Pa-lease tell me I’m not the only one that always had the same reoccuring back to school dream of walking in to class completely naked. Never failed – every night before that big first day, the nude dream creeped into my subconscious and freaked me out. Graduating from college meant many things, but the most important was kissing the awkward naked nightmares goodbye. I can’t guarantee your kids won’t be haunted with the same dreams, but I can give you an awesome list of 30 healthy back to school lunch ideas (that aren’t all sandwiches).
A dear friend requested I write this post as her little one is starting preschool this fall. She’s that kind of mom friend you can text and say things like, “Ok I understand why they say never shake a baby, but is it ok to shake a toddler?” or “I’m trying to go #2 and I see little fingers under the door so I feel like I need to hurry but I just want like three minutes”. Then she responds with, “I’m drinking a big @ss glass of wine as I’m giving both boys a bath” or “I ate blueberries off the floor because he threw them all but I didn’t want them to go to waste. Seriously feeding him cardboard if he does it again”. She’s the mom friend every mom needs.
And for the record, it’s not ok to shake a toddler….apparently. (KIDDING!)
So when you’re the mom that can laugh and cry at the same time or jokes about running away, but truly can’t imagine a second without those addicting round ‘lil cheeks….If you’re the mom that isn’t Martha meets Pinterest yet still wants to feed your little one healthy and nutritious meals, I got you covered (and I like you, a lot).
Making lunches for your kids doesn’t have to be a grand production, or a stressor in your already crazy life! So if you are worried that pb & j’s are the extent of your creativity and need some better alternatives, check these out!
30 Healthy Back to School Lunch Ideas
#1. Deli meat wrapped around pickle spears
#3. Avocado and cucumber sandwiches on whole wheat, gluten-free, or sprouted grain bread
#4. Lunchbox Kabobs from It Is A Keeper
#5. Build your own pizza with a whole wheat english muffin, pizza sauce, and variety of vegetables
#6. Hard boiled eggs
#8. DIY chicken salad (made leftover shredded chicken, paleo mayo, and sliced grapes) with whole grain or rice crackers
#9. Almond butter and hemp seed banana ‘sushi’ from Fit Foodie Finds
#12. Build your own tacos (separately packed soft tortillas, beans, guacamole, shredded chicken, cheese, etc) inspired by Forks, Folks and Fun
#13. Lunchbox turkey and cheese “sushi” from The Weary Chef
#14. Mini skewers – protein of choice on toothpicks or mini skewers with previously roasted veggies
#15. 4-Ingredient Carrot Stars from Feeding Fin
#16. Apples, thinly sliced with nut butter in between for ‘sandwiches’
#17. Organic hot dogs or chicken sausages, quartered for easy finger food
#19. Build your own pita pockets – protein of choice, lettuce, tomatoes, etc.
#22. Pea and Sweet Corn Fritters from My Fussy Eater
#24. Flaxseed crackers with tuna or deli meat
#25. Chicken and rice patties from Planning with Kids
#27. Sandwich kabobs from Mom Endeavors
#28. Prosciutto & Egg Roll Ups from Nom Nom Paleo
#29. Mashed sweet potatoes with almond butter or leftover protein to top
#30. Almond butter or cashew butter and strawberry chia ‘jam’ on whole grain or gluten free english muffins
Need some additional finger food side ideas? Here are a few!
Mini sweet peppers
Berries of any kind
Sugar snap pease
Broccoli or cauliflower florets