It's the time of year when parents start to wonder what to put in
their kids school lunches.
Every parent wants to find healthy ideas for the kids and provide
variety at the same time. But most importantly they don't want their
child to go hungry because they don't like the contents of their
Here are some of our tips and ideas for how to get your kids
involved in packing their lunches, providing variety, what to pack
for school lunch and more help with healthy lunches and kid's lunch
Planned Kids Cooking Curriculum
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How to Get Kids Involved in Packing their School Lunches
How to get your child involved. Have them help pick out
what is in their lunch; after all they will be the ones eating
it! Give them choices and they will be happier and will feel
like they have more responsibilities. Have 3 categories fruit,
vegetable, snack type items (you choose the main course) they
can choose something from each category and stick each item in
their lunch bag. Also, while making your grocery list each week,
go over with your kid's lunch options in those 3 categories what
they'd like to "order" for that week.
What to pack. Small portions with variety works well. A
fruit or fruit slices, a vegetable or sliced vegetables, main
course, drink (water or 100% juice) and, if desired, a snack
Need ideas for main course items besides peanut butter
and jelly sandwiches. See our Lunch
Beyond the Sandwich page. There are lots of great healthy
lunch ideas to incorporate in your brown bag lunches. For those
children who love the ease of sandwiches, try some of these kids sandwich ideas.
For healthy snack ideas try nuts, cheese cubes, or
yogurt. Biscuit sticks, soft pretzels, hard boiled eggs, jerky,
granola, trail mix and cereal mixes are also good choices.
Planning is key. Make things and freeze with lunches in
mind. See our Freezer
Page for ideas and recipes.
Try quick breads or muffins with fruits and vegetables
in them such as banana, zucchini, pumpkin, carrot, raisin or
apple. All these are good healthy snack ideas.
Include a small ice pack to keep things cool. You can
find these in decorative sizes and shapes now. Or freeze water
bottles or juice boxes and add to school lunches. They will
unthaw by lunch and keep things cool.
Buy a kid size thermos. You
can easily send cold or warm things in your kid's lunches. To
warm a thermos, fill it with boiling water and seal the lid
tight. Allow to sit 10 minutes. When ready to use pour out water
and add the food. To cool the thermos, fill with ice cubes
and seal tight. Let sit overnight. The next morning pour out
water and fill. Close tightly. Make sure your child can open and
Make sure if you are packing things in a Rubbermaid or
Tupperware container that it is sealed properly and your
child can open it and close it back up tightly. (In case they
don't finish it all.)
Give them a variety of things to choose from. Don't be
afraid to give them something new sometimes. They might just be
brave enough to try it when they are around their friends at
The night before, after cleaning up from dinner, is the best
time for packing school lunches. Put what items need to
be chilled in the fridge and what items that don't, ready to go
in the lunch box. Better yet get your kids involved with making
their lunches by having them do this step. This will save you
some time in the morning.
Don't worry if your kids want a peanut butter sandwich
everyday! Let them have it. Just include other items in their
lunch to choose from as well.