Easy, Healthy Lunch Ideas for your #fitkids!

 Like many kids around the country, my son and daughter returned to school this week. And like many parents, particularly those like myself who are very health-concious, I grappled a little about what to put in their lunches boxes that they’ll actually eat.  I must admit that it’s still quite challenging for me to get my kids to eat healthy as much as possible but I make it happen (my son actually isn’t as much of a challenge…my daughter is because she’s more picky).  I realize, though, that this doesn’t just apply to what they eat at home but also what they eat at school.  I’m a stickler for making their lunches…saves money and I have more control over what they eat.  So there are some healthy lunch ideas I’ve come up with for my #fitkids that I’m experimenting with this school year.  I’m excited to try out new foodie ideas for them…I just hope they like most if not all of them!  Do you struggle with this, too?  Need ideas on healthier lunches for your kiddos?  Well check out my top picks.

Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwiches 

Many of use grew up eating these tasty sandwiches that are so simple to make (even my 5 year old makes his own…I just cut them for him).  But not only are they simple to make…they can also be a healthier alternative

pic courtesy of www.todayifoundout.com

pic courtesy of www.todayifoundout.com

to the typical cold cut sandwiches that are often made with processed meat that’s high in sodium.  Peanut butter offers a number of benefits such as a good amount of protein and heart-healthy monounsaturated fat among other nutrition benefits.  Jelly also offers some nutritious benefits such as from the fruit from which it is made.  But for both just watch the amount you use because those calories can add up.  I try to stick as close as possible to the serving size…not hard to do if only making a sandwich.

Here’s what you need to make this healthy: Peanut butter (natural preferably), jelly, whole wheat bread

Homemade Lunchables 

My kids love those little cute “Lunchable” packs they see in the stores.  They seem to get a kick out of making cracker/meat/cheese sandwiches and mini cold pizzas.  But have you checked out the ingredient list for

pic courtesy of www.momables.com

pic courtesy of www.momables.com

these?  And depending on which one you get…the price??  Sure they are convenient.  But I certainly don’t want to buy them weekly for my kids.  So I’ve started to make them.  I even have the kids help me so they can take part in preparing their lunch…they really seem to enjoy it!

Here’s what you need to make these healthy: Cracker sandwich pack – crackers i.e. Ritz cheese crackers, lunch meat (I prefer turkey), sliced cheese (preferably version made with 2% milk); Pizza pack – English muffins or pita bread, tomato sauce (watch the sodium), mozzarella cheese (preferably version made with 2% milk).  Add a healthy snack such as fruit or yogurt instead of the mini candy bars that often come with the store-bought packs.

Quesadilla 

These are easy to make and store for eating later.  And they don’t need to be totally hot.  As long as the cheese is melted my kids quesidillalike them.  They seem to prefer the cheese quesadillas although sometimes I sneak a few finally chopped veggies in them.  What you need: tortillas, shredded mozzarella or cheddar cheese, cooking spray or small amount of oil (preferably olive or coconut)

Here’s what you need to make this healthy: whole wheat tortilla, shredded cheddar or mozzarella cheese (preferably version made with 2% milk) 

Macaroni and Cheese Pasta Salad

My kids love macaroni n cheese.  But they can’t take it to school and reheat it…and who wants cold macaroni n cheese?  So instead of making it the traditional way I like to make it with the

This mac n cheese is simple to make

This mac n cheese is simple to make

pasta noodles and blocks of cheddar cheese and a light sauce or dressing for extra flavor.  I’m still working on getting them to eat it with chopped veggies such as tomatoes.  Hopefully we’ll get there soon J  What you’ll need: macaroni or other pasta noodles, small blocks of sharp cheddar cheese, Italian dressing or olive oil/vinegar mixture to toss pasta in, chopped veggies (optional…if they’ll eat it) 

Here’s what you need to make this healthy: macaroni noodles, sharp cheddar cheese chopped into small blocks (preferably version made with 2% milk), Italian or homemade dressing i.e. olive oil and apple vinegar with basil seasoning added

SNACKS

Flourless Vegan Oatmeal Cookies

These are one of my fave #snacksIliketostash!  They are very oatmeal cookies, healthy dessertseasy to make and taste good warm or cold (I store mine’s in the fridge).  Even the mixture to make them tastes good…you could eat just that if you wanted to!

Check out my recipe on how to make these.

Eggless Edible Chocolate Chip Cookie Balls

I made these a couple of times and my kids loved them!  Now, keep the portion to a minimum…I would say no more than 2-3 in one serving.  I say this because of the coating, which consists of white chocolate baking chips (when melted they can be

Yummy, healthy, eggless, chocolate chips balls!

Yummy, healthy, eggless, chocolate chips balls!

used as a coating that hardens).  I actually used banana flour to make these but feel free to use whatever you want…but I recommend a “healthier” flour such as banana, almond, or whole wheat.

What you need to make this healthy snack: “healthy” flour, chocolate chips (preferably mini), almond milk, cacao powder, white chocolate baking chips for coating.

Yogurt

Yogurt is always an easy snack to grab and enjoy anytime.  But my fave for my kiddos are the ones that come in a tube such as

pic courtesy of genius.com

pic courtesy of genius.com

Yoplait’s Go-Gurt.  They are so easy to pack and are perfect for healthy eating on-the-go.  At only 70 calories a tube with low sugar, a little protein and lots of calcium these are definitely a hot item for my kids’ lunch box.

You can find Yoplait Go-gurt at almost any grocery store chain or even stores like Wal-mart and Target.  If you want to pay a little less popular low-cost food store chain Aldi sell their own version, too.


I hope that you’ve found this article helpful.  Kids can be really picky (such as my daughter) making it difficult to get them to eat many of the healthier things we want them to eat.  I still struggle with this but it’s getting better.  I’ve just found that experimenting with different healthy foods and snacks while taking away the bad stuff or drastically reducing how often we buy it has helped a lot.  Also, I encourage you to get your kids involved as much as possible.  Pull them into the kitchen with you and let them take part in making healthier foods.  This way, they may find it more “fun” to eat something they actually made.  Good luck and remember that fit kids is the goal!

About Keke

I'm a wife, mother, IT career woman, MBA, fun, loving person who enjoys wearing multiple hats and living life to the fullest. I was born and raised in St. Louis, MO and have been working in the field of technology for over a decade, which I enjoy very much. Additionally, I'm passionate about fitness and eating well so I'm always researching related topics and enjoy sharing this information with others. My blog merges the things I'm passionate about by turning these topics into what I hope you find are interesting blog posts. So glad you stopped by and hope to see you back here soon!

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