No school lunch rut here! Here’s 50 easy, healthy lunch box ideas for kids and toddlers that are quick to make, and full of wholesome ingredients.
Packing school lunches is a big part of parenting (perhaps not our favourite part!), and it’s important to have lots of school lunch ideas and school snack ideas ready to go to make the process simple and quick.
Something that has made packing my kids’ school lunch boxes much less of a chore, is to pack them when I’m prepping (or cleaning up after) dinner, so that it doesn’t seem like a daunting task after I get my kids to bed, when really all I feel like doing is collapsing on the couch.
The key is to have those lunch kits emptied, washed and ready to go! This has become part of the kids’ routine when they get home from school. By the way, I love these lunch kits as they’re easy to clean, separate foods for picky eaters, and are Canadian-made!
When it comes to packing school lunches, I usually start with leftovers from supper (I LOVE leftovers for lunches), and then add:
- A fruit (at least one)
- A vegetable (at least one)
- A homemade muffin, lunch box granola bar, or healthy cookie (at least one)
- A protein-rich food like Greek yogurt, cheese, roasted chickpeas or hummus (at least one)
This way, I know that my kids are getting a balanced nutritious school lunch. I’m often asked for lunch box-safe recipes and school snack suggestions by friends and clients, so I decided to compile my most-favourite lunch box ideas (that my own three kids love!), and then I asked some of my fellow registered dietitians for their top picks too!
I’ve also got you covered with a list of healthy after-school snack recipe ideas, too! And as an extra little bonus, I’m giving you free access to my lunchbox cheat sheet that you can download and put on your fridge.
In this round-up, I share my favourite recipes for:
- Muffins and loaves
- Nut-free granola bars and bites
- Healthier cookies
- Healthy pudding
- Dips and sides
Let’s dive in!
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Muffins and Loaves
Nut-free granola bars and bites
Dips and sides
- 1 cup oats (I used quick-cooking steel-cut oats)
- 1 cup peanut butter (or pumpkin seed butter if you're making for school)
- 1/4 cup chia seeds
- 2 1/2 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips
- Add all of the ingredients except the chocolate chips into a food processor and process until well-blended. Transfer to a medium-sized bowl and add chocolate chips. Mix well.
- Roll into 1-inch balls and place on parchment paper inside an airtight container. Chill and serve!
Recipe inspired by: Living Well Mom's Gluten-free Chocolate Protein Balls
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Original post on YMC