With all the toing and froing day in and day out, a busy mom living in the sandwich generation needs all the help she can get her hands on. One area that consumes a lot of hours is meal prepping for school lunches. Save time with these lunch ideas for kids at school that also hit the mark when it comes to your children’s nutrition and satisfaction.
Quick & Healthy Lunch Ideas For Kids At School
1. Granola Bar Love
Nutritionists have long touted the many benefits of plant-based food. For your kids, this means healthier hearts and a lower risk for obesity and diabetes. Make “healthy” and “fun” go together by making the granola bar the star of your kids’ vegetarian lunches. Chewy and crispy granola bars are fun, convenient, and loaded with protein and carbs. While you can make these from scratch, you can also grab high-quality granola bars at health food stores. Look for a low-fat variety that is high in fiber. Throw in some cheese cubes and a few celery sticks for added crunch and texture to the meal. Then add a small tub of yogurt and banana for some dipping fun.
2. Bean and Cheesy Burrito
Want more meatless ideas? Canned red kidney beans, drained and then sautéed in garlic and olive oil, makes a quick protein-and-fiber-packed lunch. Give the beans a rough mashing, throw in some cheese, spread on a warm tortilla, and you’re done. You can even get a bit extra with a handful of seedless grapes. And there you have it — a gourmet lunch that your kids will surely love! Cut it in half and back it in a thermos to stay warm.
3. Curried Chicken Wraps with Applesauce
Wraps are one of the easiest things to make for lunch. For a simple filling, boil some chicken breasts. Depending on your preference, you can either chop or shred the chicken. Mix in some mayo or yogurt, curry powder, and pepper — and voila — your flavorful filling is ready! Spread on a warm tortilla, add raisins and small slices of celery. Then roll the tortilla and wrap it in foil. For younger children, make sure to cut the wrap in handy smaller-sized pieces for more convenient nibbling.
How about an apple-filled treat to finish off the meal? There are several ways to prepare apples for dessert. You can stew, bake, or caramelize them! One great idea is to round off a hearty meal with some applesauce. Recipes abound for homemade applesauce. Should you wish to get a tub or two from the stores, go for the low-sugar kind, or better yet, those that are labeled “USDA Organic.”
4. Cheesy Comfort Sandwich With A Twist
A grilled cheese sandwich is beloved comfort food. Why not include it as one of your go-to school lunch staples? Melt a small chunk of butter in a pan, then add two slices of bread with cheese in between. Go for the whole grain variety of bread whenever available. When one side is toasty enough, flip over, so both sides have a bit of butter. Make your sandwich even more luscious by adding bacon and/or avocado to melt in with the cheese. Pack veggie chips and hummus as aside.
5. Tuna Delight
Your kids are in for a delicious and nutritious treat with this next lunch idea. Satisfy their tummies with some tuna! Transfer drained tuna flakes in a bowl, then add mayo or greek yogurt. Sneak in some vegetables, such as chopped celery and grated carrots. Try to purchase the brand, Safe Catch, as they test every tuna for mercury levels.. Cap your masterpiece with the addition of a few garlic breadsticks to bring in some whole-hearted crunch.
6. Egg-y Edibles
Save precious minutes by prepping earlier. Hard-boiled eggs keep well for several days in the refrigerator and are, therefore, ideal for the mom who has little time to spare. Make some hard-boiled eggs the night before. The best cooking time would be 9 to 12 minutes, depending on your preferred doneness. It’s best to thoroughly cook the eggs to ensure that you get rid of harmful bacteria. Don’t forget to peel the eggs to make them easier to eat and enjoy, especially for your younger children. Put an egg or two in your kids’ lunchboxes, together with some fresh berries, crackers, and some orange or apple slices.
7. Healthy Pizza Bites
See your kids’ eyes brighten up when they learn that pizza is next on the lunch menu. Wouldn’t it be great to find the time to make pizza dough from scratch? However, the more effortless way is to grab a pizza crust from the store. Where can you get the nutrition in? Top the pizza with generous portions of chopped sautéed spinach under the tomato sauce and a sprinkling of cheese. For added scrumptiousness add your child’s favorite veggie on tops, such as olives that contain healthful fats and vitamin E. After baking, cut the pizza into bites or strips and put it in tinfoil or a thermos for lunchtime.
8. Bagels and Cream
Another quick-prep and yet still delicious lunch idea is the obvious crowd favorite: bagel with protein-rich cream cheese. Get several mini bagels for your little ones. Pack some carrot or celery sticks for added fiber. A few berries on the side will add color and sweetness to the lunch.
9. Cheerio Crunch
Cereals can be a convenient choice for lunch. Put in a few spoonfuls of yogurt on the side for a creamy follow-up to the cereals. If your child has a sweet tooth and loves raisins, reach for a box of low-sugar Cheerios. The sweetness of the raisins and the tartness from the yogurt will complement the neutral taste of the crunchy cereals, which now come in non-GMO varieties.
10. DIY Lunchables
When shopping for meat for DIY Lunchables, opt for low-sodium, low-nitrate, and msg-free sausages. Add a piece of whole wheat bread or crackers to provide energy-giving carbohydrates; don’t forget the cheese. Complete the lunchbox assembly with fresh pear or a peeled orange for a satisfying dessert.
“Quick and nutritious” can also be “safe and special.” Make sure to check for any signs of food spoilage before handing out the lunchboxes to your children. Bring some magic to their meals by inserting sweet, short “mommy notes.” The hearts of your little ones will treasure their lunches even more than their tummies.
There are many ways to make life easier, more enjoyable, and fulfilling for overworked and stressed-out moms. The ten lunch ideas for kids at school, mentioned above can make prepping your kids’ lunches a breeze. Aside from these, check out and make use of other insightful tips available from many reliable sites. Secondly, accept the well-meaning advice offered by your family and friends. And lastly, avail yourself of expert help. Boston Baby Nurse and Nanny can help you hire a reliable nanny or household manager.
About The Author
Aussy Aportadera is pursuing the unhurried life in the beachside town of La Union, Philippines. After a career in communications and publishing for luxury lifestyle, food, and wine, she is now a yoga teacher and co-owner of a ceramics brand. Find her on twitter and instagram to learn more about her!