Healthy School Lunches & Snacks

Back to Nature Granola to Go
Courtesy of Back to Nature Foods
Make school lunches healthy and fun with these easy brown bag lunch ideas. Transform classic lunches, from tuna to PB&J to turkey and cheese, into healthier recipes. Kids will also love the healthy snack ideas that will keep them full throughout the day.
Paula Hible
Paula Hible

The simplest and healthiest foods stay extra-yummy when they're tucked inside individual little compartments. That's the idea behind Bentology, the company that sells these cute plastic sets. We filled the containers with a protein, some fruit, a vegetable, and a small treat -- all in perfect-size portions for kids 5 to 8.All Dressed Up
* 1 cup bow-tie pasta salad with veggies
* 1 cup baby greens salad with 2 tablespoons low-fat dressing
* 3/4 cup watermelon
* 2 fig cookies

Paula Hible
Paula Hible

Catch of the Day

Fish-shaped tuna sandwich with lettuce on whole wheat bread

10 baby carrots with 2 tablespoons low-fat ranch dip

Small plum

1/4 cup whole-grain Goldfish crackers

Paula Hible
Paula Hible

Pretzel Kabobs

  • Ham, turkey, and cheese rolled up together, sliced, and skewered with pretzel sticks
  • 1/2 cup mandarin oranges
  • 1/2 cup shelled edamame
  • 1 container (4 ounces) fat-free chocolate pudding

Here are some healthy lunch ideas that kids will love.

Check out our tips for simple ways to upgrade your child's sandwiches.

Paula Hible
Paula Hible

Early Riser

Sliced hard-boiled egg and 2 mini whole-grain waffles

Bell-pepper strips

1 sliced kiwi fruit mixed with a few blackberries

Mini corn muffin

Paula Hible
Paula Hible

Finger Food

String cheese and a handful of whole wheat crackers

1 cup broccoli and cauliflower florets with 2 tablespoons light raspberry dressing

1/2 cup blueberries

Slice of banana bread

Paula Hible
Paula Hible

Fiesta!

  • 1 cup bean salad
  • 1/2 cup melon wedges
  • Handful of whole-grain tortilla chips with 2 tablespoons salsa
  • 8 cubes of reduced-fat cheddar cheese

Avoid brown-bagging your little one's lunch. Find the perfect lunchbox, whether your kid is just starting preschool or is a school veteran.

With so many lunch boxes on the market it can be hard to know what to buy. In this video we provide the pros and cons of many popular options.

Paula Hible
Paula Hible

Hole New PB&J

  • Peanut butter and jelly on a whole wheat mini bagel
  • 3/4 cup cherry tomatoes with 2 tablespoons low-fat Caesar dressing
  • 1/2 cup pineapple chunks
  • 4 mini oatmeal cookies
Paula Hible
Paula Hible

Pizza Party

  • 1 slice leftover cold veggie pizza cut into squares
  • 3/4 cup cucumber moons with 2 tablespoons hummus
  • 1/2 cup purple grapes
  • 1/2 cup popcorn
Paula Hible
Paula Hible

Power Pita

2 mini whole wheat pita pockets with grilled-chicken strips and veggies

3/4 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt with sliced strawberries

1/2 cup sugar snap peas

8 animal crackers

Snacks are not only fun treats, they're also essential for a healthy lifestyle. Find out why your kids need to snack.

Snacking is important for active kids. Find out why and get easy ideas for healthy, appealing snacks.

Paula Hible
Paula Hible

After-School Snack Mixes: Sesame Sticks

These creative combos add up to one-of-a-kind after-school treats.

Sesame sticks + chopped cereal-nut bars + dried pineapple

Paula Hible
Paula Hible

After-School Snack Mixes: Pita Chips

Mini pita chips + soy nuts + mini chocolate chips

Paula Hible
Paula Hible

After-School Snack Mixes: Mini Pretzels

Mini pretzels twists + cashews + dried cranberries

Paula Hible
Paula Hible

After-School Snack Mixes: Low-Fat Granola

Low-fat granola + sunflower seeds + dried apricots

Paula Hible
Paula Hible

After-School Snack Mixes: Dried Papaya

Dried papaya + whole-grain cereal + golden raisins

Paula Hible
Paula Hible

After-School Snack Mixes: Almonds

Almonds + M&M's + dried mango

Courtesy of TrueNorth Snacks
Courtesy of TrueNorth Snacks

Best New Snacks for School: TrueNorth Peanut Clusters

Round out your kid's lunch with healthy, ready-to-go products.

These nuggets of freshly roasted nuts are ideal for slow eaters. Six pieces contain 170 calories and 5 grams of protein ($3.50 for a 5-1/2-ounce bag).

Find out what kids are really eating in school-and what gets dumped in the trash.

Kids throw away over $1 billion of school lunch food every year. Find out what goes into the trash.

Courtesy of Backman Snax
Courtesy of Backman Snax

Best New Snacks for School: Bachman The Puzzle Pretzels

Puzzle-shaped pretzels come in large and individual-size bags ($17 for six 12-ounce bags).

Courtesy of Lundberg Family Farms
Courtesy of Lundberg Family Farms

Best New Snacks for School: Lundberg Family Farms Baked Rice with a Twist

These crunchy twists in child-friendly flavors like white cheddar and ranch are made from brown rice and packed with whole grains ($3 for a 4-1/2-ounce bag).

Courtesy of Back to Nature Foods
Courtesy of Back to Nature Foods

Best New Snacks for School: Back to Nature Granola to Go

Toss a mini bag of this granola -- along with a container of yogurt and a piece of fruit -- into your child's lunchbox. Kids will probably like the honey-almond variety the best ($4 for five 1-1/2-ounce bags).

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