Build a Better Lunchbox

Build a Better Lunchbox

Back-to-school time can become hectic gathering school supplies, buying new clothes and getting the kids mentally ready to learn. Another important task parents and caregivers do is pack lunch. Kids need to eat a well-balanced and delicious lunch, but sometimes as parents we fall into the same PB&J sandwich pattern. Here are tips and healthy lunch ideas to get the year starting right.

Keeping Kids on Track
Having to pack 3 lunches each day isn’t an easy task for me so I pre-pack all lunches the night before. It’s also one more thing I can cross off my morning “to do” list, helping decrease the hustle and bustle that goes on each morning.

I also try to pack at least 3 different food groups in each lunch selecting from whole grains, fruit, vegetables, low or nonfat dairy, and lean protein. Here are easy way to do so:

  • Make sandwiches in whole wheat pita or a whole grain wrap
  • Add a container of nonfat vanilla Greek yogurt or low fat milk
  • Make a fruit salad with sliced strawberries and grapes
  • Wash and slice seedless cucumbers (like English or Persian) into circles

Check out more easy lunch tips from my pal and fellow dietitian David Grotto and mom blogger MJ Tam.

5 Lunch Menus
Get the school year rolling with these 5 well-balanced, easy to make lunches. They are some of my kids favorites!

Monday: Pasta Salad

  • Whole grain pasta tossed with shredded carrots, bell peppers and edamame
  • 1 cup strawberries
  • Low fat or nonfat milk


Tuesday: Mediterranean Style Pita

  • Place 1 scrambled egg, sliced cucumbers and 1 teaspoon unsalted butter in a whole wheat pita
  • Fruit salad with sliced strawberries,blueberries and kiwi
  • Water


Wednesday: Chicken and Strawberry Salad

  • Shredded romaine lettuce topped with sliced strawberries and grilled chicken
  • Balsamic dressing (pack on the side)
  • 1 small whole grain roll


Thursday: Hummus and Veggie Wrap

  • 2 tablespoons hummus, 1 slice reduced fat cheese, cucumbers, tomatoes and lettuce in a whole grain wrap
  • 1 container vanilla nonfat Greek yogurt topped with sliced strawberries and blueberries


Friday: Turkey Roll Ups

  • 3 slices turkey and 3 slices reduced fat cheese. Roll 1 slice of turkey with 1 slice of reduced fat cheese and hold together with a toothpick. Repeat for remaining turkey and cheese slices.
  • 1 medium apple
  • Sliced of carrots and bell peppers


For recipes, tips and downloadable school lunches from founder and recipe creator at MOMables, Laura Fuentes, visit the California Strawberry Commission. This post is sponsored by the California Strawberry Commission.

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