FIT4MOM Redmond Healthy School Lunches

Healthy Choices: Healthy School Lunches Made Easy

A new school season is upon us! Classroom supplies have been purchased, backpacks are filled, and new clothes are laid out. We all desire for our kids to eat healthfully, especially during school days. As parents, we strive to provide them with the foods to do so. Packing healthy school lunches can feel demanding, challenging, and confusing – but it doesn’t have to be!

First, try and think about foods you will eliminate from your child’s lunch. I don’t like to term foods as “good” or “bad”, especially with kids. So, I call them “sometimes” foods. This doesn’t mean eliminating these foods from their life completely, but I do recommend not offering these items during the school week.

Sometimes Foods: Top Foods to Eliminate During the School Week

  • Soda
  • Juice
  • Potato chips
  • Fast foods (burgers, fries, pizza, tacos)
  • Candy
  • High sugar and fat foods such as ice cream, cookies and cake
  • High fat meats like hotdog and salami

Next, focus on the “always” foods. These are foods that provide nutrition, and when paired appropriately (carbs with a protein or fat buddy) they will create satiety and prevent low blood sugar and hunger.

Always Foods: Foods for Your Child to Pick from to Create a Healthy School Lunch

  • Fresh fruits paired with cheese (cheese sticks are easy to pack)
  • Vegetables with low fat ranch dip or individual containers of hummus
  • Nut butter on whole grain crackers or graham crackers
  • Hummus or salsa with baked chips
  • ½ turkey sandwich on whole grain bread
  • Burgers (Turkey Patties or Boca Burger)
  • Bean soups (look for the ones in a cup for convenience)
  • Ants on a log (celery filled with either a nut butter or hummus, with raisins on top)
  • Turkey and veggie roll up
  • Tuna pita pocket with low fat mayo and sliced grapes
  • Morningstar chicken nuggets or corn dogs
  • Egg salad made with low fat mayo (or Trader Joe’s egg white salad)
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Baked tofu
  • Greek yogurts - fruit flavored ones are great and kids prefer them to plain
  • Low fat cheese sticks or Laughing Cow cheese with whole grain crackers or pretzels
  • Low fat cottage cheese with fresh fruit
  • Fruit salad with greek yogurt and 1 Tbsp of Sunflower Seeds
  • Unsweetened applesauce paired with 12 almonds or cashews
  • Talking Rain flavored water or water with lemon

Healthy Make-Ahead and Pre-Made Lunch Ideas

  • Pizza: Whole Wheat English Muffin, Tomato Sauce, and Mozzarella Cheese
  • Wraps: Lean Protein, Lettuce & Tomato, Mozzarella Cheese
  • Quesadilla: Whole Wheat Tortilla, Lean Protein, and Low Fat Cheese
  • Roll Up: Spread Low-Fat Cream Cheese on Lean Deli Meat and Wrap Around a Dill Pickle Spear
  • Chili
  • Annie’s Whole Wheat Shells and Cheddar (add chicken breast and broccoli)
  • Stir Fry with Lean Meat
  • Burritos Made with Ground Turkey Breast or Soy Crumbles
  • Dinner leftovers
  • Store Bought Pre-Made Burritos and Pita Pockets (e.g. Amy’s and Cedar Lane)
  • Store Bought Pre-Made Wraps
  • Brown Rice Sushi

Freshness Tips

  • Squeeze fresh lemon or 100% orange juice into fresh cut fruit to prevent browning
  • Freeze water bottles to use as an ice bag and to have as a cool, refreshing beverage
  • Utilize a thermos (can keep food hot or cold)
  • Use containers that keep foods cold
  • Put salad dressing or dips in separate container

Having your child help in the selection, shopping, and packing of their lunch will increase the likeliness of consumption, not to mention take some of the work off your plate!

Happy School Days!

About the Author:

Megan Vucinovich thrives on supporting parents and families in healthy eating. As a mom herself, she understands the challenges of a healthy diet for parents and kids with on-the-go lifestyles. Megan has 13 years of experience working with clients as a Registered Dietitian in the greater Seattle area. She would love to support you and/or you family!

Contact Megan directly to work with her one on one: or 425-753-1647

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