Simple School Lunches That Kids Can Make

Making school lunches doesn’t have to be a dreaded undertaking. With a little planning, the whole family can leave in the morning with a healthy, filling lunch that everyone will enjoy.

If you would like to save a little time, have some variety and provide lunches that kids will eat, have the children make their own school lunches. My children started making theirs at 10 years old and have never looked back. The easiest way to do this is to keep a selection of their favourite healthy foods on hand.

Teach your children to include 1 protein, 2 grains, 1 dairy, 2 vegetables, 1 fruit and a healthy snack in their lunch. You may have to watch them at first, but they will get the hang of it quickly enough.

Healthy Lunch Food for Kids to Choose from

Protein (Choose 1)
  • Egg salad
  • Tuna salad
  • Chicken salad
  • Hummus
  • Nut butters (Peanut, almond, cashew)
  • Cold meats*
  • Roasted chicken slices
  • Turkey, ham or Beef slices

*Do not use processed meats. Freshly cooked and leftover meats are best.

Grains (Choose 2 servings)
  • Cold cereal
  • Bread
  • Rolls
  • Croissants
  • Bagels
  • Biscuits
  • Crackers
  • English muffins
  • Muffins
  • Pita bread
  • Pita crisps
  • Soft tortilla shells
  • Corn chips
  • Popcorn
  • Rice, Quinoa
  • Seeds and nuts
Dairy (Choose 1)
  • Cream cheese
  • Cheese
  • Yogurt
  • Milk
Veggies that most kids will eat (Choose 2)
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Cauliflower
  • Sugar or Snap peas
  • Cucumber
  • Broccoli
Fruit that travels well (Choose 1)
  • Apples
  • Berries
  • Bananas
  • Grapes
  • Pineapple
Add-ons
  • Salad dressing
  • Dips
  • Salsa
  • Honey
  • Jam
  • Dried fruit

Include lots of fruits and vegetables in your children’s diet.

Experiment with all kinds of cut-up raw vegetables and keep trying. Even kids who start out not liking veggies will develop a taste for them, if you are consistent in presenting them. For easy-to-use ­vegetables, wash and store them in airtight containers. You can even make your own pre-made salads by throwing in all kinds of veggies including­­ broccoli, ­cauliflower, string beans, etc. Make a jar of dressing for the week and voilà! Salads to go that even the kids can make for their lunches.

Here is our favourite Family Salad Dressing (keep a jar in the fridge)

In a mason jar, add:

  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup red wine (or balsamic) vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • Salt & Pepper
    Shake well

Download the Healthy Lunches pdf here: Healthy Box Lunches MTM

Use a Lunch Planner

Use a lunch planner with your kids to select the items that they like and write them into the lunch planner at the beginning of the week. Shopping for and making nutritious lunches that your kids will eat will be a snap.
Download the Lunch Planner here: My School Lunches Planner

You might also like Healthy School Snacks.

Keep these delicious, nutritious foods in the house to avoid processed foods. An after-school snack will keep the blood sugar even and help keep kids and parents calm until dinnertime.
Download here: Healthy School Snacks

Trying to menu plan for your family? Start with the Fridge list.

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