25 Healthy Packaged Foods for School Lunches
Think of these seven themed ideas as fun #lunchgoals. They’re quick to prepare because we’ve used 25 healthy, kid-approved packaged products.
Pack a sammie kids will gobble up: Use a cookie cutter to make a leaf shape in the bread, then add turkey and lettuce.
Oscar Mayer Selects Naturals Slow Roasted Turkey Breast
Kid testers gave this nitratefree deli meat two thumbs up because it’s “soft and moist.”
Sara Lee White Made With Whole Grain Bread
“My boys refuse to eat dark whole-grain bread, so this lighter loaf with some wholegrain flour is as close I can get,” says nurse Chris Skopal.
Terra Sweet Potato Chips
A serving has almost all the vitamin A that kids need daily.
Plus: Grapes, carrots, mini marshmallows
Breakfast for Lunch
Swap typical lunch-box fare for morning favorites and your kid will think it’s her lucky day.
Whole Foods Market 365 Everyday Value Organic Whole Wheat Mini Pancakes
Small but mighty, these silver-dollar pancakes are packed with fiber.
Free of artificial colors, this brand recently added laser perforation at the top of the tube so it opens easier.
Eggland’s Best Hard-Cooked Peeled Eggs
One egg contains as much vitamin D as a glass of milk.
Plus: Berries, pancake syrup
This finger-food meal for little ones features several fun shapes.
Dr. Praeger’s Broccoli Littles
Broccoli and potatoes team up in this nutritious version of a tater; kids won’t mind that they’re not warm.
Mini Babybel cheese
Peel off the wrapper, and use a mini cookie cutter to craft a design in the outer coating.
Nabisco Triscuit Baked Whole Grain Wheat Original crackers
“They contain just three ingredients—wholegrain wheat, oil, and sea salt,” says Boston dietitian Heidi McIndoo, R.D.
Plus: Raspberries, shelled edamame
Stress-Free Sweet Treats
Pack in Simple Mills’ Chocolate Chip Crunchy Cookies, which are made with nutrient-dense, plant-powered ingredients you can feel good about including in your kid's lunch.
Dip Dip Hooray!
This totally dippable lunch was a slam dunk, even with picky eaters.
Wholly Guacamole Classic Minis
“The healthy fat will help keep kids full,” says Jessica Cording, R.D., founder of Jessica Cording Nutrition, in New York City.
Crunch Pak Apple Slices
Most kids don’t have enough time at lunch to eat a whole apple—and these wedges won’t turn brown.
Plus: Tortilla chips, grape tomatoes, black beans with shredded cheddar cheese
When your kid says she’s sick of sandwiches, stack ham, cheese, lettuce, and mayo on a flour tortilla and tightly roll it up.
Applegate Organics Uncured Black Forest Ham
No nitrates or antibiotics and a reasonable amount of sodium sold parents. Kids simply liked the taste.
Kraft Olive Oil Mayo
Our kid testers didn’t detect any difference from typical mayo, but you’ll appreciate that it offers a healthier type of fat.
Blue Diamond Almonds On-the-Go Lightly Salted
Individual packs contain the perfect portion.
Sun-Maid Sour Strawberry Flavored Golden Raisins
“They taste like candy,” said one 6-year-old kid tester.
Pepperidge Farm Farmhouse Thin & Crispy Milk Chocolate Chip cookies
The ingredients list reads like a from-scratch recipe.
Plus: Broccoli florets, cucumber slices
This lunch packs four servings of fruit!
Smucker’s Natural Strawberry Fruit Spread
It contains more fruit and less added sugar than typical jam or jelly.
Ozery Bakery Apple Cinnamon Snacking Rounds
A fun alternative to sandwich bread, each piece contains apple chunks.
This sunflower-seed topping is a perfect alternative for peanut-free schools.
Pressed by Kind bar
It tastes like fruit leather but is healthier, thanks to whole fruit and chia seeds.
The to-go pouches are 100% juice with 30% less sugar compared to 100% apple juice.
Plus: Celery, mini banana
Save for days when your child needs extra TLC.
Amy’s Organic Soups, Alphabet
Kid testers gave this tomatoveggie soup with lettershaped pasta an A+.
Pepperidge Farm Goldfish crackers
Surprise: The bright color comes from vegetable extracts and spices.
BelGioioso Fresh Mozzarella Snacking Cheese
Three calcium-rich balls are in each pack.
Once Upon a Farm Applesauce Adventures
It’s made with the peel for extra fiber and antioxidants.
Barbara’s Organic Snackimals
The vanilla flavor of these animal cookies compensates for less added sugar.