A few weeks ago, I took to IG to share my struggle with getting the kids to grab healthy lunches and snacks during the summer. I know I am not alone in this, but I think I heard them all say how hungry they were 500+ times after JUST eating. I realized then that I needed to be better about teaching them how to pick healthy options with protein so it will keep them fuller longer! Maybe this will also help out with my grocery bill too 🤪 .
Before jumping into snack and lunch ideas, I also want to say Pinterest will be your best friend here! You will and can always find THOUSANDS of ideas for lunches and snacks! I know my kids can be picky eaters sometimes, so trial and error until you find a good bit of things they love. My biggest advice when it comes to getting kids to eat what you fix is to get them excited about it and allow them to be involved while making the food.
Let them silly by adding eyes with chocolate chips, pick their favorite fruits, or whatever else you think will interest them, even if that includes a promising dessert. I promise those lunch boxes will come back more empty than they have been once they get involved in making it. I also try not to worry too much about it. Life is all about balance, right? Some days, I will let them buy school lunch. For others, I pack leftovers. I don’t want to create unhealthy habits with food. I want to teach and equip them to make better and healthier decisions.
DAY ONE: cheese tortillas // grapes // lime chips // carrots
DAY TWO: Greek yogurt with sprinkles // pancakes with syrup // berries & strawberries
DAY THREE: DIY Lunchables; turkey and cheese // crackers // Zbar // melon
DAY FOUR: Nutella and peanut butter sandwich // protein popcorn // strawberries // cucumbers
DAY FIVE: chicken nuggets // cheese stick // carrots // apples
DAY ONE: One pot pasta meal leftover // string cheese // orange slices
DAY TWO: yogurt // granola // berries // Zbar
DAY THREE: meatball skewers // marina sauce // string cheese // carrots
DAY FOUR: mini naan // pizza sauce // pepperoni // mozzarella // strawberries
DAY FIVE: chicken salad // pretzels // assortment of fruit
DAY ONE: Pita pocket sandwiches // hummus // carrots
DAY TWO: taco bowl // salsa // chips
DAY THREE: ham and cheese pinwheels // apples // peanut butter
DAY FOUR: cheese quesadilla // guacamole // chips // animal crackers
DAY FIVE: Sandwich cut into fun shapes // apples and grapes // popcorn
DAY ONE: pancake // syrup pouch // berries
DAY TWO: chicken nuggets // bbq sauce // grapes // brownie
DAY THREE: pb&j cut into fun shape // veggie straws // granola bar
DAY FOUR: cheese pasta // broccoli // ranch // animal crackers
DAY FIVE: hot dog nuggets // ketchup // melon // fruit snacks
Silly animal toast
Peanut Butter and Bananas
Acai bowls are great (see how I make mine here)
Apple Slice “Cookies”
Greek Yogurt and Granola
Homemade Fruit Roll Ups
Vegetables and Hummus
Muffin Tin snack tray
Homemade fruit popsicles
Clif Kid Zbar
Ants on a log
Mini veggie cups with ranch on the bottom
Protein Balls (I follow Beth’s cookbook for this one)
Frozen banana pops
Smoothies – we use THIS protein powder
I have learned that the more fun you make the lunch, the emptier their lunch boxes come back too! So, above, I created a list from Amazon of things we have that also seem fun to add to their lunches. The key is to include a balance of proteins, healthy fats, whole grains, and a variety of fruits and vegetables in your child’s food choice. I know it’s hard, but again, balance! Some days, I will also let the kids pick their lunches. Give and take, remember 😉.
I really hope this list helps! If you have a great suggestion on healthy lunches and snacks for kids you think other moms could benefit from, PLEASE drop it in the comments below. We could all use all the help we can get!