What does a healthy lunchbox for school look like?

Assembling a balanced, healthy lunchbox for school can be challenging. It’s not always clear what a balanced lunch is going to look like, especially when you have to take into account your child’s preferences. A good start is to break the process down– the three main building blocks of a healthy meal are lean proteins, whole grains, and fruits and veggies. Taking these three building blocking into consideration and staying mindful of red lights is the most simple recipe for a healthy school lunchbox. 

Another key aspect of crafting the perfect lunchbox is knowing what your kid will really eat. Every parent wants to avoid packing a lunch that will be tossed out in favor of a chicken tender from the cafeteria. Asking kids to participate in the lunch-making process can be a great way to find snacks or meals to get them excited about their healthy lunchbox ideas for school. Easy ways to do this could be putting together a list of enjoyable and nutritious lunches and allowing them to decide what they want that week, or grocery shopping together to let them choose their own ingredients! 

7 Simple Tips for Healthy School Lunches

These are 7 tricks that Kurbo loves to use to provide healthy lunchbox ideas for school!

  1. Instead of a cheese sandwich on white bread, see if your child would like a light quesadilla. The recipe is simple: take a small whole-wheat or corn tortilla and sprinkle it with shredded light cheese. Use a microwave to melt the cheese, and for dipping add a small side cup of salsa!
  2. Capture the thrill of a cheese pizza with an English muffin pizza! Toast a whole-wheat English muffin, topped with marinara sauce and light mozzarella. You’ll know it’s done when it’s warm and the cheese has melted. Add your child’s favorite green light veggie for some extra flavor!
  3. Swap your sandwich for a turkey wrap. Add sliced turkey meat, lettuce, and light cheese to a whole wheat tortilla and roll it up!
  4. Try packing veggies with low-fat hummus dip instead of crackers with peanut butter.  Hummus is delicious with carrots, cucumbers, snap peas, celery sticks, or sweet peppers. For kids that don’t love hummus, fat-free ranch dip is another tasty alternative. 
  5. Trade in your red light granola bars for some yellow light cereal trail mix. Kids love this healthy alternative. Check out page 13 of our free cookbook for the Kurbo yellow light cereal trail mix!
  6. Include unsweetened applesauce with cinnamon as an alternative to sugary blue yogurt tubes.
  7. A rice cake with a slice of light cheese can offer a crunchy alternative to highly processed chips. This way your healthy lunchbox has a salty, crunch component without the red light.   

Don’t hide from dessert!

Kurbo doesn’t believe in depriving kids of red lights, just being mindful of their consumption and focusing on moderation. One way you can do this when looking into healthy lunchbox ideas for school is to plan out a couple of times a week where there is a “special dessert,” included (like a small cookie or a piece of candy). This is always a fun thing to open up your lunchbox to find, and can be an unexpected pick me up at school. On other days, try to include some kind of other fun surprises, like a note or a decorative napkin. For more fun ideas to spruce up a lunchbox, see what Pinterest has to offer!