Tips for Packing Healthy Kid-Friendly Lunches

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Our eldest son starts Kindergarten this September and he will be having lunch at school everyday. His school does not offer a hot lunch program so I will be packing his meals at home daily. I have already been packing his snacks for Preschool so I know what he enjoys, and I usually focus on packing healthy meals that are fun and easy to eat.

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Having a balanced and healthy lunch is key to giving children the energy they require and fuel their little bodies. Below are some of our tips to make packing a healthy kid-friendly lunch easy:

  • First, plan ahead of time and pack the night before: The morning rush makes it hard to throw a healthy lunch together before leaving the house. Planning weekly meals, shopping for healthy ingredients ahead of time and prepping the night before make a huge difference!
  • Avoid sending store-bought, sugar-filled snacks: Homemade snacks are always healthier. If you want to send a dessert you can try sending fruit or baking homemade muffins; you can even bake them with your child the night before.
  • Ensure the four food groups are covered: Try to pack meals that include vegetables or fruits, grain products, dairy and protein. Pack some fresh vegetables and fruits instead of packaged snacks and add some yogurt or cheese to their lunch.
  • Send kid-size portions: Remember you are packing lunch for a child, be mindful of portion sizes.
  • Purchase re-usable containers: Plastic BPA-free containers are great for sending lunches to school. Modular containers like Rubbermaid LunchBlox® come in a variety of sizes that snap together and are easy to pack.
  • Get Creative: Children love creative and colourful meals. Making a “face” on their sandwich, cutting fruits onto shapes and writing a note for them to find inside are all great fun. Pinterest is a wonderful resource with a variety of inspiring photos.

How do YOU pack your child’s lunch? Do you have any tips to share?
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Angela V

Founder and Writer at One Smiley Monkey blog
Hi, my name is Angela van Tijn and I live in Vancouver, Canada with my wonderful husband, our two boys and our puppy. I am the founder and primary contributor behind One Smiley Monkey. Welcome to my blog!

16 responses to “Tips for Packing Healthy Kid-Friendly Lunches”

  1. we just finished a week of camp so I have still been packing lunches. The rubbermaid lunch kits are my favourite ones! I normally send them a sandwich, some fruit and veggies and then a muffin and frozen yogurt tube – along with water!

  2. These are great tips. I have a picky son and I am always packing lunches!

  3. love those stackable containers!

  4. I wish you and your son good luck for this Sept! and coming year! This lunch looks great!

    I remember dropping my eldest at Kindergarten (half day) and I ended up balling lol

  5. Some good pointers here for those who need to pack lunches. I love the Rubbermaid LunchBlox® and how they stack together. 🙂

  6. Thoes containers look great. I really need to work on the lunches my kids take. I wish I had the desire to make the adorable bento type lunches I see people making for their kids. All my boys are picky and hate veggies and fruit 🙁

  7. The two key tips for me are to plan ahead and make my own homemade snacks.

  8. These are great tips. I have a picky grandson and I found fun lunches work well for him

  9. Great ideas , my grandson would so love these lunch ideas so cute , he would get a kick outta this for sure thanks for sharing !

  10. I always found that variety is key….. a little bit of everything, but lots of different items. I new favorite here is hummus rolled up in a whole wheat tortilla and sliced veggies.

    I’m also looking at scooping up a couple of bento box style lunch containers.

  11. i love those stackable Rubbermaid containers

  12. Great tips. I love how cute you decorated his lunch 🙂 we let him pick his choice of drink and snacks, often times he creates his snacks by combining a bunch of ingredients

  13. Thanks for the awesome tips! You definitely pack a nice lunch.

  14. Thanks for the tips! Thankfully, my son isn’t very picky about what he eats, so it’s not too hard to pack him a lunch!

  15. Thanks thise are some neat ideas

  16. With the litterless lunches at schools now a day, we have to be creative in our presentation of school lunches

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