Healthy School Lunches for Picky Eaters

Let’s face it, mornings are a race to the finish line, aren’t they? You’ve got to eat breakfast, shower, get dressed, and, if you have kids, make sure they do all of those things, too! And then of course there’s preparing your child’s lunch – and making it healthy, at that.  Well, we’re here to help!  We’ve come up with a list of 10 healthy, easy-to-make lunches (and side options) that are guaranteed to get in those servings of fruits and veggies, all while satisfying even the most finicky kid.

Strawberry Pasta Salad

Cook bowtie pasta according to package directions. Drain; rinse with cold water, and drain again. In a large bowl, whisk ½ cup of lemon yogurt, ¼ cup canola oil, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, ½ teaspoon sea salt until blended. Stir in 1 green onion, thinly sliced, along with 2 tablespoons finely chopped crystalized ginger. Add pasta, and toss to coat. Refrigerate, covered. Stir in 1lb fresh strawberries, quartered, and sprinkle with ¼ cup slivered almonds. If desired, sprinkle with toasted coconut flakes and small fresh mint leaves. Spoon servings into containers for packing.

Fresh Veggie Pockets

In large bowl, combine 1 carton of spreadable cream cheese with ¼ cup sunflower kernels and 1 teaspoon seasoned salt or salt-free seasoning blend. Spread about 2 tablespoons on the inside of each pita half. Layer with chickpeas and slices of tomato, cucumber, mushroom, and avocado.

Taco Wraps

In small bowl, beat ½ cup softened cream cheese until smooth. Sir in ¼ chopped green chilies, ¼ cup sour cream, and taco seasoning. Spread 1/4 cup bean dip over tortilla within ½ an inch from edges. Layer with guacamole dip, cream cheese mixture, onion, pepper, olives, and shredded cheese. Roll up tightly and pack away!

Pesto Egg Salad Sandwich

In a small bowl, combine ½ cup fat-free mayonnaise, ¼ cup finely chopped red onion, 4 teaspoons prepared pesto, ¼ teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Gently stir in 4 hard-boiled large eggs, chopped, and 3 hard-boiled large egg whites, chopped. Spread over toast slices; top with spinach and remaining toast.

Hummus & Veggie Wrap

Spread 2 tablespoons hummus over 1 whole wheat tortilla (8 inches). Layer with ¼ cup mixed salad greens, 2 tablespoons finely chopped sweet onion, 2 tablespoons thinly sliced cucumber, 2 tablespoons alfalfa sprouts, and 2 tablespoons shredded carrot. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon balsamic vinaigrette. Roll up tightly.

Fruity Nut-Butter Pita

In a small bowl, blend ¼ cup of your nut-butter of choice with 1/8 teaspoon of ground allspice, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Spread inside pita bread halves; fill with apple and banana slices.

Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad

In a medium bowl, whisk together 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice, 1 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley, 1 tsp olive oil, 1 pinch salt, and 1 pinch pepper. Add ¾ cup cooked quinoa, ½ cup canned chickpeas, 1 plum tomato (chopped), and ¼ seedless cucumber (chopped). Toss to combine.

Herb & Veggie “Pizza”

Spread herbed cream cheese onto flatbread. Slice flatbread into triangular shapes. Top individual pieces with raw veggies of your choice.

Peanut Butter and Granola Pinwheels

Spread 4 tablespoons creamy peanut butter over 2 flour tortillas (8 inches). Drizzle with honey and sprinkle with granola (without raisins). Roll up, then cut into slices.

Orzo Salad

Cook 2-1/2 cups uncooked whole wheat orzo pasta according to package. Drain orzo; rinse with cold water. In a large bowl, combine 1 can cannellini beans (rinsed and drained), 3 medium tomatoes (finely chopped), 1 English cucumber (finely chopped), 2 cups crumbled feta cheese, 1-1/4 cups pitted Greek olives (chopped), 1 medium sweet yellow pepper (finely chopped), 1 medium green pepper (finely chopped), 1 cup fresh mint leaves (chopped), ½ medium red onion (finely chopped), ¼ cup lemon juice, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest, 3 garlic cloves (minced), and ½ teaspoon pepper. Stir in orzo and refrigerate.

Healthy Side Options:

  • Grapes
  • Cucumbers
  • Berries
  • Orange
  • Apple
  • Cubed Melon
  • Grape or Cherry Tomatoes
  • Snap Peas
  • Raisons
  • Almonds
  • Walnuts