If you are like I was back when my kids were in school, trying to pack a brown bag lunch that they would eat was the bane of my existence. My son wasn’t the problem, he ate just about anything, except cauliflower, but my daughter, although not exactly a picky eater, was a little more challenging when it came to packing her lunch.

When you think about packed school lunches, PB&J or ham and cheese sandwiches come to mind, (although now days with peanut allergies on the rise, a lot of schools have banned peanut nut butter). And while sandwiches certainly make for a nice school lunch, they are not your only option. Mix it up by fixing something different for your kids this school year.

Make It A Wrap

A quick and easy alternative to a sandwich is a wrap. Grab some gluten-free tortillas and fix your child’s favorite sandwich as a wrap. Wraps are also great for adding lots of lettuce and extra veggies. Hummus and cucumbers make a delicious vegetarian lunch option.

When you’re done adding your toppings, roll it up like a burrito and if desired, cut it in half. The wrap is good as is, or you can pack a small serving of salad dressing to dip. Ranch is always a favorite around here. Just make sure you pack it in a small, airtight container so your child doesn’t end up with ranch all over her lunch box (ask me know I know).

Who Doesn’t Love Snack Food And Lunchables?

I have yet to meet a child that doesn’t love lunchables. But have you looked at the price of those found at the grocery store lately? Plus, I’m not the biggest fan of the food options. So why not make your own version instead with fresh ingredients and food you know your child will eat. You could certainly start with some sandwich meat and cheese cut into bite-sized pieces, and add some fresh raw veggies like sliced cucumber, cherry tomatoes, and baby carrots. Throw in some fresh or dried fruit and you have a delicious, healthy, homemade version.

With the invention of cold packs, you could certainly also send some chicken or roast beef for their protein as well.

Of course you can turn any of your child’s favorite snack foods including popcorn, trail mix, crackers, cheese, fruits and veggies and the likes into lunch. Grab a container with lots of little dividers (bento boxes are perfect) and fill them up with kid-friendly favorites.

Healthy Salads For Lunch

Salads are another great lunch option, particularly for older children. Get a container with a tight fitting lid and add all your child’s favorite salad ingredients minus the dressing in there.

Start with a bed of lettuce greens, add raw veggies, bacon bits, nuts and seeds and the likes. Top it with a source of protein like cheese, hard-boiled egg, ham or turkey, or even some grilled chicken.

Pack the dressing in a separate container along with a fork and napkin and lunch is done. You can assemble the salad the night before and store it in the fridge. The key is to make sure all your ingredients are very dry. If you’re washing your lettuce, use a salad spinner, or dry it on some paper towels before starting to pack it. Cutting everything into small bite-sized pieces will ensure that the lunch time salad is easy to eat.

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