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Easy and Healthy School Lunches for Kids

easy school lunches for kids

With three kids in elementary school plus a toddler, getting lunches and snacks packed and kids out the door in time to walk to school before the 8am bell can be a real rush. We streamline the process by having backpacks packed (minus lunches) the night before and kids’ clothes for the next day laid out, but there are still plenty of days where someone mysteriously loses a shoe, my toddler decides to that her current outfit is utterly unacceptable, or someone remembers that they were supposed to bring their favorite toy to school today and said favorite toy is not where it is supposed to be. I

Easy and Healthy School Lunches for Kids

Here are some foods I use to make easy and healthy school lunches for kids:

    • Leftovers from the night before – in a thermos if they need to be heated. If you have a stainless steel insulated thermos, you can fill it with boiled water, dump that out, and then fill with heated food and it will still be very warm at lunch time – even when I’ve also packed an ice pack for the rest of their lunch.
    • Simple quesadillas made with grated cheese and tortillas
    • Cheese sticks
    • Hummus with carrot sticks
    • Pumpkin pancakes – my kids like these cold, even when they don’t have chocolate chips in them.
    • Black bean and melted cheese sandwich. This sounds strange, but my kids like it cold. Melt the cheese in a pan or on a plate and then spread it on the cold bread. Black beans are added cold. We just switched the kids to a gluten free diet, and this is their favorite sandwich to have with gluten free bread.

easy and healthy school lunches for kids

What are your favorite easy and healthy school lunches for kids? If you have older children, check out this method for getting kids to pack their own lunches!

MaryAnne is a craft loving educator, musician, photographer, and writer who lives in Silicon Valley with her husband Mike and their four children.

248 thoughts on “Easy and Healthy School Lunches for Kids”

  1. My kids are raised but I am involved in my grandkid’s sports of volleyball, soccer, swimming, football and basketball that require extra fuel.

  2. I no longer have children at home but my grandchildren love to go camping and hiking and that takes lots of fuel

  3. My grandsons both love to ride their bikes, and that’s a great way to exercise and work up a hunger! Snacks are perfect for apre bike ride…

  4. My three kids all do a lot of after school activities like scouts and little league dancing etc so they always need an energy boost

  5. I don’t have kids, but I still require extra fuel myself when I am running errands like grocery shopping and household supply runs!

  6. My kids need energy in order to participate in all the sports they play such as softball and swimming.

  7. Michelle Hagewood

    My oldest is in a lot of sports so between his activities and my younger two’s endless energy we always need snacks on hand.

    boylaneely at hotmail dot com

  8. Stephanie Phelps

    My kids play outside everyday riding bike or going to their games and practices. We have not tried them but after reading this we will!

  9. My daughter plays lacrosse and my son plays baseball. We all need a little fuel to keep up!

  10. Both my boys play little league baseball and sometimes we have 2 or more games a day. They need lots of on the go energy on those days.

  11. My son and I need extra fuel for Soccer practice. While he practices I get my extra steps in walking around the field.

  12. My little one has lots of church activities and play dates with friends that he needs fuel for. Easy and healthy food on the go is always at the top of my go to list when packing lunch and snacks.

  13. My niece and nephew do gymnastics and baseball so they need lots of extra fuel! kristiedonelson(at)gmail(dot)com Thank you.

  14. My kids are constantly playing outside, at the parks and running around. They need refueling after these activities!

  15. When my daughter was young, her soccer games required extra fuel. Nowadays, we like to go backpacking and that really requires extra fuel.

  16. My grand kids are still little so they don’t have a lot of activities but they run errands with me, attend birthday parties and have play dates.

  17. My daughter has an activity everyday after school (tennis, tutoring, and survivor club) and she always asks for a snack as soon as we start for home.

  18. I agree that these are great to have handy. I usually have energy bars too. And I always have my water bottle. I swim a lot.
    Thanks for the contest.

