Do you struggle to come up with healthy lunch ideas for kids? As a parent, it can be hard to get your kids interested in choosing healthy food options over junk foods. Toddlers, in particular, may skip lunch altogether in hopes of convincing you to let them eat a non-healthy snack later in the day. What you need to learn is that healthy eating doesn’t have to be boring and tasteless. Here are five healthy lunch ideas for kids that are fun, and your kids will beg you to make.
1. Fruit and Cheese Kabobs
It’s just a fact that putting healthy food on a stick makes it fun to eat. For the first healthy lunch idea for kids, try putting cut up cheese cubes and various cut up fruit on a small kabob stick, and wrap it in saran wrap to maintain freshness if you’re packing the lunch in the morning for later in the day. Some good fruit options include red and green grapes, cantaloupe, pineapple, and strawberries. Serve with a granola bar and milk to round out the meal.
2. Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwiches
For the second healthy lunch idea for kids, try making peanut butter and banana sandwiches on honey wheat bread. The kids will love the peanut butter and banana combination as well as the sweet flavor of the healthy honey wheat bread. The bananas will be a welcome change from the classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Serve with carrot sticks, cottage cheese, and 100% apple juice.
3. Turkey wraps
Serving sandwiches every day can get old. For the third healthy lunch idea for kids, try making a turkey wrap instead of a boring turkey sandwich. Simply take a flour tortilla (try a wheat, spinach, or tomato flavored one for even more nutrition) and spread a thin layer of mayo or mustard over it. Top with thin slices of turkey, cheese, lettuce, and tomato, and wrap it up. Cut it in half so it’s easier for little hands to hold. Serve with a yogurt cup and milk.
4. Whole wheat pasta salad
Pasta is a meal time favorite for little ones, and the focus of our fourth healthy lunch idea for kids. You can whip up an easy pasta salad in no time! Simply mix together fun shaped whole wheat or multigrain pasta (such as wagon wheels or bow ties), cut up cooked chicken, broccoli, cauliflower, or any fresh veggie that your child likes. Pour in a little light italian salad dressing to add some flavor. Serve with a small dinner roll and milk.
5. Homemade pizza
Pizza is perhaps one of the most kid friendly foods ever. Although often loaded with fat and calories, it can be made in a healthy way. For our fifth and final healthy lunch idea for kids, you can make healthy homemade pizza. Take a whole wheat pre-made crust, top with all natural pizza sauce, and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Heat in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes or until the edges of the pizza crust are golden brown and the cheese is melted, or heat in a microwave. Serve with mandarin oranges and 100% real fruit juice.
In the end, just remember that your kids may not always like everything you serve them, but they should at least try everything. Always pick whole grain and whole wheat options, and present them in a fun way so that your kids don’t notice the difference between the healthy and less healthy foods. If you follow these rules and make these healthy lunch ideas for kids, you will be well on your way to raising healthy kids.