Avoiding the Lunch Box Blues

If you have school age children, then you probably know all about the smashed banana or sandwich in the bottom of the lunch sack. It doesn’t take long before kids start to get tired of the same old thing. Not to mention, if you were to take a peek into many children’s lunch bags, you would find they were packed with not so healthy items. So, what’s a parent to do? Here are some great ideas for getting your kids healthy, easy lunches that will keep them excited about “what’s for lunch today.”

    • Keep it fun. Kids love to dunk there food. Carrot sticks with some ranch is always a good thing. They also love to scoop their food. A tuna or chicken salad scooped up with Fritos works great. Cut their food into fun shapes with cookie cutters.


    • Use as little processed food as possible. Lunch isn’t a time for a high carb meal. Try to balance it out with high protein and other nutrients kids need. Avoid all the store bought snacks such as cake snacks (Ding Dongs and Twinkies), fruit roll ups, cookies, etc. There’s way to much sugar in these. Instead opt for fresh fruits and vegetables, or your own homemade low-sugar treats.


    • Leftovers– Invest in a lunch box that will let you keep food cool or warm. Leftovers is an easy, healthy and yummy lunch that can be a far cry from the same old sandwich.


    • Is your child a pasta lover? Try a fun pasta salad (even easier if it’s leftover from a meal the night before) in their lunch box.


    • Use a thermos to pack healthy soups and stews. Once the temps start dropping, your kiddos will really appreciate some warm soup or stew at lunch time.


  • Really think out of the box. Hard boiled eggs (already peeled) with slices of apples and cheese, healthy popcorn makes a great snack, yogurt parfaits, baked potato with toppings, leftover pizza.

So basically, anything your child could eat for lunch at home, he could eat for lunch at school. No reason for the same old peanut butter and jelly sandwich every day. Unless of course, they happen to like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches every day.

What kind of lunches do your kids like to eat at school? Do you have any ideas you’d like to share with us? Bring them on!

Published on: September 05, 2013
About the Author
Photo of Lisa Holcomb

Lisa is co-founder of Build A Menu, an online menu planning website that helps families get their grocery bill under control and helps them to bring “dinner back to the table”. She is an advocate for family meal time, an author, and a public speaker.

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Recent Comments

I like a lot of the ideas here and am already utilizing them. We have finally managed to get out of the peanut butter and jelly sandwich rut that seemed to be inevitable with 3 kids in school. One item I wish was not part of the article is to name a brand that has zero nutritional value… Fritos and I think it was the only brand named. While it may be a popular tasty item, it is total garbage when it comes to nutrition and a better item to have shared in that spot would have been whole wheat crackers. I agree it is possible to make a very healthy lunch that tastes great and the kids will eat I too know that it may be an unrealistic thing to expect parents won’t pack any junk or treats ever… but if the goal of the article is to share ideas on how to steer away from that maybe we could refrain from naming an item that is junk?