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Healthy School Lunch and Snack Ideas They’ll Love

Well, summer sure flew by in a flash! Crazy enough, back-to-school time is upon us, and your kids will need nutritious meals and munchies to fuel their brains and bodies. Time to start planning packable lunches and after-school snacks that are both tasty and healthy—and won’t require too much prep work. We’ve got a few ideas for keeping your kids’ menu fresh, fun, and flavorful.

Build better sandwiches. You can’t go wrong with the ol’ lunchbox standby—so long as you shake up the sandwich fillings and choose whole-grain breads, natural meats and cheeses, and other nutritious ingredients.

Try turkey, tomato, and cheddar with a smidge of mustard on whole wheat. Or go all veggie with romaine lettuce, bell peppers, cucumbers, hummus, and provolone. Peanut butter with organic fruit spread always delights, and we bet they’ll go nuts for nut butter with banana slices.

If you really want to wow your youngins, use cookie cutters to create stars, hearts, and other fun shapes in their sandwich bread.

Do the dip. Kids love finger foods, so fill their lunch sacks with multicolored baby carrots and celery for scooping up peanut butter. Toss in cut-up cauliflower and broccoli with hummus. Slice up apples or pears to pair with almond butter or yogurt. You can even cut grilled chicken breast into strips and send along some barbecue sauce for dunking.

Turn breakfast into lunch. Next time you make waffles, whip up a few extras for lunches. Slather cream cheese on one waffle, layer on sliced strawberries, and cap it with a second waffle—what a sweet sandwich! Frozen toaster waffles work for this, too.

Try DIY Lunchables. Those ready-to-eat lunch kits sold at stores are usually loaded with preservatives, but making your own is another story. Pack up whole-grain crackers, cheeses, and natural deli meats, and let kids build their own creations in the lunchroom. Also try pita triangles, cucumber slices, and hummus.

Skewer up fruit. Fruit kebabs are handy and healthy for lunches or after-school snacks. Just skewer up pineapple chunks, strawberries, kiwi slices, melon balls, or whichever fruits your kiddos love most.

Choose healthy salty snacks. Skip the greasy chips and go with mixed nuts, homemade trail mix, or natural crackers. Air-pop a big batch of popcorn, serve a bowlful during homework time, and seal the rest in a few zip-top bags or reusable containers to take for lunches the next day.

Like our ideas? Swing by the Shop to grab these and other healthy foods to fill your kids’ bellies as they head back to school.

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