Healthy & Fun School Lunches & Snacks!

9 May

Most kids (including my 5-year-old) can eat a rotation of Mac & Cheese, Pizza or Cheese Quesadilla for lunch and dinner everyday.  My wife and I enjoy lots of different ethnic cuisines and want our kids to have broader taste buds as well.  Sometimes it is hard to make the school lunch box and after-school snacks interest, different, healthy and fun – so when I came across the following article from Parents.Com, I found it fantastic!  Fun & Healthy recipies…and I’m a big fan of the bento style lunches – provides good variety for a balanced meal!  The article provides great “themed” bento lunches – give it a try and make a switch from Mac & Cheese!  Heck, these lunches look so good I want my wife to make them for me for work!  LOL! 🙂

Even though the school year is coming to a close soon, there’s still summer camp/school and early prep and ideas for the Fall!

Healthy School Lunches & Snacks

All Dressed Up

The simplest and healthiest foods look extra-yummy when they’re tucked inside colorful little compartments. That’s the idea behind Laptop Lunches, the company that sells these cute plastic sets (starting at $21; We filled the containers with a protein, some fruit, a vegetable, and a small treat — all in perfect-size portions for kids 5 to 8.

All Dressed Up

* 1 cup bow-tie pasta salad with veggies
* 1 cup baby greens salad with 2 tablespoons low-fat dressing
* 3/4 cup watermelon
* 2 fig cookies

Catch of the Day
Catch of the Day
  • Fish-shaped tuna sandwich with lettuce on whole wheat bread
  • 10 baby carrots with 2 tablespoons low-fat ranch dip
  • Small plum
  • 1/4 cup whole-grain Goldfish crackers
Pretzel Kabobs
Pretzel Kabobs
  • Ham, turkey, and cheese rolled up together, sliced, and skewered with pretzel sticks
  • 1/2 cup mandarin oranges
  • 1/2 cup shelled edamame
  • 1 container (4 ounces) fat-free chocolate pudding
Early Riser
Early Riser
  • Sliced hard-boiled egg and 2 mini whole-grain waffles
  • Bell-pepper strips
  • 1 sliced kiwi fruit mixed with a few blackberries
  • Mini corn muffin
Finger Food
Finger Food
  • String cheese and a handful of whole wheat crackers
  • 1 cup broccoli and cauliflower florets with 2 tablespoons light raspberry dressing
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • Slice of banana bread
  • 1 cup bean salad
  • 1/2 cup melon wedges
  • Handful of whole-grain tortilla chips with 2 tablespoons salsa
  • 8 cubes of reduced-fat cheddar cheese
Hole New PB&J
Hole New PB&J
Pizza Party
Pizza Party
  • 1 slice leftover cold veggie pizza cut into squares
  • 3/4 cup cucumber moons with 2 tablespoons hummus
  • 1/2 cup purple grapes
  • 1/2 cup popcorn
Power Pita
Power Pita
  • 2 mini whole wheat pita pockets with grilled-chicken strips and veggies
  • 3/4 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt with sliced strawberries
  • 1/2 cup sugar snap peas
  • 8 animal crackers
Sesame sticks, chopped cereal-nut bars, dried pineapple
After-School Snack Mixes: Sesame Sticks

These creative combos add up to one-of-a-kind after-school treats.

Sesame sticks + chopped cereal-nut bars + dried pineapple

Mini pita chips, soy nuts, mini chocolate chips
After-School Snack Mixes: Pita Chips

Mini pita chips + soy nuts + mini chocolate chips

Mini preztels twists, cashews, dried crenberries
After-School Snack Mixes: Mini Pretzels

Mini pretzels twists + cashews + dried cranberries

Low-fat granola, sunflower seeds, dried apricots
After-School Snack Mixes: Low-Fat Granola

Low-fat granola + sunflower seeds + dried apricots

Dried papaya, whole-grain cereal, golden raisins
After-School Snack Mixes: Dried Papaya

Dried papaya + whole-grain cereal + golden raisins

Almonds, M&Ms, dried mango
After-School Snack Mixes: Almonds

Almonds + M&M’s + dried mango

TrueNorth Peanut Clusters
Best New Snacks for School: TrueNorth Peanut Clusters

Round out your kid’s lunch with healthy, ready-to-go products.

These nuggets of freshly roasted nuts are ideal for slow eaters. Six pieces contain 170 calories and 5 grams of protein ($3.50 for a 5-1/2-ounce bag).

Backman The Puzzle Pretzels
Best New Snacks for School: Bachman The Puzzle Pretzels

Puzzle-shaped pretzels come in large and individual-size bags ($17 for six 12-ounce bags).

Lundberg Family Farms Baked Rice with a Twist
Best New Snacks for School: Lundberg Family Farms Baked Rice with a Twist

These crunchy twists in child-friendly flavors like white cheddar and ranch are made from brown rice and packed with whole grains ($3 for a 4-1/2-ounce bag).

Back to Nature Granola to Go
Best New Snacks for School: Back to Nature Granola to Go

Toss a mini bag of this granola — along with a container of yogurt and a piece of fruit — into your child’s lunchbox. Kids will probably like the honey-almond variety the best ($4 for five 1-1/2-ounce bags).

Originally published in the September 2008 issue of Parents magazine.


http://www.parents.comBringing together the power of respected magazine brands including American Baby and Parents, the Parents Network is your go-to destination for parenting information. From first kicks to first steps and on to the first day of school, we are here to help you celebrate the joys and navigate the challenges of parenthood.

5 Responses to “Healthy & Fun School Lunches & Snacks!”

  1. erni October 23, 2011 at 5:14 PM #

    Nice, Healthyfirst, great. succsess.

  2. Terrific paintings! That is the type of info that should be shared around the web. Shame on the seek engines for no longer positioning this post upper! Come on over and visit my web site . Thanks =)

  3. Baumgal September 20, 2013 at 5:19 PM #

    You talk a lot about nut products. Do schools really let you send those? What about kids with life-threatening allergies??

    • Craigslistdad December 5, 2013 at 11:00 AM #

      I appreciate your comment. At my daughter’s schhol they have a nut free table in the cafeteria. But yes, in group/classroom settings, allergies are always respected and complied with. It is unfortunate for those with allergies and the health risks they deal with on a regular basis.


  1. More Tips to Make a Lunch Box Fun! « DeclutterOrganizeRepurpose - August 4, 2011

    […] Healthy & Fun School Lunches & Snacks! ( […]

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