15 Healthy Back-to-School Lunch Ideas

15 Healthy Back-to-School Lunch Ideas

Ensuring your children have healthy lunches every day at school—and that they actually eat them—can seem like a daunting task, especially when you have your own busy schedule to contend with. Check out this list of 15 recipes that make lunchtime meal planning a breeze and help your kiddos get all the nutrients they need, all while satisfying their tastebuds.

Whether it’s hot out of the oven or served cool from their lunchbox, these mini frittatas are a delicious and easy way to give your kids a healthy dose of protein and veggies. The recipe is gluten and nut-free and can be adjusted to be made in a mini muffin pan.

A childhood favorite of many, alphabet soup is a long-time star of the school lunch table. This healthy recipe is low on seasoning, making it perfect for even the pickiest of eaters. Doubling as a great weekend dinner, filling a thermos with leftovers makes this recipe delightfully easy for weekday lunches.

On a cold or rainy day, a thermos of soup can be the perfect, warming comfort for a growing mind. With chunky vegetables, quality protein, and hearty noodles, this nourishing soup helps sustain energy levels and boost the immune system.

This one-pot dish is a deliciously satisfying twist to spaghetti and meatballs and a healthy way for your kids to enjoy some comfort food at school. Packing this lunch with a small salad makes for an easy and complete meal.

A colorful and tasty pasta salad, this recipe will make your child look forward to opening their lunchbox. This plant-based dish provides a rich array of phytonutrients to support healthy, resilient children, and it suits gluten-, nut-, and dairy-free diets.

This fun finger food is free of nuts, gluten, and dairy but full of tasty and nutritious goodness. Don’t forget to pack the accompanying dipping sauce in a separate container or compartment of the lunchbox.

Pizza meets pasta in this dish that is sure to be a lunchtime star. Assembling it in a jars makes it easy to take care of several portions at once. If you’re looking to boost the nutritional power, try serving the pasta mixture on a bed of spinach.

Made with hearty and fulfilling ingredients, this banana bread is moist, just sweet enough, and completely nut-free, making it the ideal lunchbox treat. Using this bread to make a sandwich—like this Almond Pear Sandwich—can give your kids a unique lunch they’re sure to love.

Your kids may think they’re getting dessert for lunch when they open their lunchbox to this decadent sandwich, but this sandwich provides a healthy helping of whole grains, good fats, vitamin C, and other antioxidants. Keep things exciting by experimenting with other fruits, like bananas and peaches.

Pita pockets are perfect for lunchboxes and allow you to get as creative as you and your kids would like. Packed with vitamin C and half the daily calcium requirement, these scrumptious pita pockets are an easy and delicious nutritional win. For a vegan option that’s still rich in protein, try these Sprouted Lentil and Quinoa Salad Pita Pockets.

Kids will go crazy for the cheesy surprise center of these turkey meatballs. They can be served on whole grain pasta, in a sub sandwich, or alongside a salad—giving you lots of options to customize this delicious lunch to your child’s personal preferences.

This convenient lunch works well as the main event or as a side dish. You can also make this salad in large batches—it can be stored in the fridge for up to a week or frozen for up to three months. For freezing, simply replace the cucumber and raw peppers in this recipe with zucchini and sautéed peppers and store the dressing separately.

Mac and cheese gets a plant-based makeover in this kid-approved recipe. Featuring cauliflower, potato, carrots, and peas, your kids will not only be getting a creamy and hearty lunch they love but they’ll be getting their veggies too.

The combination of carrots and honey in the hummus helps to give this recipe a kid-friendly sweetness. For convenience, you can pre-make these wraps up to two days ahead, while extra hummus can be frozen in an airtight container for future wraps.

Collard greens are a great alternative to flour-based wraps, thanks to their sturdy structure and mild taste. Paired with chicken and green hummus, this hand-held lunch is packed with protein and the perfect midday pick-me-up that is sure to last through to the last bell of the day. If you’d like to keep things plant-based, swap chicken out for smoked tofu.

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