11 easy meals for filling your kid’s lunch box


Packing a wholesome school lunch is every parent’s objective. A lunch that features nutritious grub will keep your munchkins energized and satisfied all day long — but only if they eat it.

Offering a wide variety of smaller items is often more desirable than simply sending them with a sandwich and an apple and it also increases the odds that at least some, if not all, will be eaten.

Thankfully, there are countless, quick-and-easy ways to fill their lunchboxes with a balanced combination of foods that deliver both protein and complex carbs. Great protein sources include eggs, poultry, beef, seafood, beans, cheese and nuts. Complex carbohydrate options include whole grain bread and tortillas, pasta, quinoa and other cooked grains, fruits and vegetables. Any protein and carb combination works. Here, I’ve put together some winning combinations to spark lunchbox inspiration.

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What to pack for school lunches

Spread low-fat or vegetarian refried beans on a street-taco-size soft flour tortilla.  Add a sprinkling of grated Mexican cheese, shredded lettuce, and diced tomato and roll up.

Burrito roll ups: Spread low-fat or vegetarian refried beans on a street taco size soft flour tortilla. Add a sprinkling of grated Mexican cheese, shredded lettuce and diced tomato and roll it all up. Serve with a little cup of salsa on the side. Feel free to add additional ingredients to the filling, including bell peppers, onions, sour cream, avocado and olives.

To make hummus and veggie cups, bake filo cups according to the package directions (you can do this the night before).  Fill the cups with prepared hummus (any variety) and top with shredded or diced carrots, diced tomatoes, and chopped bell peppers.

Hummus and veggie cups: Bake filo cups according to the package directions (you can do this the night before). Fill the cups with prepared hummus (any variety) and top with shredded or diced carrots, diced tomatoes and chopped bell peppers.

Serve deli meats and cheeses with rice cakes, crackers, olives, nuts, cherry tomatoes, and pickled peppers.  Mix and match these items to suit your needs.

Deli charcuterie: Pretend you’re hosting a mini cocktail party (without the alcohol) and pack a variety of deli meats and cheeses. Great options include sliced ​​turkey, chicken, ham, salami, pepperoni, Swiss cheese, cheddar cheese, provolone and mozzarella. Bonus points for prosciutto-wrapped mozzarella. Serve with rice cakes, crackers, olives, nuts, cherry tomatoes and pickled peppers. Mix and match these items to suit your needs.

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For ramen on the go, break up the noodles from a 3-ounce packet of dry ramen and add them to a thermos.  Add the seasoning packet and meager 1 1/2 cups of boiling water.  Place the lid on top and pack for school.  The noodles will be plenty soft by lunchtime.

Ramen on the go: Break up the noodles from a 3-ounce packet of dry ramen and add them to a thermos. Add the seasoning packet. Pour over 1 ½ cups of boiling water. Place the lid on top and pack for school. The noodles will be plenty soft by lunchtime.

Spoon your favorite pizza sauce or marinara sauce onto street taco size flour tortillas.  Top with shredded mozzarella cheese and mini pepperoni slices or regular sliced ​​pepperoni.  Pack these items separately so your child can assemble the pizzas at school.  Way better than Lunchables!

Pepperoni pizza: Spoon your favorite pizza sauce or marinara sauce onto street taco size flour tortillas. Top with shredded mozzarella cheese and mini pepperoni slices or regular sliced ​​pepperoni. Pack these items separately so your child can assemble the pizzas at school. Way better than Lunchables!

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Make a packable yogurt smoothie by blending Greek yogurt and your favorite fresh or frozen fruit.  Pour the mixture into a thermos or pack in a sealable plastic container.  Remember to pack a spoon or straw.

Yogurt smoothie. Use your blender or food processor to blend Greek yogurt and your favorite fresh or frozen fruit. Pour the mixture into a thermos or pack in a sealable plastic container. Remember to pack a spoon or straw.

Corndog cups can be prepared the day before and refrigerated until ready to pack (they're delicious warm, room temperature, and chilled).

Mini corn dog cups: Whisk together ¼ cup melted butter and ¼ cup granulated sugar in a large bowl. Whisk in ½ cup buttermilk or Greek yogurt and 1 egg. Add ½ cup cornmeal, ½ cup all-purpose flour, ¼ teaspoon baking soda and ¼ teaspoon salt and whisk to combine.

Coat a mini muffin pan with cooking spray. Spoon 1 tablespoon of the batter into each cup of the muffin pan, filling about 16 cups. Cut 2 all-beef hot dogs crosswise into 1-inch pieces and insert the pieces into the cornmeal batter, one piece per cup.

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