Helping Your Kids Enjoy Eating
Cooking and packing lunch for your kids can be more challenging than it sounds. Packing it full of healthy foods might be your priority, but unless the meals are also tasty, you’ll have a hard time convincing your kids to eat them.
To make your lunch planning easier, we’ve put together some kid-friendly school lunch recipes that you can create in less than five minutes and fit in a school lunchbox. They’re tasty enough for fussy kids while including enough nutrients to keep your children healthy. So the next time you’re in the market for a healthy school lunch, consult our list of easy-to-make ideas.
A pasta salad is a great easy lunchbox option. You can make yours with pretty much any ingredients you like alongside the pasta, but we recommend adding some form of protein like chicken (or tofu for vegetarians) and plenty of salad items, like tomatoes, lettuce, olives and cucumber.
Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich
You really can’t mess with a classic - and a PB&J sandwich is just that! Suitable for even the fussiest of kids, you can give this classic meal a healthy twist by opting for wholemeal bread and sprinkling some seeds onto the filling.
Veggie and Hummus Wrap
Hummus is a great way to sneak some plant-based protein into your kids’ diet, and it can make a veggie wrap more exciting. If you’ve got the time, roast some peppers, eggplant and zucchini before adding them to a wrap with hummus. If you don’t have the time to roast veggies, opt for some raw cucumber, peppers, beets and tomato instead.
There are plenty of different base options for the pizzas - crispbreads, wraps and pitta bread to name just a few - but whatever you use, they’re easy to make. Simply top the pizza with tomato sauce, low-fat cheese and your kids’ toppings of choice and put them in the air fryer or oven until the cheese melts.
Chicken and Avocado Wrap
With a good combination of lean protein and healthy fats, this lunch is healthy while being incredibly easy to make. If your child isn’t into avocado, swap it out for cucumber or salad leaves.
Tuna Salad Sandwich
Tuna is full of nutrients and tends to appeal more to kids than other fish and seafood like prawns. Simply pair the tuna with salad and place it on whole wheat bread to make a healthy sandwich.
Quesadillas are super versatile since you can fill them with almost any toppings you like. You can make them healthier by using whole wheat wraps and opting for plenty of veggies and low-fat cheese.
Simply melt the cheese and other toppings onto a tortilla wrap in a pan, then flip half of the wrap over to create quesadillas.
Mini Meatball Sub
A meatball sub is a great lunch idea for Fridays or any day you want to make your kid’s lunch a little more interesting. You can use turkey meatballs to keep the fat content low and add plenty of salad to the sub to ensure it’s nutritionally dense. Using whole wheat or seeded bread is another great way to make it healthier while still tasting delicious.
They say ‘eat the rainbow’ for a good reason - the bigger diversity of fruits and veggies you eat, the better your diet. You can make fruits and vegetables exciting for your child by creating a rainbow plate, a lunch box with fruits and veggies of every color of the rainbow.
Add a dip like ranch dressing, sour cream or hummus and a source of protein such as boiled eggs to keep them full during the rest of the school day.
Cream Cheese and Cucumber Sandwich
This lunch idea is cheap, easy and super speedy to create. Simply spread a thick layer of cream cheese or cottage cheese on wholemeal bread and add slices of cucumber. If you’d like to include extra protein, opt for a few slices of chicken or egg.
Peanut Butter and Banana Crispbreads
Peanut butter and banana are a great combination for multiple reasons. Peanut butter is an excellent source of plant-based protein, while banana is full of important vitamins and minerals. Spread this combo onto whole wheat crispbreads, or use white sliced bread for kids who are a little fussier.
Healthy Mac and Cheese
Mac and cheese don’t have to be full of fat. You can create a healthier mac and cheese by blending roasted butternut squash with silken tofu to make a silky and nutritious sauce.
Stir cooked macaroni into the sauce, sprinkle cheese on top and bake it in the oven for 30 minutes. If your child likes greens, add some spinach and broccoli, too. It does take a little longer to make, but if you make a large enough portion, you can spread out the leftovers across the week.
So there you have it - plenty of easy-to-make healthy lunch ideas that even the fussiest kids will love!
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