Many school districts, such as the Laguna Beach Unified School District in Southern California are backing out of their commitment to the Let’s Move initiative to battle childhood obesity by eliminating unhealthy choices in school lunches. Even though your school may mean well, it is better to pack your child’s lunch with low-fat ingredients instead of letting your school make the decision about what your child is going to eat each day.

Commit to giving your kids flavorful school lunches using quality ingredients!

Are your kids bored with the traditional PB&J? Let us reinvent your morning routine with these healthy school lunch ideas! Don’t worry, it won’t take a second longer than putting a sandwich together!

Meatball Sandwich
Warm frozen meatballs in jarred tomato sauce and transfer to a thermos for easy packing. Include a whole wheat hamburger bun and a slice of provolone cheese for fun assembly at lunch.

Chicken Soft Tacos
Pack a container with mashed avocado and lime juice. Layer with shredded cheese before sealing. Pack shredded chicken in another container and wrap a tortilla in foil. Let kids make their own tacos at lunch! You can use chicken from last night’s dinner for easy preparation.

Waldorf Chicken Salad Sandwiches
Combine shredded rotisserie chicken, chopped apples and celery, walnuts, raisins, and mayonnaise. Spread the mixture over a whole wheat hamburger bun and top with lettuce.

Pesto Shrimp Skewers
Place grape tomatoes, cucumber chunks, cooked shrimp and toasted whole wheat bread cubes on skewers. Pack with pesto sauce for dipping. Keep refrigerated or place an ice pack in the lunch box until lunchtime.

Pesto Chicken Rolls
Toss diced roast chicken breast with pesto, diced mozzarella and sliced sugar snap peas. Transfer to an airtight container and pack with a whole wheat hot dog bun.

Want to make these healthy school ideas? Add these items to your shopping list:

Tomato Sauce
Pesto
Whole Wheat Hamburger and Hot Dog Buns
Frozen Meatballs
Provolone Cheese
Whole Wheat Tortilla
Avocado
Lime Juice
Shredded Cheese
Chicken Breast
Walnuts
Apples
Raisins
Low Fat Mayonnaise
Lettuce
Celery
Shrimp
Grape tomatoes
Sugar Snap Peas
Mozzarella

You may have some of these items already in your fridge or already may be buying these items for snack and dinner ideas. You can easily make nutritious meals out of these ingredients and then use the leftovers for lunch the next day.  For example, add whole wheat pasta to chicken with pesto then prepare the Pesto Chicken Rolls for lunch the next day.

Kids will enjoy their lunches even more when they are involved in the process. After dinner, take 15 minutes to prepare lunch for the next day. By making it a fun family routine, your kids will enjoy making their lunch. You can use the opportunity to teach kids about cooking and nutrition.

Click here for ways to ease into your new school lunch preparation routine. 

Do you have difficulty getting your teen to eat healthy? Check out these recipes and more tips for your family:

www.drkatalenas.com/healthyeatingforteens

www.drkatalenas.com/simple-tips-to-get-teens-to-eat-healthier

The Step Up Diet provides a unique approach to healthy eating that is incredibly simple. It is easy to implement in your own family and will quickly become a new way of life. Read Dr. K’s book to learn more about creating routines that improve your family’s eating habits.

About the Author

Dr. Katalenas

Dr. Katalenas is a pediatrician and owner of The Pediatric Center of Round Rock and the author of the book "The Step Up Diet: From Scratch… The Quality, Quantity, and Timing Solution to Childhood Obesity", a guide to healthy cooking and eating for busy families.