I had a panic attack last week about the kids going back to school. Our summer has been hot and full of learning. Also a fair bit of goofing off. And now I must think about fall clothes, proper shoes and (ugh)… school lunches. Healthy school lunch ideas for picky eaters are hard to come by, so we’ve scoured our resources and assembled a comprehensive list for you.
It includes store-bought snacks as well so you don’t have to make everything from scratch!
I did a few things this year to prep for back to school, and one was acquire sectioned Planet Boxes for each child. The only issue now is filling them with healthy snacks and meals that the kids will actually eat. At a local dollar store I found fun stickers and animals to add charm and smiles to lunchtime. And of course picked up Funkins cloth napkins to remind the boys to take their manners to school.
Make it Yourself:
1. Pesto cream cheese pinwheels.
2. Ham and Cheese sandwiches cut with a favourite shaped cookie cutter.
3. Place a temporary tattoo on a banana. Who could resist?
4. Hot buttered corn on the cob in a thermos.
5. String blueberries or grapes on fun toothpicks.
6. Shaped chicken nuggets in a thermos.
7. Mini Muffins
8. Perogies in a thermos with a side of sour cream and cheese.
9. Nestle a chocolate chip into the hole in a raspberry.
10. Bake cut-up pita in fun shapes and send with hummus or tzatziki.
1. Mott’s Fruitsations + Veggies Medleys are packets of fruit gummies that have great nutritional benefits. They are only 80 calories per packet and give 100% of vitamin C and 4% of daily vitamin A. There are 9 in each pack and are flavoured with real fruit juice. We tried some and my kids were obsessed. They kids think they are an appropriate dessert. Win.
2. Packaged seaweed snacks are a huge love in our household and are filled with antioxidants. They come in wasabi, sesame, plain and sea salt and are available at most grocery stores as well as Costco.
3. Leftover Sushi. The cucumber, tuna and avocado are always a hit (the other kids will want it too). Ensure that you place a freezer pack in the lunch bag to preserve freshness.
4. Vita Coco Kids is a great new brand of coconut water with flavour that will leave them completely hydrated. We tried apple and fruit punch and it was a great product.
5. President’s Choice is making new U.H.T. chocolate and white milk that does not need refrigeration. They come in packs of three and include straws.
6. Microwave popcorn is a great easy snack to prepare in the morning!
7. Chocolate covered goji berries are a fabulous healthy addition to the lunch box.
8. Last night’s leftover pasta with butter and shaved parmesan in a thermos is one of my last-minute tricks.
9. Organic Rice Thins are healthy, filling and gluten-free.
10. Larabar Apple Energy Bars are great for kids!