Kids Lunch and Snack Ideas for School and Home

Kids Lunch and Snack Ideas for School and Home

It’s almost back to school time and we’ve rounded up some of our favorite back to school snacks and lunches that can be enjoyed at home as well.

Fruits
You can’t go wrong with fruit. They are easy to keep at home and in a lunchbox and they are super healthy. When our kids get tired of the standard apple, we make fruit salad with berries and grapes.

Some of our Favorites:
Mango, kiwi, chopped melon, any citrus, apples, peaches, pears, plums, nectarines, pineapples, grapes, bananas and so many more.

Some Tips:
Buy melons and/or pineapples and peel and chop ahead of time. Or make fruit salad ahead of time. Both should last for several days making lunch and snack prep easier.

Peel citrus fruits, mango, kiwi (and other hard skinned fruits) and store in a container to make lunch a little more simple for your child.

Shortcuts:
Keep some packs of applesauce and fruit cups (preferably in juice and not syrup) on hand for when you are running late.

Canned fruit can also make a great snack for when you are short on time and for fruits that are out of season. Keep your pantry well stocked! They won’t spoil.

Vegetables
It’s true that many kids have a hard time with vegetables. We try to shake it up in our house by varying the veggies and the way they are prepared. One day we slice and another day we cube or dice.

Some of our Favorites:
Cucumbers, raw peas or string beans, green and bell peppers, baby carrots, mini salads, baby spinach and so many more.

Some Tips:
Serving veggies up with a dip or dressing can also help kids to enjoy them a little more. We like to make our own hummus with canned chick peas or white beans. Rinse beans and add a little olive oil and any herbs or seasonings you like and process in a food processor. Yum!

Shortcuts:
If you are pressed for time, why not buy pre washed, sliced and packed vegetables? You may pay a premium, but you’ll save a lot of time. Otherwise make Sunday your food prep day and chop your veggies and fruit and store for use throughout the week.

Grains and Main Meals
There are way too many ideas to post here. Simple solutions are easy sandwiches. Keep a loaf of your favorite bread on hand and fill with whatever your kids like and can safely eat. This could be a nut butter (or SunButter – Sunflower Seed Butter), leftover chicken or any other meat.

Some of our Favorites:
I’ll admit, our kids still LOVE mac and cheese. We buy all natural and organic, make it the night before and store, reheat in the am and store in the Funtainers I recently wrote about. (Link at the end of this post.) We also do as they do in Europe. Bread and cheese or hummus. Cheese and crackers. Fruit and veggie sticks. And sometimes a home made or safe packaged cookie.

Some Tips:
It goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyways –¬† “Plan in advance when you can.” If you can plan out your menu and make lunches and snacks the night before, it makes life so much easier.

Shortcuts:
I hate to grocery shop so I usually buy in bulk when I can and freeze. I freeze loaves of bread among other things. I also love to buy the grocery store Rotisserie chicken and use throughout the week. It saves me a lot of time in preparing lunches and dinners. If you are worried about ingredients, consider purchasing a Compact Rotisserie and make your own rotisserie chicken. We have the one linked to above and it works great!

Packaged Foods
This is another area where there are too many things to post. We buy yogurt, cottage cheese, and sometimes pudding. Cheese sticks or squares. Wheat crackers, graham crackers and a number of other crackers, cereals and more.

Some of our Favorites:
Luckily neither of our kids suffer from dairy allergy because they love all dairy products. For lunch we pack many of the above. Yogurt, cottage cheese, cheese sticks and even dry cereal for lunch or a snack.

Some  Tips:
We love to buy a large tub of vanilla or plain yogurt and then liven it up with granola or berries and even sometimes (gasp) cocoa and a little sugar. It makes a nice change for all of us. We also buy in bulk (like pretzels and crackers) and divide into smaller containers. Ideally we do this on our Sunday prep day, but that doesn’t always happen.

Shortcuts:
Oftentimes we buy in bulk and put in containers for lunch or snacks. However, you can also buy individual containers of yogurt, cottage cheese and other products like crackers, pretzels and more. If you want to save time, keep a few prepacked items on hand. Just remember that it costs more and isn’t great for our environment.

Our Favorite Packaged Brands and Foods
For most packaged snacks and meals, we stick with companies that are allergy safe/friendly – especially when preparing food for school. This helps us to keep our sanity and keep our food allergic son safe. Following is a list of our favorite brands and foods in no particular order.

HomeFree: Makes cookies and coffee cake that are peanut, tree nut, egg and dairy safe.

Cherrybrook Kitchen: Cake and cookie mixes as well as cookies that are peanut, tree nut egg and dairy safe. They also have some gluten free items as well.

Enjoy Life Foods: A variety of foods that are free from the top 8 allergens. We especially love their Mountain Mambo granola.

There are of course many, many other safe foods and brands for those with food allergies. Check out our Food Allergy Directory to find them.

You might also be interested in our article:

Lunchbox and Container Reviews

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Best Allergy Sites makes every effort to test and review products fairly and transparently. The views expressed in this review are the personal views of Best Allergy Sites and this particular product review was not sponsored or paid for in any way by the manufacturers.

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