Healthy Lunch Ideas for Your Kids & More (With a Giveaway)

Once upon a time I followed up on my posts. Those times were halcyon days of watching Oprah at 4 and exercising at reasonable hours instead of at NEVER:THIRTY, which is the only open time slot I got these days. Those times were filled with not going crazy in the head, and having clean laundry when I wanted it. Those times haven’t been those times since 2003.


So now you got me, crazy pudding head and all, following up on this post EIGHT MONTHS LATER.


I figure the post is still relevant because many of us have kids back in school and possibly don’t want to continue putting overripe bananas and Chiclet in their children’s lunches. Because you are lame and tired and wearing dirty underwear.


And by you, I mean the woman who went batnuts in 2003 and never regained her ability to process information like normal people do.


Which naturally brings me to:




Many of these lunch ideas came from the post I never followed up on, and so now I am properly attributing the menu item to the commenter that left it. In addition, a lovely person at Whole Foods gave me some recipes as well, which I will include here, with a chance to win a $10 Whole Foods gift card.

So read on and prosper.


  • A Wrap. “You can pick your faves and create your own, but I love using deli shredded/VERY THIN SLICED oven roasted chicken, provolone or havarti cheese, romaine lettuce, roma tomato slices, spicy brown mustard or hummus as a spread….spread, layer, wrap, and enjoy.”

    (from Ali PickleSugarPlum)

  • Dippers and More. “Green/Red pepper strips w/ low-cal dressing, dried berries, baked snacks from Trader Joe’s, homemade black bean & corn quesadillas, cut up fruit mixed w/yogurt & granola, edamame, bobali pizza crust spread w/cream cheese & sliced carrots/tomatoes/green peppers, and for my kids – anything I put on a toothpick they think is fun to eat or anything they can “dip.”

    (from Ginger, who tweets at @gingeranderson)

  • Veggie Patties and Etc.

    “1. Morning Star black bean and garden veggie patties.

    2. Dried fruit for when you are craving candy. Calories are still there, but better nutrition.

    3. Smoothies with half fat-free yogurt/half skim milk (plus honey, pureed fruit, wheat germ, etc.) – shake rather than blend to make it easier – great snack or breakfast.”

    (from my favorite FruHo, The Frugal Hostess)

  • Yogurt and Fish. “We do lots of plain lowfat greek yogurt with honey and nuts, or make smoothies out of it with frozen berries or mangoes etc… We also make a lot of fish with veggies and roasted potatoes (super easy!)”

    (from my lovely friend, MissM)

  • Roasted Veggies, et al. “Any vegetable roasted. I lived for roasted carrots and brussels sprouts. I’d also roast broccoli, cauliflower, beets – pretty much anything I could stomach. If I made enough I could just add some protein (baked salmon, crock potted chicken, tuna salad) and it would be lunch or dinner.

    Have you checked out Hungry Girl (.com)? She’s full of good info.”

    (from Kizz. I love Kizz. Just FYI.)

  • Soup, Pita, Fruit… “Sample lunches: (1) thermos of tomato soup, 3 mini pita breads, a cheese stick, and a cup of strawberries; (2) cracker sandwiches made with soy butter (no peanut butter allowed in school); apple slices, milk; (3) cream cheese and jelly sandwich, baby carrots w/ranch dressing, pretzel nubs; (4) homemade mac&cheese in thermos, cucumber chunks and cherry tomatoes, milk, applesauce (I always buy the “no sugar added” kinds). Other good things I work in: keifer, edamame, berry flavored rice cakes, cheddar goldfish, grapes, trader joe’s fruit and whole grain bars, mini bagels with cheese, dinner leftovers, heated very hot and packed into the thermos. The deal is, there has to be protein, a fruit or veg, and some dairy in every lunch.”

