It’s that time of year again when clothes are laid neatly with care and bags are packed the night before.
It’s Back to School season! On top of classroom checklists and making sure clothes are washed and ready there’s another thing on parents’ minds. Lunches.
We’ve come up with a twist on a childhood favorite. In this post, we’re sharing a school-weeks worth of healthy lunchables. They are easy to put together, packed full of nutrients to fuel their school day, and can be made ahead of time so each morning is as easy as reaching in the refrigerator.
As a mom to multiple little ones, one of the things my morning doesn’t have an excess of is time. Even during this past summer, our family went through a move and the addition of our newest little!
All of that means our summer days weren’t quite the quintessential lazy days of summer. Many times when life gets busy, preparing healthy food at home doesn’t rank high on the priority list. I’ll be the first to admit that on more than one trip to the grocery store into the cart went an indulgence for the kids; the Lunchable.
With our Lunchable hacks, we ultimately save money and get more nutrients into our meals as well. We created a twist on the five most common Lunchable options. The great thing is you can switch out any ingredient – feel free to tailor the items to suit the needs and tastes of your littles!
Noticing how enthralled they were by these little packages of processed foods, I wanted to make our own. With our Lunchable hacks, we ultimately save money and getting more nutrients into our meals as well. Keep reading to see how we put ours together!
Children and teens who eat healthy school lunches (as opposed to unhealthy lunches) are 340% more likely to remember information presented in class throughout the day.harris school solutions
How to Create Kid-Friendly HEALTHY Lunchables
We found the perfect divided containers to create our own DIY Lunchable hacks! To me, it’s important to find a container that can seal the food well, yet the kids can still open easily themselves. Plus, using materials that are better for our environment and food, like stainless steel, is a big deal.
For any meal, feel free to tailor the items to suit the needs and tastes of your littles! I’m going to share how we did it, making a twist on the five most common Lunchable choices. You can switch out any ingredients with other choices easily!
A few of these lunches below are gluten-free, as well. Plus, I’ve switched out the typical candy with a side like a fruit or vegetable.
Instead of sending juice or other drinks, I send a bottle of water and add frozen berries for our own flavor infusions – plus it keeps the water cold!
Only 10% of all children eat the recommended daily allowance of fruits and vegetables.Harris School Solutions
The Cracker Lunchable
To create this classic, choose your meat and cheese.
We used thick-sliced turkey and Colby jack cheese (our kids’ favorite). The cap from a drink bottle is perfect to cut those into circles. Though our kids eat it just fine when I slice into quarters as well! Using our divided stainless container, pack meat, cheese, and crackers (we used rice crackers shown here).
Then add in a side. For this one, I put some ranch dressing in a small, lidded container and then topped it with broccoli florets. We also use these great reusable zippered bags to send raisins as a snack!
The Chicken Dunks Lunchable
I love using our crockpot, and over the weekend we made shredded BBQ chicken sandwiches in it. When I cook meals like this, I’ll add in extra chicken when cooking to set aside for lunches.
For this chicken dunks Lunchable hack, I cubed chicken, added a small lidded container for BBQ sauce, and added a side of mini sliced cucumbers and cherry tomatoes. A “dessert” was a medley of raspberries, blueberries, and mini chocolate chips. We also love those snack bags and sent some mini rice cakes.
The Nacho Lunchable
I decided not to send nacho cheese for this one, and instead added a container of our mango salsa, along with bite-size tortilla chips, cubed chicken, and a side of sliced mini cucumbers and Babybel cheese.
Dessert was a few marshmallows and chocolate chips! Again, any lunch can be customized. If you’ve cooked something fun over the weekend like taco meat, cheese sauce or have a bean dip, these are things that can be rotated in.
The Pizza Lunchable
We had some fun with this one and switched things up!
I’ve sent my kids to school before with sliced pita bread, shredded cheese, and sauce to create their DIY pizza lunch, but this time I thought we’d change it up and use skewers!
For this, we rolled salami and mozzarella cheese and then sliced them into bite-size pieces. These we skewered along with cherry tomatoes to fit into these adorable stainless-divided containers! I also added pizza sauce for dipping in another small container and added strawberries for a side.
A yogurt squeezer and plantain chips made up the snack and this Lunchable hack was a huge hit!
The Sub Sandwich Lunchable
Using mini buns is such a fun option with this lunch!
I used the turkey and cheese found in the cracker lunch, and just folded them together and held with a toothpick so that the kids could add to their bun when ready to eat. This helps the sandwich to not feel soggy by the time lunch rolls around.
As a side, the ever-popular mini grapes (why are mini foods just so darn adorable?!) and baby carrots were gobbled right up. I also used a zipper bag again (seriously we use these things year-round, perfect for packing up snacks for the car too!) for a snack of plantain chips.
Lunch Box Essentials
I hope you love these Lunchable hacks as much as we do!
Finding great containers to pack it all in makes a big difference. Starting with divided containers helps so much. With only a little prep, I had these stacked in the fridge for the week without the worry of toppling. On busy mornings, the kids are able to grab their lunch container from the refrigerator to get us out of the house on time!
What are your favorite healthy lunchables to make? Have any time-saving tips for me? I’d love to hear!
For more, check out our other lunchbox hacks and free lunchbox printables as well as these 7 deliciously fun lunches that kids love to eat!