It’s important for parents to send children into the world prepared. You can start at an early age by making your kids nourishing lunches to take to school. Though it seems difficult to stray from the classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich, I’ve compiled a list of healthy and easy lunch ideas so you can give your children the nutrition they need.
Fish-Shaped Tuna Sandwich
Craft a tuna sandwich with all of your kid’s favorite fixings—tuna, celery, mayo, and whatever else they love to eat! Then, using a cookie cutter, shape the tuna sandwich to look like an actual fish. Throw in a side of vegetables or fruit to help your kids get the vitamins they need, and add some reduced-fat chips or crackers on the side.
Meat and Cheese Roll-Ups
Using sliced turkey, ham, or roast beef, roll up meat with sliced cheese. You can spread mayo and mustard inside to make it more sandwich-like. Stick a toothpick in the middle to hold it together. It’s a fun variation on the everyday sandwich, and if you have a child with an allergy to gluten, this a great way to make a sub without the bread!
If you have a child who loves their breakfast food, send them to school with a few hard-boiled eggs and mini waffles. Include some berries and orange juice to make it feel more “brunchy.” Don’t forget a little bit of syrup or powdered sugar for the waffles!
Using a whole-wheat tortilla, wrap up some deli meat, cream cheese, dried fruit, and baby tomatoes. Slice the wrap into pieces to make delicious pinwheels for your kids. These are easy to prepare and pack, and leave plenty of room for fruits, veggies, or other sides!
Some kids will beg for you to buy them overpriced and not-so-nutritious Lunchables at the store, but you can easily make healthier versions at home. Cut up sliced deli meat and cheese into small pieces and stack them next to the cracker of your choice. You can throw in a juice box and fun-sized candy bar to make it more authentic. Mix and match mini foods and sides until your child finds a favorite.
Chicken Salad Sandwich
Mix chicken, mayonnaise, celery, and grapes to make a delicious chicken salad. Serve it on a croissant with a side of carrots or cucumber. If your child is gluten-free, the chicken salad can be stored in a reusable plastic container and packed with a fork. Just make sure your child brings those items back so you can keep using them!