50+ Lunch Box Ideas!

 

 

 

Packing real whole foods for my preschooler and kindergartener is a huge priority for me. I know that by the time lunch comes, they’re usually starving, so they’re more likely to eat what’s in front of them. My goal is always to include the following: one fruit, one veggie, one source of whole grains, a protein, and a healthy fat.

 

I tell myself that if I can get 4 of the 5 in their lunchbox, then it’s a job well done.  Here are some ideas for each of those categories:

 

 

FRUITS: 

  • apple slices 

  • clementines 

  • pear slices 

  • frozen mango chunks 

  • berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries) 

  • melon (watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew) 

  • whole peaches or plums 

  • apple sauce pouches (go for ones with an ingredient list that doesn’t include high fructose corn syrup or fruit juice concentrate)

 

VEGETABLES:

  • baby carrots with sunbutter or nut butter for dipping 

  • celery with cream cheese 

  • bell pepper slices with hummus 

  • sliced cucumbers with yogurt or ranch dip 

  • green smoothie 

  • frozen mixed vegetables (they will defrost by lunchtime] 

 

WHOLE GRAINS:

  • sandwich made with whole grain bread 

  • oatmeal in a thermos (good for lunch or snack time!) 

  • plain popcorn 

  • whole wheat pita bread or pita chips with hummus 

  • whole wheat pasta salad with chopped veggies 

  • whole wheat muffins 

  • whole grain granola bars. Check out our post on the healthiest store-bought granola bars! [ LINK HERE: http://peasfulkitchen.com/how-to-pick-the-healthiest-granola-bar/ ] 

  • whole grain crackers with cheese 

  • whole grain pancakes or waffles 

 

HEALTHY FATS:

  • hard boiled eggs (all eggs also count as protein!) 

  • egg salad sandwiches 

  • egg cups (mix an egg with cheese and bake in a greased muffin tin)

  • nuts or pumpkin seeds for snacking 

  • Nut butter or sunflower seed butter sandwich 

  • avocado (avocado toast, guacamole, or use avocado as a spread on a sandwich)

  • carton of milk 

  • string cheese 

 

PROTEINS:

  • deli meats and cheese (we like the Applegate brand) 

  • cheese and whole grain crackers 

  • yogurt 

  • chickpeas 

  • hummus 

  • rice and beans 

  • breaded chicken or chicken nuggets 

  • edamame (buy it in the freezer aisle) 

  • mini cheese ravioli or cheese tortellini 

 

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Nicole Jurick is a mom of three and owner of the cooking school Peasful Kitchen. Nicole shares healthy recipes, mealtime inspiration, and sane strategies for feeding picky eaters.

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