Back-to-School Food: Healthy Lunches & Snacks
By Paul Krantz
Great Lunch and Snack Recipes
A take-along lunch is only healthy if your youngster eats it. The lunches (and snacks) below are packed with the flavors kids love, and the critical protein, whole grains, and vitamins they need to be their best.
In addition to our exclusive recipe collection, also check out our School Lunch Tips for more creative ideas and advice, Brown Bag Safety for critical health information, and Get the Lead Out for details on a potential health hazard in your child's lunch bag.
Sandwiches and Wraps
There's no doubt about it: The sandwich (and its younger cousin, the wrap) is the champ of the brown bag lunch. Liven up your little one's lunch with any of these out-of-the-ordinary selections.
- Banana Dog in a Bun
- BLT Wraps
- California Veggie Wrap
- Gourmet Chicken Sandwich
- Italian Turkey Wrap
- Muffuletta Sandwich
- Peanut Butter and Apple Sandwich
- Savory Sandwich Spread
- Smoked Turkey Tortilla Wraps
- Thai Chicken Salad Wrap
- Triple-Decker BLT Sandwich
- Veggie Bagels
Think Outside the Bread
When sandwiches lose their snap, consider the "two-fers" listed below. Each offers delicious dinner fare that's also great cold—and a perfect change of pace for any kid's lunch box.
- Brown Bag Bean Burritos
- Baked Chicken Fingers with Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce
- Baked Ham and Cheese Quesadillas
- Hawaiian Chicken and Pineapple Kabobs
- Oven-Fried Chicken
- Zig-Zag Chicken Skewers
Most kids could use more whole grains and vegetables in their diets. Packing up a kid-friendly salad is a delicious way to up the nutrition ante in your child's midday meal.
- Alphabet Pasta Salad
- Chunky Chicken Pasta Salad
- Layered Fruit and Cheese Salad
- Lunch Box Taco Salad
- Mixed Greens with Dijon Vinaigrette
- Romaine Salad with Lemon Thyme Vinaigrette
Between Meal Snacks
If your child's school encourages mid-morning or afternoon snacks, tuck one of these healthy goodies into their backpack. Each one provides a bit of sweetness for flavor and a burst of energy, plus vital nutrients, vitamins, and minerals.