    (From one of my most beloved writers, MommyTime)

  • Unprocessed Foods. “I bake my own chips from tortillas or even egg roll wrappers. When I cook a meal I make enough for lunches then I got a whole bunch of single serving ziplock containers and put a lunch portion in each one after the meal. Often times I actually put those in BEFORE I even serve the meal, this way we aren’t tempted to eat more than necessary.

    I don’t even buy frozen french fries anymore, it takes a fraction of amount longer to just chop a real potato into fry shapes and lay them out on a tray and bake them at 400. Toss them with a bit of olive oil or spray with cooking spray and sprinkle with salt.

    I also put all the fruit (bags of apples and oranges, etc…) in the FRONT of the refrigerator so when I am looking for a snack, the first thing I see are the apples and so I grab that instead of the stuff behind it.

    In the freezer, I put a bunch of grapes in FRONT of the ice cream, if I REALLY want the ice cream I’ll reach around, but often times it’s not about the ice cream so much as the snacking.”

    (From Jennifer, who also is awesome)

  • Whole Foods. “To keep your children fueled during the day, here’s a terrific nutrient-dense lunch that is kid-approved and won’t break the bank: a whole wheat tortilla wrap with almond or peanut butter, sliced strawberries and fruit-sweetened jelly; carrot sticks and sugar snap peas; Lemon Treats (recipe here) and a bottle of water.”

    And for dinner? “Rotisserie Chickens are a great starting ingredient for many meals. Here’s a recipe for Quick Chicken Tostadas.”

    (More recipes from Whole Foods here.)

  • Hope these ideas help you to not be a lame parent. As for the giveaway, just leave a comment with another menu idea, a joke, or a “Hi lame parent!” and you will be entered to win a Whole Foods gift card. I’ll randomly pick a winner on Thursday, September 30.


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11 Responses to “Healthy Lunch Ideas for Your Kids & More (With a Giveaway)”

  1. Kizz says:

    And I love you right back!

    It’s so funny you put this up now. I haven’t roasted anything all summer. Might need to do some of that.

    For the record, all summer I made things like veggies in cous cous, sprinkled with salad dressing. That was good, too.

  2. Natalie says:

    Oh I am totally bookmarking this! I struggle with packing my own lunch and these are great ideas! thanks babe!

  3. […] San Diego Momma » Blog Archive » Healthy Lunch Ideas for Your Kids … […]

  4. This is a great post! My 2 year old doesn’t eat vegetables or fruit right now. He sticks to meat and carbs so i am always looking for ways to bring veggies and fruit back. i like the simple idea of “dipping” he seems to be into that right now.

    the only thing i can think of is making homemade waffles and putting some in the fridge for snacks later, or in lunch boxes. you can add chocolate chips, cinnamon etc to them.

    I will print this post out and tape on my wall so i see it when i make my shopping list!

  5. Mama Mary says:

    Better late than never. Excellent tips!!! Oh, and funny I’ve never seen you at the gym, I work out at that same time! xoxo

  6. Ginger says:

    Oh yeah – I do vaguely remember commenting w/ those ideas.

    Love the other tips!

  7. Christina says:

    “Hi lame parent.” ;) xoxo

  8. pauline says:

    My kid is on a gluten free diet and i am a sugar nazi, so she eats like a champ. (or so I like to tell myself.) for preschool i pack her sunbutter and organic strawberry conserve on gluten free bread (nut free school), fruit, a veggie like carrot sticks, and milk. and what she doesn’t finish at school is her snack when she gets home! loved the post!

  9. La Jolla Mom says:

    I go with healthy convenience food. Like those squeeze organic apple sauces, string cheese and PB & J. Oh and Whole Foods has Dora Edamame packages. Put Dora on anything and she’s convinced it’s good. They have Sponge Bob edamame too.

  10. My son is going through a picky phase right now. A few weeks ago I made corndogs and tater tots in the morning and sent them in his thermos. He hated it. He asked me one day last week if he could buy his lunch. What was on the menu? Corndogs. Grrr! :D

  11. We heart wraps here! And raw food–always raw food!

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