14 Easy School Lunch Ideas That Are Packed With Nutrition
Aug 23, 2022, Updated Jan 19, 2023
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This time of year, moms everywhere fret about what to pack in their kids’ lunchboxes. It might be easy to send along store-bought snacks but they are often lacking important nutrients. With a little creativity and a focus on produce, it can be just as simple to send them with nutritious snacks that they’ll love. As the school year gets underway, try these easy school lunch ideas and see which of them your kids like best!
Apple, Peanut Butter, and Honey Sandwich
Peanut butter and honey is a go-to sandwich combination in many kitchens. Add some produce to the mix with sweet Envy™ apple slices! These sweet sandwiches are easy to whip up and make a filling lunch for a busy day. They’re filled with protein and fiber that will help your kids get through a long school day.
Sweet and Savory Pear Air Fryer Empanadas
Introduce some bold international flavors into your kids’ lunches with empanadas! These versatile turnovers will be a hit with your family no matter when they’re served, but their compact shape makes them easy to pack in a lunchbox. Snackable, dippable, and irresistible, empanadas are easy to make using your air fryer. Fry them up ahead of time and save yourself some work in the morning! We’ve teamed up with our partners at USA Pears to bring you these Sweet and Savory Pear Air Fryer Empanadas.
Apple, Ham, and Cheese Breadless Sandwiches
Sandwiches without bread? You read that right! Not every sandwich needs to be capped by two carb- and gluten-loaded slices of bread. Whether your family is avoiding gluten or you simply want to switch up a classic lunch, your kids will love this Apple, Ham, and Cheese Breadless Sandwich. It has all the flavor of a classic deli sandwich between two juicy, crispy slices of a SweeTango apple.
Apple Energy Bites, Air Fryer Fries, and More
Sliced apples are a school lunch classic, and Crunch Pak makes them easier than ever! They offer a variety of snacks centered around fresh apple slices, all conveniently pre-sliced and packaged. While your kids will love finding them in their lunchboxes, you can also cook up some other treats with them. Apple Energy Bites and Air Fryer Fries are both tasty ways to add more nutritious produce to your kids’ diets. Check out their full line of products for more easy school lunch ideas.
Here’s a fresh and fruity take on sushi that will please even your seafood-averse kids. These pinwheels mix sweet, fruity, and savory flavors for combinations that your kids will love. Raspberries act as the jelly in our PB&J pinwheel while strawberries and brie settle nicely into fig jam in another classy recipe. Blueberry and guacamole make an unlikely yet irresistible pair, just like our unique combo of blackberries, turkey, and spinach.
Naturipe Snacks™ Bentos
Putting together fresh snacks with tasty ingredients requires time you may not have on a busy weekday morning. If that sounds like your morning, then Naturipe Snacks™ Bentos are the perfect solution! These handy bento boxes mix berries and other snacks like nuts, cheese, and granola to provide a delicious mix of flavors and textures. They’re a great way to add some energy and flavor to any day.
Apple Sushi Rolls
Back-To-School season is also SweeTango season! Such a unique apple deserves a unique recipe, like these SweeTango Sushi Rolls. Roll them and slice them for a fresh, crispy fall snack. Get creative with your “sushi” rolls and send your kids to school with a one-of-a-kind apple snack.
Apple Berry Fruit Salsa
Have a child who’s tired of the same old things in their lunch? If you really need to mix it up for them, try mixing up some Apple Berry Fruit Salsa! Their eyes will light up when they see this fruity, flavorful salsa. Pack it with some chips or crackers to give them a midday meal they’ll love.
Homemade Trail Mix
Fuel your kids’ school days with delicious and nutritious homemade trail mix. This snack can easily be assembled using fruits, veggies, and nuts which provide your kids with the nutrients they need to stay active. Trail mix makes a great side at lunch or snack any other time of day.
The humble beet may not be the first thing you reach for when you want to whip up a bowl of creamy hummus. But when you see and taste this one-of-a-kind hummus, it soon will be! Your kids will love the rich flavor of this nutritious snack-able dip that takes just a few quick minutes to blend together. Pack it in a container and send along some pita chips or sliced veggies for your kids to enjoy at lunch or as a snack.
To-Go Tomatoes and Homemade Ranch Dressing
Kids love dunk-able foods – and that includes veggies! Pick up a convenient pack of NatureSweet To-Go Tomatoes for a tasty snack that’s easy to pack. Send some Homemade Ranch Dressing along with them for a pair that’s perfect for dipping.
Pimento cheese is a southern favorite traditionally made with cheddar cheese, cream cheese, mayonnaise, pimento peppers, and seasoning. To give this beloved dip a sneaky veggie-kick, add cauliflower rice! Our kids love to dip some chips or crackers into this filling and packable treat, but you can also spread it between two slices of bread for a Pimento Cheese Sandwich.
Crockpot Sweet Potato Soup
Break out your crockpot to make a simple, nutritious soup that your whole family will love. Crockpot Sweet Potato Soup is easy, delicious, and will keep your kids warm even on the chilliest school days. We recommend packing it in a thermos to keep it warm ’til lunchtime.
No-Bake Raspberry & Dark Chocolate Energy Bites
If your kids need a pick-me-up to get through the rest of a long day at school, these Raspberry and Dark Chocolate Energy Bites might be just the thing! Made with just five ingredients — cashews, dates, oats, raspberries, and dark chocolate chips — these mighty little treats are both a tasty treat and a source of valuable nutrition and energy.
What Are Your Favorite Easy School Lunch Ideas?
Lunch is an important part of the school day, but packing it in the morning takes time and planning. Make it a little simpler with these easy school lunch ideas! Which of these produce-packed lunches did you and your kids love? Do you have any nutritious lunch ideas of your own? Share them with us in the comments below or send us your lunchbox pics by tagging us @theproducemoms on Instagram.