Think Outside the (Lunch) Box

August 23, 2019
| Created by Melanie Taylor, MS, RDN, CD

Think Outside the (Lunch) Box 8.2019


Congratulations parents!  We’ve made it through another summer and the new school year has begun! With the excitement of new shoes, clean notebooks, sharp pencils and routine also comes the dread of packing lunches. Let’s be honest, sandwiches get boring! This year, think outside the lunch box to keep things fresh. Start with one of these ideas and end with empty lunch boxes:  


Roll-ups with tortillas + lean deli meats + cheese + veggies + mashed avocado
Greek inspired fare like hummus with a sprinkle of feta + pita bread + veggies to dip
Cheese quesadilla + guacamole + salsa
Lean deli meat + cheese + cherry tomato kabobs
Pasta salad
Grilled cheese + marinara dip
Hard boiled eggs + everything bagel seasoning dip
Tuna or egg salad + crackers
PB & J on whole grain sandwich thins
Bagel + cream cheese
Mini waffles + nut butter and banana
Greek yogurt parfait + fruit and granola
Dinner leftovers or soup in a thermos
Rotisserie chicken + ranch dip
Pot stickers + peanut sauce
Breakfast burrito



Not the Same Old Sides and Snacks:

Grape tomatoes
Cucumber slices
Snap peas
Sliced peppers
Baby carrots
Fruit cups (no sugar added)
Granola bars
String cheese
Trail mix
Fruit leather
Nut butter packets


Expert Tip: Kids don’t need a dessert at every meal, but if you do include a treat, keep it small and balanced with the rest of the meal (for example, vanilla pudding with fresh berries or chocolate milk). Or try non-food treats, such as stickers, fun pencils, small toys or trinkets, or just a nice note or joke from a family member.


What’s in your kids’ lunch boxes?  We would love to hear your ideas!