When it comes to planning kids’ back-to-school lunches the options are may not endless but they are plenty to keep them excited about school lunchtimes. Children’s school lunches may look different all over the world but they are optimal as per kids’ nutritional and dietary needs.
In the US, parents need ideas to pack school lunches whether it’s about faith restrictions to consume certain types of foods or a flexible menu to pick from. As long as foods that are easy to prepare, and stay fresh after 4 to 5 hours depending on the weather, is something important to consider.
Even if you are making fresh nuggets in the morning, they are not going to stay as warm as they are at home. Knowing your children’s preferences and how well they like eating warm to semi-cold food makes your ritual of packing lunches every morning a breeze – and worth it.
Typically, when you have to pack a lunch for a kindergartner or a 5th-grade student, the portion size would vary depending on the nutritional requirements and growth spurts.
Mainly a lunch box should have a main meal, two sides of fruits and veggies, and one sweet treat to enjoy at the end of the meal. However, packing a healthy, filling snack is a must to eat between breakfast and lunchtime.
As I said, given the age of your child, you have to be smart about the portion size that your child actually nutritionally needs and enjoys. For picky eaters, you might have to try a different approach to get the right nutrition. Here are the easy recipes to try for picky eaters.
To make your child’s lunchtime special, add a thoughtful note in his lunchbox. This is one of the best ways to stay connected with your child when they are away. I know it may seem like an extra chore to add on, but trust me, it’s all worth it!
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Back to school kids’ lunch ideas
Kids’ lunch boxes to accommodate a variety of food for ages 3 years to 7 years old kids should not be too big.
However, these Bento lunch boxes are optimal for 9 years and older tweens.
What to pack as a Main meal for back to school lunches
Here are some healthy meal ideas for school lunches. I highly recommend you to use an air fryer for preparing or cooking nuggets or kabobs etc. Using an air fryer is the best healthy alternative to deep or shallow frying. Just wrap the warm meal in foil paper and put it in a lunch bag.
However, you can still make children’s lunches ahead of time may be a day before. Choose items that do not go soggy overnight, refrigerate fruits and cheese, dips, etc so they don’t go bad by the time it’s time for school.
Deli meat of your choice
Chicken and potato cutlets
Minced meat kabobs
Tortilla and cheese
Hot dogs with buns
Chicken Patties in a hamburger
Beef patties in a burger
Chicken cheese bread
Pita and hummus
Chicken and spinach puff pastry
Cheese and crackers
Hash browns rounds or tater tots
Bread with omelet
Flaky butter bread (aka Paratha) with veggies omelet
Store-bought paratha wrap with minced kabob
Remember, if your child has a strong sense of smell or he is a picky eater, you may not be able to try everything on the list. Ideally, you should be packing meals that have fewer spices and not too much aroma.
Just go with a flow and choose what works for your picky tween or a kindergartner cautiously – because some foods may have a strong smell that kills your child’s appetite right away.
Fruits and vegetable sides for kids’ lunches
Honeydew Melon Slices
Cheese and crackers
Bread with cheese slice sandwich
Croissant and cheese sandwich
Peanut butter sandwich
Peanut butter jelly sandwich
Egg salad sandwich
Chicken and spinach sandwich
Snacks and sides for lunches
Kettle cooked chips
Crackers and cheese
Chocolate chip cookies snack size
Dips for school lunches
Cheddar cheese dip
Store-bought items for quick lunches
Texas cheese toasts
What to drink
100% fruit Juice
Honest or Caprisun boxed juiced