Easy and Nutritious School Lunch Ideas

Call Me Lore's Easy Healthy Toddler Lunch Ideas Dairy Free Nut Free Lunch Zero Waste Kid Friendly Lunchbox

Who else cannot believe it’s already October?! While I’m loving everything that comes with the fall season, time has just flown by!

Diego has already been in school for a couple months now. And while he’s loving it, it’s been a challenge coming up with new, healthy, school lunches everyday (that he’ll actually like)! It’s so important to send him off with healthy and nutritious food everyday, but sometimes, I run out of ideas. Any other mom’s feel like this?

On top of that, I’ve been more focused on cutting unneeded plastic out of my family’s lives! Which means no more plastic baggies which makes packing a lunch a bit of a challenge.

So I invested in the The Shuttle Lunchbox from PlanetBox, which is a BPA free stainless steel bento box and it got me inspired to share some healthy lunch ideas. This is in no way sponsored, nor was I gifted the lunchbox. But I have to say that I’m so happy this lunchbox makes it easy to not only organize Diego’s food but be a little more eco-friendly with zero Tupperware or plastic bags.

Below you’ll find 5 different lunch ideas along with ingredients and directions! 

1. Diced Chicken, Hummus, Apple Slices, Snap Peas, and Sweet Potato Fries

Call Me Lore's Easy Healthy Toddler Lunch Ideas Dairy Free Nut Free Lunch Zero Waste Kid Friendly Lunchbox

Hummus is one of my favorite sides to eat with veggies, and Diego loves it too! Which makes my job easier because it goes perfect with the snap peas, chicken, and sweet potatoes as something to dip in. Plus it’s packed with fiber from the apples, protein from the chicken, and vitamin C, potassium, and folate from the snap peas. It’s the perfect go-to lunch!

Ingredients

  • 1/4 of a cooked chicken breast
  • 1/2 a small apple
  • Handful of snap peas
  • Handful of sweet potato fries (I use Alexia Sweet Potato Fries, found here)
  • 1 spoon full of hummus

Directions

  1. Cut cooked chicken into cubes
  2. Slice apple
  3. Cook sweet potato fries according to package or fresh
  4. Add snap peas, apples and sweet potato fries to the large compartment
  5. Add hummus and chicken to the smaller container

2. Turkey Rolls, Cucumbers, Tomatoes, and Animal Cracker Cookies

Call Me Lore's Easy Healthy Toddler Lunch Ideas Dairy Free Nut Free Lunch Zero Waste Kid Friendly Lunchbox

I love this lunch box meal because it will take only 5 minutes to make, and it’s packed with veggies and protein. Diego will get his vegetable nutrients with the cucumber and tomatoes, his protein with the turkey rolls, and a little dessert with the animal crackers. There’s something about making the turkey and cucumbers look fun to eat that really gets him to eat it.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 – 1/2  a cucumber
  • 4 diced cherry tomatoes
  • 4 slices of deli turkey meat
  • Handful of animal crackers

Directions:

  1. Slice cucumbers into thin slices
  2. Take the turkey slices and roll them. I then cut them in half so it’s easier for Diego to eat
  3. Cut the cherry tomatoes into bit sized pieces
  4. Arrange the turkey rolls and cucumbers in the larger compartment
  5. Arrange the tomatoes and animal crackers in the smaller compartment

3. Tuna Pasta Salad, Coleslaw, Snap Peas, Blackberries

Call Me Lore's Easy Healthy Toddler Lunch Ideas Dairy Free Nut Free Lunch Zero Waste Kid Friendly Lunchbox

The best part of this lunch is it really hits all the fruits, veggies, fats, carbs, and protein. Plus the only thing to be “made” is the tuna pasta salad. Which to be honest can be thrown together in two minutes with a can of tuna, some avocado oil mayo, some peas and some leftover pasta shells OR (sometimes my go-to) bought from the deli at Whole Foods.

It’s a family favorite because Diego loves pasta but here he gets some protein, and if I’m in a pinch I buy it from the store to throw in some protein. The black berries are also a nice substitute for a sweet dessert.

Ingredients

  • Coleslaw mixed veggies
  • Tuna
  • Mayo (I use the one with avocado oil)
  • Pasta
  • Peas *optional
  • Snap Peas
  • Black Berries

Directions

  1. Mix a can of tuna with an eye-balled scoop of mayonnaise until evenly mixed
  2. Fold to the tuna mixture some steamed peas and cooked pasta shells
  3. Fill the largest side with the coleslaw mixture
  4. Layer the Tuna Pasta Salad on top of the coleslaw
  5. Put a handful of snap peas and a handful of black berries in the smaller container

4. Chopped chicken, cucumbers, tomatoes, and grapes

Call Me Lore's Easy Healthy Toddler Lunch Ideas Dairy Free Nut Free Lunch Zero Waste Kid Friendly Lunchbox

I like to call this the kitchen sink lunch! Chop some veggies, fruit, and a protein and you have easy finger food. Not only is it colorful to look at, but the crisp green cucumbers, bright red cherry tomatoes and the deep purple grapes all provide Diego with vitamins and minerals, like fiber, potassium, and other antioxidants to get him through the day. Don’t forget the chicken for protein!

Ingredients

  • 1 Fully cooked chicken breast
  • Half of a cucumber
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Handful of grapes

Directions

  1. Cut chicken breast into cubes
  2. Slice cucumbers, then cut slices in half
  3. Cut the grapes in half
  4. Arrange grapes and cucumbers in the larger compartment
  5. Arrange chicken cubes and tomatoes in the smaller compartment

5. Chopped Veggies, Pita and Hard Boiled Eggs

Call Me Lore's Easy Healthy Toddler Lunch Ideas Dairy Free Nut Free Lunch Zero Waste Kid Friendly Lunchbox

This lunch idea is perfect when you want to find a sandwich replacement. The whole wheat pita and hard boiled egg are sure to keep Diego’s tummy full for the day, and the fresh veggie mix gives him his needed nutrients. Not pictured because I totally spaced to show it here, but sometimes I spread a layer of hummus or avocado between the pita slices.

Ingredients

  • One whole wheat pita
  • 1 hard boiled egg
  • Half of a cucumber
  • One large carrot
  • One stick of celery
  • 1 scoop of hummus or avocado *optional

Directions

  1. Cut whole wheat pita into triangles
  2. Cut hard boiled egg in half
  3. Cut carrot into bite sized pieces
  4. Slice cucumbers, then cut slices in half
  5. Cut celery into bite sized pieces
  6. Mix carrots, cucumbers, and celery together
  7. Arrange veggie mix in the smaller compartment
  8. Arrange pita and egg in the larger compartment

Diego loves these meals, and I’m sure your child will too! And with some modification, you can make these for yourself as well. Do you have any healthy school lunch ideas? Let me know in the comments! 

 

Need Healthy (Kid Friendly) Snack Ideas?

Snacks to have on hand when you’re really making lunch in 3 minutes, running from school to sports practices, or just to keep in the pantry. These are some of Diego’s favorite snacks that I feel good about giving him. Nutrition is so important for little ones and having packaged healthy options makes eating healthy with a toddler 100 times easier.

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