gluten-free little guy had gluten free waffles!) with cream cheese and no sugar added jam, grapes, cucumber slices, Greek yogurt tube. (This is probably my kids’ favorite lunch!)

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Preservative free ham and cheese roll-ups, apple slices with natural peanut butter, cucumbers, baby carrots, cherry tomatoes, whole grain Goldfish crackers, Greek yogurt tube. This lunch also received rave reviews from the little food critics in our family!

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