It’s no secret that kids can be picky eaters and coming up with ideas for healthy school lunches can be challenging. It becomes even more so when there are multiple children all with different taste buds! In our house, one kid likes leftovers from the night before, the other doesn’t like much of anything.

So how do you find ways to keep their lunches varied, delicious and healthy? We’ve got a few tricks up our sleeve to do just that.

  1. Take them grocery shopping. Brainstorm lunch ideas beforehand and encourage them to help select ingredients.
  2. Spend time in the produce section pointing out all of the fruits and vegetables they may like. At a minimum, most kids will at least eat carrots or broccoli with Ranch dressing and seasonal fruits can be a refreshing treat.
  3. Instead of sandwiches, try tortilla wraps with cream cheese and turkey, or if your child is an adventurous eater, pack the makings for lettuce wraps.
  4. Invest in an insulated bowl for soups or hot dishes. If it’s warmed in the morning, it should be just right by lunch time.
  5. Engage them in packing their own lunch. Giving kids the flexibility to make decisions goes a long way.
  6. Stock healthy snacks in one place and let your kids choose their own each day.
  7. Make lunches the night before to avoid unnecessary stress in the morning.
  8. Try veggie laden pasta or quinoa salad.
  9. Add beans or meat to quesadillas with a side of salsa or guacamole.
  10. Some kids love tuna or egg salad, which is a great way to get them to eat protein.
  11. Add a touch of fruit to their water bottle instead of sugary drinks.
  12. Hummus is perfect for dipping veggies or crackers.
  13. Apples and celery are both delicious with peanut butter.
  14. Smoothies are good any time of day, pack a thermos and it should hold just fine.
  15. If all else fails, there is always the tried and true PB&J!

While it’s easy to pack convenience foods, they generally don’t provide the nutrients needed for active minds. It may be frustrating, but taking the time to teach your kids about the importance of healthy eating is well worth the investment!

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