A top view of a plate with lunch meat cutouts, carrots in a bowl, and strawberries in bowl.

Healthy Lunch Ideas for Back-to-School

For many of us, back-to-school means back to lunch-packing. We know it can be a daunting challenge finding nutritious meals and foods your kids will actually eat, but we promise- it’s possible! This year try some new ideas to fuel your kiddos up. Here are a few of our favorites:

1. Make Time for Each Other

It’s a lunch they can assemble on their own- what could be more fun? This lunch packs up quickly and easily. Here’s what you need:

  • Whole wheat round snack crackers
  • Cheese, sliced into small cracker-sized squares
  • Turkey, ham, or pepperoni slices

Don’t forget to toss in some fruits and vegetables. Easy to eat choices such as grapes, blueberries, and apple slices pair well with this lunch.

2. Veggie Pasta

Think outside of the sandwich this year! This pasta can be served warm or cold and makes for a nice alternative to the typical peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

  • 1/2 cup cooked whole-wheat bow-tie or penne pasta
  • 2 tablespoons plain low-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon dill
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup rinsed black beans
  • 1/4 cup diced red, green, or yellow bell peppers
  • 1/4 cup cooked shredded chicken (optional)
  • Pinch of shredded cheese

Mix Greek yogurt, garlic powder, onion powder, dill, and salt in a small bowl. Add beans and bell peppers, and chicken if desired.

Toss pasta with Greek yogurt mixture. Top with shredded cheese.

3. Tuna Salad Sandwich

It’s an oldie but a goodie!

  • 3.5 oz can tuna, drained
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 ½ teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 hard-boiled egg, diced
  • 2 teaspoons relish
  • Pinch of salt
  • Black pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients until well-mixed. Spread on whole-wheat bread, or a lettuce wrap.

For an extra touch of fun, cut the sandwich out in a shape- we think a fish shape would be perfect!

This meal pairs well with celery and baby carrots. Toss in some hummus for dipping- what’s not to love?