School has started! Which means not only packing lunch for you, but getting the kids’ lunches ready as well. And nothing is more frustrating than using up all that energy to pack your kids’ lunch, just to get it returned in their lunch bag at the end of the day. We talked to our dietitians and found out what lunches they used to pack when they were younger! Then asked each of them to recreate them with these dietitian approved kid-friendly lunch box ideas!

1. Turkey Sandwich Bento Box

Kid Friendly Lunch Box Ideas

 

When asked what she used to bring for lunch as a kid, Rebecca told us she would pack a bologna sandwich on white bread, with cheetos and a cupcake. Instead, she suggests trying to do a turkey sandwich on whole wheat bread (for added fiber!) Paired with fresh fruits and veggies and a black bean brownie (because you can’t forget your fun foods!).

2. English Muffin Pizza Bento Box

Kid Friendly Lunch Box Ideas

 

Lunchables were always a go to in my family when there was a field trip to go on. One of the best parts of growing up with siblings, was that when one of us got a lunchable for a field trip, we all did! (Parents have to be fair right?) So I decided to recreate my favorite lunchable meal, the pizza lunchable! I made mini pizzas using whole grain english muffins, topped with sauce and mozzarella cheese. I pair it with carrots and hummus for added protein, and finished it off with fruit and a peanut butter cup (my favorite treat!).

3. Salmon Cake Bento Box

Kid Friendly Lunch Box Ideas

 

The day we asked Alex what type of lunch she used to pack as a kid, she smiled and said “no joke, I used to pack a large cookie! Before I realized how important fueling regularly throughout the day was!” Alex’s lunch remake included salmon cakes (which can be used as part of meal prep, or as leftovers from the night before), on a bed a spinach to get in our veggies. She rounds out her meal with cheese cubes, watermelon and Dove chocolate squares.

4. Chicken Salad Bento Box

Kid Friendly Lunch Box Ideas

 

My mom was known for making me awesome lunches!  I loved having my buffalo chicken deli sandwich on an onion roll with chips inside for crunch.  Along with a cup of grapes or strawberries and arizona iced tea juice box. Now Dana likes to pack chicken salad which is easy to make with rotisserie chicken and Sabra tzatziki dip for a Greek twist.  Add in some grapes, red onion and celery for crunch and whole grain crackers for dipping! She rounds off her meal with grapes and nuts, ghirardelli chocolate, her favorite fun food!

5. Egg Salad Bento Box

Kid Friendly Lunch Box Ideas

Shelley told us that she used to often just pack a granola bar, fruit and yogurt as a child, and would realize that she would tend to get hungry quickly after lunch. Today, Shelley likes to pack egg salad sandwiches, served with celery and peanut butter, with apples and a piece of chocolate!

6. Greek Pasta Salad Bento Box

Kid Friendly Lunch Box Ideas

 

Kaitlin was also a fan of the bologna sandwich growing up! Often paired with chips or pretzels! Today, she likes to pack greek pasta salad instead that is packed with protein from the chick peas! Pair that with fresh veggies, pretzels and Kaitlin’s favorite tzatziki, and of course peanut butter cups!

7. Nachos Bento Box

Kid Friendly Lunch Box Ideas

 

Bobbi is a seasoned pro at packing kid-friendly lunches (especially since she does it for 3 of her own kiddos). Bobbi loves Mexican food, so she loves this Nacho Bento Box (also a play on the standard nachos lunchable). You can use leftover chicken (or precooked southwest style chicken) for protein, with salsa and guacamole for dipping! Paired with cheese cubes, tortilla chips and a sweet treat for a balanced lunch, no kid can resist!

If you would like to meet with one of our dietitians to learn how we can help you and your family meet your nutrition goals, click here or call 301-474-2499.