31 Healthy Kid-Friendly Lunchbox Ideas
Planning your kid-friendly lunchbox doesn’t have to be difficult. Follow these tips and ideas for healthy and delicious recipes for your children.
The end of the school year is upon us but for most that means we have at least another few weeks of packing school lunchboxes. If you’re like me, you’re likely getting burned out coming up with new, creative, and (at least somewhat) healthy lunches for your littles ones. Heck, none of us want to have that now infamous note sent home from our child’s teacher for sending “unhealthy Oreos.”
Last year when Ellie started 2-year-old Mother’s Day Out, I started taking pictures of her lunchbox each morning and sharing them on my Facebook page, blog and Pinterest board. I also felt that posting her lunch (however bad the pics are!) kept me accountable for offering new and healthy foods each day. I quickly discovered that Ellie was more likely to try new foods and eat better at school than at home so capitalizing on that eating experience was key for me (and her overall nutrition).
Like many things, life happened and while I was still making lunchboxes day, after day, after day…baby #2 came along and the pictures started to wane. Now that Frances is eating a more substantial school lunch, I’ve picked back up on taking the pictures to share the girls’ lunchboxes.
Under each picture is a short description of what was sent for the girls each day. I always strive for variety and at least 3 food groups. What often isn’t readily understood is that lunch is a balance of breakfast and dinner. For example, the girls often eat whole wheat waffles with milk and fruit for breakfast. When this is the case, they don’t always have a whole grain food at lunch. However, they’re getting other grains for a snack or at dinner. Remember, BALANCE is always key!
Scroll through each lunchbox for more tips and thoughts between the lunches.
*BUY the containers!*
Also check out these Weekly Lunchbox Roundups featuring lunches for my now older girls
LUNCHBOX RECIPES FROM 2014-2015 School Year:
A few notes about these lunches:
-All pics are taken from overhead so it is sometimes hard to get a feel for the depth of the container. I’ve tried to share an estimated amount of each item.
-We aren’t perfect and I’m not afraid to send items with a little bit of sugar, salt, or fat if that means that my girls will eat the food. Since this is the case, I find ways to balance their intake of said nutrient later in the day. For example, I don’t love sending some brands of yogurt because of the amount of added sugar BUT I’ve had a hard time getting them to eat plain yogurt sweetened with fruit SO yogurt with some sugar is a better plan to me than no yogurt at all.
More notes about the lunches….
-Pretty much all of the containers are from Rubbermaid. My sister works for Newell Rubbermaid so I’ve been fortunate that she shares some of her samples!
-Drinks: For the most part, Ellie drinks water at school each day. Unless she specifically asks for “milk from home” or some juice, I just let them give her water. I send a cup of milk or water (previously a bottle of formula) for Frances each day.
Just a few more notes:
-The size of the lunches vary, especially for Frances. What I don’t have explained under each pic is whether it was taken in January or the other day in early May. Over the course of the few months, Frances’s appetite and ability to eat different foods has grown.
-Uneaten food comes home so I’ve been able to watch eating trends as well as determine whether or not I’ve over or under packing. The girls often eat lunch leftovers for an after school snack or dinner.
I want to hear from you! What do your children love to eat in their lunchbox? Please share in the comments! Also, many of these lunches would be a perfect fit for school-aged children so please share with any moms and dads looking for ideas and inspiration!
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