Every parent feels the strain of having too much to do and too little time for it all. Packing healthy lunches for your child is just one more task on the to-do list. Let’s be honest, there are only so many times your child will eat peanut butter and jelly before they rebel.
If you’re looking for a way to mix it up, look no further. Try these healthy yet kid-friendly kindergarten lunch box ideas.
1. Create a Kid-Friendly Bento Box
A bento box is a Japanese lunch box. In their traditional form, they include rice, some type of cooked meat like teriyaki chicken, edamame, and sushi. You can adjust it however you choose based on your child’s tastes.
If your child isn’t a fan of Japanese food, you can still use a modified version of the bento box. There are plenty of bento box ideas for kids that feature other types of food as well.
2. Let Your Child Make Their Own Cracker Sandwiches
Some kindergarteners see their first year of school as a proud sign that they’re getting older. If your child is enjoying a streak of craving independence, why not let them get creative with their lunch?
Pack a variety of elements your child can use to make their own cracker sandwiches. You could include crackers, salami, pepperoni, and a few types of cheese. Your growing child will be able to mix and match however they please.
Don’t forget to add a healthy side item to the mix too, like veggies or fruit.
3. Have a Pita Party
Pita bread makes for an easy cornerstone of your child’s lunch because it’s easy to stuff with anything you choose. For example, try making a pita sandwich with hummus and cucumber.
Add some veggie sticks and a yogurt cup to the lunch box. You’ve got a low-maintenance yet healthy lunch for your kindergartener to enjoy.
4. Take a Brunch Approach
If your child is a brunch nut, who can blame them? You don’t have to limit their lunch-hour breakfast dining to the weekends.
Cut up french toast into french toast sticks. You can do the same with leftover pancakes if pancakes are more of your child’s speed. Add some dipping-friendly syrup.
To round out the lunch, don’t forget yogurt and fruit as well.
5. Roll It Up
Most people think of pinwheels as party snacks and appetizers. As it turns out, they can make great entrees too.
Start with a tortilla and layer it with anything your child likes. Cream cheese and ham is a popular combination. You could make the pinwheels thicker by opting for turkey, cheese, and lettuce instead.
Roll up the tortillas and cut them into pinwheels. Add in a side or two, like veggie sticks or a fruit cup, and you have a healthy and mess-free lunch.
6. Create a Tortilla-Free Wrap
For some kids, the tortilla you’d use in a pinwheel is too carb-heavy for one meal. They end up getting too sleepy, which doesn’t set them up for great learning experiences or good behavior.
If that tends to happen with your child, skip the tortilla. Take a cheese stick and wrap turkey or another lunch meat around it. You could also include lettuce in the middle for an extra dose of vegetables.
Your child will still need some amount of carbs to give them energy, of course. Add in a side that will give them both carbs and protein, like pretzels with peanut butter.
7. Switch Up the PB&J
Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are a kid-friendly favorite. They can become old news quickly, though, and because of the sugary jelly, these sandwiches aren’t the healthiest options.
For a new twist on an old staple, switch to a peanut butter and banana sandwich instead. These sandwiches are just as easy to cut up into mini sandwiches, perfect for your kindergartener’s tiny fingers.
You can make the sandwich even healthier if you use wheat bread and almond butter or another healthier type of nut butter. Regardless, toss in some cheese cubes and veggies for a well-rounded lunch.
8. Add a Mexican Twist
If your child is a fan of Mexican food, you’re in luck. You can even more options for a healthy, refreshing lunch.
Make a quesadilla and incorporate all your child’s favorites. You could use shredded or cubed cooked chicken, cheese, black beans, you name it. You can make the quesadilla in the evening and stick it in the fridge to prepare it for the next morning.
Cut the quesadilla into manageable pieces. Add some salsa your child can use for dipping the quesadilla. You can top off the lunch with a light, Mexican-inspired side like black beans, corn, or guacamole with veggies.
9. Call In the Lunch MOB
All the ideas above can make for delicious, healthy lunches, but they all take time and work. For a parent, that cooking and preparation time isn’t always in the cards. For an easier option, try these school lunch options from the Lunch MOB.
The Lunch MOB creates healthy, pre-planned lunches for kindergarteners and kids of any age. Your child gets a unique, chef-prepared lunch and you get to save time. It’s a win for everyone.
Finding Healthy, Delicious Kindergarten Lunch Box Ideas for Your Child
Your child’s kindergarten year is a huge step forward in their life, and as a parent, you’re proud to watch them grow. At the same time, the added responsibilities of school preparation, lunch packing, and homework aren’t easy to handle.
The kindergarten lunch box ideas above can help you find new ways to give your child healthy and appetizing lunches at school. For more tips on your child’s first year at school and other topics, check out more of our handy blogs.