25 Healthy Lunch Ideas for Kids

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(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

Coming back to our school routine in the new year feels like a perfect opportunity to look at our lunch box staples and make some additions and changes to our favorites.

One thing I keep in mind is that the lunch box can be one of the most opportune times to get my kids to eat more healthfully; veggies, fruits, whole grains, good fats, and proteins seem to be eaten more quickly when I’m not there to coach them. These 25 ideas are inspiring me to pack a better lunch in 2019.

Sandwiches and Wraps

Sandwiches are an easy lunchtime staple, so let’s bust the idea that sandwiches (and wraps) can’t be healthy. These easy ideas can be made on whole-wheat bread or the wrap of your choice and can be easily adapted to whatever fruit, vegetables, or proteins you have on hand.

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(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Pasta and Noodle Salads

I have a little noodle-lover at home and find that veggies all but disappear when packed with her favorite pasta. You can think outside the traditional pasta box and try soba, rice, or even zucchini noodles too.

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(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

Muffins and Pocket Sandwiches

Muffins and pocket sandwiches do require a little meal prep over the weekend to make them speedy enough for weekday lunch boxes, but they can be frozen and pulled out as needed. Plus, they are handy vehicles for protein and vegetables.

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(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Fruit and Veggie-Packed Side Salads

Adding healthy color to your kid’s lunch box makes lunch more exciting, and these simple salads are a brilliant way to introduce new vegetables or just shake up their carrot-stick habit.

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