Coming up with healthy lunch ideas that kids will actually eat can be a challenge. These healthy packed lunches will please even the pickiest of eaters and can easily be prepped ahead of time to save your sanity on busy school mornings!
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Tips for packing a healthy lunch that your kids will actually eat:
- Give them choices - Let your kids participate in the menu planning process. Give them a few options and let them pick what they want.
- Encourage them to help pack their own lunch. Once you have helped them to decide on a menu, let them help cook and pack up the food. Many kids enjoy being allowed in the kitchen and this also saves a bit of work on your part so it's a win-win in my book!
- Make sure that you are packing it in appropriate containers. It doesn't matter what you pack, if it doesn't make it to lunch in one piece or at the right temperature - they won't eat it! Check out the bottom of the post for a list of my favorite lunch boxes and packing containers.
- Keep a "treat" basket and let them pick something from it each day. Much like the first tip, this gives kids a sense of control. I also have found that my kids are much more receptive to eat a healthy lunch if they know that they will get a dessert also. I've made a list of my treat basket staples at the bottom of the post.
Without further ado, these are some of my family's favorite low carb packed lunches. Feel free to customize them to suit your kids' tastebuds. Also, if you want even more low carb lunch box ideas check out my post with 4 Homemade Keto Lunchables!
I usually use Quest tortilla chips, but if you don't have these simply cut a low carb tortilla into triangles and toast them until crisp. TIP: save up to 15% Quest chips by adding them to your Amazon subscribe and save order!
To this, you can add your kids' favorite toppings. Things like sour cream, guacamole, or salsa are all great options that are easy to pack.
2. Soup and Crackers
Soup can be so comforting, especially on a cold day. Use a thermos to ensure that it stays nice and hot and serve it with your favorite low carb crackers such as whisps (pictured), flackers, or my favorite Keto Butter Crackers.
3. Greek Yogurt, Berries, and Nuts
I like to call this lunch the "I forgot to pack anything the night before and we are running late" special. It requires zero cooking and only a few seconds to toss together which makes it a winner in my books!
I use Two Good Yogurt, which is low carb and fairly easy to find in most grocery stores.
4. Meat and Cheese Roll-Ups
Simply roll up your kids' favorite lunch meat and cheese into a low carb tortilla and serve it with their dipping sauce of choice. Pair it with fruit and veggies for a complete meal.
5. Chicken and Cheese Quesadilla
Make these easy, low carb quesadillas by filling a low carb tortilla with cooked shredded chicken and cheese, then toasting it in a skillet until the cheese is melted. Just like the nachos, sour cream, guacamole, and homemade salsa are great pairings for this lunch!
6. Grilled Chicken and Pesto
It's a fact that kids will eat just about anything if you serve it on a stick and these grilled chicken skewers are no exception. Serve with some pesto, cheese, and veggies for a yummy (and easy) lunch!
I buy these chicken skewers at Sam's club and my kids love them but you can easily make your own. And, of course, you don't have to serve the grilled chicken on a skewer 🙂
7. Greek Meatballs and Tzatziki
These Greek meatballs are packed with flavor! Serve them with the complimentary tzatziki sauce, low carb pita bread, and sliced cucumbers. I use Joseph's Pita Bread, but you can also make your own with THIS recipe.
You can find the recipe for the Greek Meatballs and Tzatziki HERE!
8. Pita PB&J Dippers
No school lunch menu is complete without some peanut butter and jelly. Toast low carb pita bread or a low carb tortilla until crisp and serve with your favorite peanut butter and some low carb jam to please even the pickiest eaters!
9. Open-faced Meatball Sandwich
Meatballs, marinara, mozzarella cheese, and toasty garlic bread = YUM!
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10. Chicken and Waffles
Breakfast food is the best food and this meal does not disappoint! Serve with your favorite low carb syrup, butter, and some fresh berries.
You'll find the recipe for the chicken and waffles HERE. I used a mini waffle maker to make these kid-sized waffles, but you can use any waffle maker and just halve or quarter the waffles depending upon your little's appetites 🙂
Healthy Lunch Box Treats
- Fiber One Brownies and Granola Bars
- Fat Snax Cookies
- Keto MoonPies
- Keto Wedding Cookies
- Low Carb Chocolate Chip Cookie Cheesecake Bars
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- Keto Milano Cookies
- Low Carb Fudgy Brownies
- Smart Sweets Gummy Candy
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- Quest Hero Bars and Cookies
My Favorite Lunch Boxes and Accessories
- Insulated Lunch Box - We recently discovered these lunchboxes from PackIt and we are in love! The walls of the lunch box are ice packs, so you just pop it in the freezer at night and it keeps your lunch cold all day long.
- Thermos - Thermos' will keep your kiddos hot food hot until they can eat it.
- Reusable Plastic Containers - I like to use plastic Tupperware to prevent soft foods from getting smooshed. Inevitably, some of the containers will get tossed in the trash, so I don't recommend spending too much money on the containers. Also, make sure that your kids can open and close the containers on their own. My older kids use the divided containers pictured above, but they are too hard for my 5-year-old to seal properly so we stick with containers with twist-off lids.
- Ziplock Bags in various sizes
- Ice Packs (omit these if you have the PackIt lunchbox listed above) These are my favorite because they are flexible so they will fit just about any size lunch box.
- Silverware - My kids can get silverware from the school cafeteria, but they have to wait in the long lunch line. I try to remember to add some disposable utensils to save them time.
- Lidded Condiment cups - These are my absolute favorite. They hold just about 2 tablespoons and the lids twist on and seal really well.
- Contigo Water Bottles - These water bottles from Contigo are the best. They never leak and are easy for even my kindergartner to use by himself.
I hope that this list of low carb packed lunches helps you with your kids' lunchboxes. I'd love to hear any other ideas that you and your kids have down in the comments!