With kids back at school now, parents face the daily challenge of preparing nutritious and appealing lunches that their high schoolers will actually eat. Our eldest started high school last week, and I am already trying to figure out the best lunches to send.

It’s not always easy to balance convenience and health, but with some creativity and planning, you can pack a lunch that fuels both their bodies and minds.

Last week, many meals came back home untouched, so here are some healthy lunchbox ideas I am trying this week: easy to eat and packed with essential nutrients.

Fueling Success: Healthy Lunchbox Ideas for High School

1. Turkey and Avocado Wrap:

  • Start with a whole-grain tortilla.
  • Spread a thin layer of hummus for extra flavour and protein.
  • Layer on lean turkey slices, avocado, lettuce, and tomato.
  • Roll it up tightly and cut it into bite-sized pinwheels.

2. Quinoa Salad in a Jar:

  • Layer cooked quinoa with various colourful veggies (e.g., bell peppers, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, and carrots).
  • Add a protein source like chickpeas, grilled chicken, or tofu.
  • Top with a light vinaigrette dressing for added flavour.
  • Pack it in a mason jar for easy storage and mixing when it’s time to eat.

3. Bento Box Delight:

  • Invest in a bento box with compartments to create a balanced meal.
  • Fill one section with whole-grain crackers or rice cakes.
  • Include another section for a protein source like cheese cubes, turkey slices, or edamame.
  • Fill the remaining compartments with fresh fruit slices, baby carrots, and a small container of hummus or yogurt for dipping.

4. Greek Yogurt Parfait:

  • Layer Greek yogurt with granola and a mix of fresh berries.
  • Drizzle with honey or maple syrup for a touch of sweetness.
  • Include a separate container with some nuts for added crunch and protein.

5. Pasta Salad with Pesto:

  • Cook whole-grain pasta and toss it with pesto sauce.
  • Add in cherry tomatoes, fresh basil, and mozzarella cheese.
  • Pack it in a container with a fork, and it’s ready to go.

6. Rice and Veggie Stir-Fry:

  • Prepare a batch of brown rice and let it cool.
  • Add stir-fried veggies (bell peppers, broccoli, snap peas) and your choice of protein (chicken, tofu, or shrimp).
  • Season with a light soy or teriyaki sauce.

7. DIY Trail Mix:

  • Create a custom trail mix using a mix of nuts, seeds, dried fruits, and whole-grain cereal. * Check to see if your high school is a nut-free school first! 
  • Add a few chocolate chips for a sweet treat.
  • Package it in small, reusable containers.

8. Hummus and Veggie Platter:

  • Pack a container with a generous serving of hummus.
  • Include a variety of colourful veggies for dipping, such as baby carrots, cucumber slices, cherry tomatoes, and bell pepper strips.

9. Fruit Kabobs:

  • Skewer bite-sized fruit pieces (e.g., melon, grapes, strawberries, and pineapple) on wooden sticks for a fun and easy-to-eat snack.

10. Leftovers Reimagined:

  • Don’t forget about last night’s dinner. Leftover grilled chicken, pasta, or stir-fry can be just as delicious the next day.

Get your kids involved in the lunch-making process as well. Letting them pick what they would like to eat makes it easier as they will hopefully choose something they want and will be happy to eat at school.

When packing these lunches, include a reusable water bottle to keep your high schooler hydrated throughout the day. Encourage them to choose water over sugary beverages for the best hydration and focus in the classroom.

With these nutritious and easy-to-eat lunchbox ideas, you can help your high school student stay energized and focused while enjoying their midday meal. Plus, the bonus of a homemade lunch is that it’s healthier, as you are making it with ingredients you know,  and more cost-effective than buying lunch at school.

Let’s make this school year successful by nourishing our teens with these tasty and wholesome lunch options.

Let me know your favourite lunch ideas to send to school in the comments!


Fueling Success: Healthy Lunchbox Ideas for High School