Packing lunch for your kids is a good way to make sure they’re getting something they like and something that’s healthy for them. Yes, school lunch programs have made progress. But some schools are still very much lacking in their food’s nutritional value. Plus, it is often much cheaper to make your own.
The downfall is you can easily get stuck in rut. Same old stuff over and over again. Most kids will get tired of that quickly. You can also as easily get tired of doing the same thing everyday, but it can be stressful trying to come up with healthy lunch ideas for kids that fit in your budget.
Here are some healthy (or at least pretty healthy!) school lunch ideas for your kids, as well as more creative ways to make your “sack” lunches fun…
Make-Ahead School Lunch Ideas to Save Time (& Sanity)
You can easily put together a quesadilla the night before. This is versatile! You can include whatever you have on hand and it’s an easy way to sneak in some veggies. A little pizza sauce, some cheese, spinach leaves, green onions, or whatever your kid likes. In the morning all you have to do is throw it in the skillet for a few minutes, let it cool a minute, cut it and put into the lunch box. Put in a side of their favorite fruit or yogurt and voila.
What kind of cheese does your kid like? What kind of meat? Grab a few wooden skewers and cut them in half (most are too long for a lunch box). String on chunks of turkey, ham or their favorite meat, along with some cubes of cheese. You can even string on some veggies if they’ll go for it (I’m lucky… our 8-year-old loves cucumbers, carrots, celery…). Put them in the fridge ’til morning and pull ’em out when you’re putting together their lunch box.
You can do this with whole wheat tortillas or with wheat bread. If you’re using bread, place a slice of bread out on the counter on parchment paper. Put another small piece of parchment paper on top. Use a roller to roll it out and flatten it down some. Now take almond butter, Nutella or your kid’s favorite spread and spread it over the bread. Put a banana at one end and roll it up. Now slice into pieces and you have a filling, healthy, delicious treat for their lunch (Our 2nd grader loves these for breakfast). Put in the container or bag and it’s ready for morning. *You can also add crushed corn flakes, raisins or other things into it by placing on top of the spread before you add the banana.
Two Cool Ideas to Make Lunch Fun
Lunch Notes: Surprise your little one with cute little lunch notes. You could simply use PostIt notes or go a little further with something like these fun free lunchbox printables.
LunchBox Jokes: Give your kid a laugh and something to share with their friends at the lunch table with these lunchbox joke printables.
** The last freebie I found isn’t necessarily to do with lunch, but I thought it was fabulous. Check out these back to school chart printables to help your kids track their progress for the week (offer a reward if they meet your agreed upon standards for the whole week!).
* Top image credit: Lisu via http://www.rgbstock.com/bigphoto/n6m3rRK