Become a Lunchbox Legend!
Healthy, non-sandwich lunches even picky eaters will love
Packing lunches doesn’t have to be a chore. Before heading into work or sending the kids back to class, try some of these tips and healthy lunch recipes to make lunches a breeze.
- Invest in some lunch supplies (containers, lunch bags, water bottles and freezer packs). Look for BPA-free lunch containers; some even have divided compartments for sandwiches and side items and are perfect for putting together healthy, well-rounded lunches.
- Write out the lunches you plan to make each week. This will make grocery shopping easier and provide you with a game plan for the week.
- Have a picky eater? Involve your kids in selecting snacks and lunch items so they will be more likely to eat them. You can guide them to make healthy selections by asking them which fresh fruit and vegetables they want each week and encouraging more healthy protein options like rotisserie chicken rather than hot dogs.
- Packing lunches the night before can help save time and reduce stress in the morning when you are trying to get ready to get out the door.
- Keep it interesting! Making the same lunch can be boring no matter what age you are. Try incorporating some non-traditional lunches to shake things up.
Try one of our favorite non-sandwich options listed below:
1. Ham and cheese pinwheels
- Use a 10-inch corn or whole-wheat tortilla and fill it with ham and cheese
- Roll the tortilla, then use toothpicks to pin the edges
- Slice it into 1-inch pinwheels
2. Turkey, hummus and cucumber wrap
- Use a 10-inch corn or whole-wheat tortilla
- Spread your favorite flavor of hummus on the tortilla
- Top it with turkey and sliced cucumbers
- Roll the tortilla to close it
3. Try having breakfast for lunch
- Select a whole-wheat bagel (whatever flavor you prefer)
- Spread on some reduced-fat cream cheese
- Pack it with a hardboiled egg, cup of berries and some yogurt
4. Quesadilla slices
- Use a 10” corn or whole wheat tortilla
- Fill it with cheese, shredded chicken, sliced peppers and other fresh veggies
- Melt the cheese and brown the outside of the tortilla in a frying pan
- Allow the quesadilla to cool, then cut it into quarters
- Add some fresh salsa on the side for dipping
5. Quinoa Salad
- Mix quinoa with meats, cheeses and veggies your child likes and top it off with a vinaigrette
6. Dip it with a Hummus and Pita pairing
- Pack hummus and pita slices with olives, carrots, baby tomatoes, grapes and some fresh chicken (Dipping is easier and less of a mess if the hummus is packed separately.)
7. Make a healthy homemade “lunchable”
- Pack ham slices, whole-wheat crackers, nuts, cucumber slices and apple slices into a divided lunch container.
To complete each lunch, you can include a cup of berries or a piece of fresh fruit, a glass of milk and other healthy snacks.
For more information on how to make healthier food choices, try our 30-minute e-visits with a registered dietitian and get your questions answered quickly and conveniently.
** Be sure to check with your children’s school for any school lunch guidelines regarding allergy information.