These are my son’s favorite lunches. My criteria: a child can eat these independently, no heating required. Some items are better for older preschoolers, and others for younger.
Try not to pack containers that you’ll be upset about losing, as this seems pretty common. Do label your lunchbox (or monogram it), as well as your containers. I use either a sharpie or a label maker from my home office.
1. Sunflower butter and jelly on whole grain bread. (Substitute peanut butter if school allows nuts.)
2. Smoothie in an insulated cup with a straw. My favorite smoothie recipe is posted here – http://gooseling.com/2013/08/16/smoothie-recipe/
3. Banana chips
4. Multigrain tortilla chips
5. Fruit: grapes, apple slices (use lemon to stay white), berries. Pack in a 3 oz mason jar to keep from smushing.
6. Hummus (if school allows sesame seeds). Kids love dipping!
7. Crackers (multigrain). Can use for sandwich or give with hummus.
8. Mini muffins. We make multigrain muffins with either bananas and berries or, for veggies, zucchini and carrots.
9. Granola bar, Cliff z bar, or your child’s favorite “healthy” option.
10. Yogurt. Don’t forget a spoon. We go for mild, whole milk, plain yogurts and make it ourselves.