  19. Long day out excursions like the zoo, museums, or even just shopping to help keep them quiet and preoccupied. Or after running around outside or after swim lessons. Everyone’s ravenous after swimming

  20. Anastasia Falling

    Life itself! lol The kids have all sorts of activities they want to do, on top of school and homework, so they really need that energy :)

  21. My grands are 3 and 1. They don’t need additional activities, they just never slow down from sunup to sundown!

  22. My son just started karate and my daughter does gymnastics and dance! Lots of running around!

  23. I don’t have my own blog, how do I get one? I am commenting so as to receive entries into the $100 visa give away. I have 2 boys, 11 yrs old and 9 yrs old. They are at the age that they are Not that interested in school anymore so, I would say they need extra fuel for a full day at school! I am a single mom and have been their whole lives, so I could use the extra fuel too! :) Apple strawberry Gogo squeez are good! :)

    1. My kids are really into the Apple Strawberry ones right now, too! You can start a blog of your own via wordpress.com or blogger.com. Good luck!

  24. I visit my parents once a week. They live pretty far away and it definitely costs a lot, but I NEED to see my parents, I love them.

  25. My kids need extra fuel to power through their activities . . . math club, scouting, and soccer.

  26. long days like today – school, after school chorus, then baseball – then hw, dinner – whoa!
    tvollowitz at aol dot com

  27. With summer coming up we need on the go snacks for all sorts of activities-hiking, swimming, bike rides, and more! GoGo Squeeze’s are perfect for these!

  28. We need extra fuel for our bike rides and when we go to our local park to play. Can’t wait for warmer weather so we can get our bikes out and ride again.

  29. I don’t have kids, but I need fuel for all the housework and running errands. I’m my mom’s caregiver and that takes a LOT of energy.

  30. Debbi Wellenstein

    My children are very involved in sports, and we are looking forward to many on-the-go activities.

  31. My daughter is away in college now, so no longer anything I have to prepare for, but we used to have dance, track, volleyball, choir, riding lessons, gym, swimming…….

  32. My son needs fuel for swimming lessons.

    Thanks for the chance to win!
    wildorchid985 AT gmail DOT com

  33. We like to visit the park regularly and the kids are in a group sport too. truckredford(at)Gmail(dot)com

  34. Just being with them keeps me on the go I have 5 kids, 1 in Football, Debate, Drama, Powerlifting, another in Drama, and another in Winterguard/Colorguard and my youngest plays Basketball. Busy life with all them.

  35. I hear you on getting out the door! The kids are in a new school this year. We aim to leave by 6:55 to get them there on time. They have to wear uniforms so that helps with the “what to wear” dilemma. I’m getting pretty fast at packing lunches! Love your ideas!

  36. Squeezey applesauce is essential in our lunches. Baby J even loves it! We’re very routine. We used to do leftovers for J’s lunch, which they would reheat at preschool. However, since kindergarten, J really only requests soy butter and jelly sandwiches. He’s also not eating veggies like he used to for lunch. I blame peer pressure. Sigh.

  37. What beautiful lunches you pack! My son is sick of school lunches so I am packing for him now. It’s an extra 10 minutes in the morning scrambling to pack him a lunch he will eat. Thanks for your great ideas!

  38. My son and I like to take long walks into town, to the library, post office, to the park and home. We can be out for hours!

  39. Elisa | blissfulE

    What a great list of healthy, portable foods! I’ve recently bought reusable squeeze pouches, but I haven’t filled them yet. Probably will do applesauce first…

  40. jeannine @ waddleeahchaa

    My kids love the GoGo fruit squeeze. They are great when we spend our days at the beach!

  41. My boys love cold refried black beans too.

    My kids have Kung Fu, American Heritage Girls, and just general running around for errands.

  42. Natalie PlanetSmartyPants

    GoGo looks delicious. We are often in need of a quick snack between coming home from after school and heading out to tennis or gymnastics.

  43. My kids need energy and fuel in order to participate in all the sports they play such as basketball and track

  44. The on the go activities my kids have that require extra fuel is my son plays soccer and my daughter plays softball.

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