7 Healthy Lunch Options for Kids
Cindy Bjorkquist, M.S.
| 3 min read
Summer is flying by and soon it will be time for kids to swap summer activities for homework. With a new school year approaching, it’s the perfect time to start thinking of new ways to integrate healthier foods into the school day.
Making sure your little ones have healthy and tasty food to eat for lunch is an essential part to a successful school day. But hectic morning schedules can make it difficult to pack healthy lunches your kids will actually eat.
Here are seven quick, flavorful and healthy lunch ideas to get out of a rut and keep your kids energized through those long school days:
- Mini-veggie quiches; Spray a muffin pan with olive oil and make this crust-less vegetable quiche recipe, filling each muffin cup about two-thirds full. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until quiches are set and lightly golden on top. Run a knife around edges to loosen then let cool in the pan. Pack with apple quarters tossed with pineapple juice (to prevent browning) and a couple of pretzel rods.
- Colorful roll-ups: Spread two tablespoons roasted red pepper hummus on a spinach tortilla. Top with enough oven-roasted turkey slices to cover completely, sliced tomatoes and low-fat American cheese. Take one stalk of celery and place it at one end of the tortilla. Roll tightly, making sure not to squeeze out the filling. Slice in half on a sharp angle and wrap each half in tin foil to help keep sealed. Pack with yogurt and a slice of Angel Food cake or granola bar.
- Lettuce wraps: Wash a few pieces of romaine lettuce and put whatever leftovers you had from dinner onto the greens. (Leftover BBQ chicken, steak and vegetables are great!) Add your child’s favorite vegetable toppings, such as shredded carrots or mushrooms and enjoy.
- Veggie fresh: Toasted pita triangles, carrot sticks, grape tomatoes (or other veggies of your choice) served with a side of hummus to dip makes a great lunch. Serve with some trail mix that includes nuts and dried fruit — you can even try making your own.
- Grilled chicken wrap: Try a wrap made with a whole wheat tortilla, grilled chicken, romaine lettuce, tomatoes, provolone cheese, Kalamata olives and Caesar or ranch dressing (or make one with your favorite ingredients).
- Pick-me-up: Pack nitrite-free turkey or ham with whole crackers, a box of raisins and a side of cherry tomatoes or veggie snack of your choice with a serving of organic yogurt (any flavor you like).
- Pita pocket: Try a whole wheat pita and fill with chicken salad or turkey meat. Add lettuce, tomato and honey Dijon mustard. Serve with a fresh fruit salad.
Looking for more healthy meal ideas for families? A Healthier Michigan is ready to help:
Photo Credit: U.S. Department of Agriculture