11 Foods That Are Perfect for Your Child’s Lunchbox

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Photo Modified: Flickr / kae71463 / CC BY 4.0

School is almost back in session, which means it’s time to worry about what you’re going to put in your kid’s lunchbox. While it’s tempting to just pack them store-bought snacks like Lay’s  and Lunchables, there are so many delicious and nutritious homemade foods to consider. 

11 Foods That Are Perfect for Your Child’s Lunchbox

Photo Modified: Flickr / kae71463 / CC BY 4.0

School is almost back in session, which means it’s time to worry about what you’re going to put in your kid’s lunchbox. While it’s tempting to just pack them store-bought snacks like Lay’s  and Lunchables, there are so many delicious and nutritious homemade foods to consider. 

Amazing Black Bean Brownies

Shutterstock / Nataliya Arzamasova

Let’s face it: Your kids want something sweet in their lunchboxes. Luckily, sweets don’t have to be unhealthy. This one is loaded with hearty ingredients, like black beans. “Don't be scared by the black beans — I made this and will never go back to normal brownies again,” says a special contributor for The Daily Meal. For the Amazing Black Bean Brownies recipe, click here.

Apple Turtles

Check out this cute and delicious snack that’ll brighten up your kid’s lunchbox. The turtles are made of grapes and Granny Smith apples — even the pickiest of eaters will devour them. For the Apple Turtles recipe, click here.

Bacon Cheddar Pinwheels

Shutterstock / Elena Shashkina

When you think of a lunchbox you probably think of sandwiches, but chances are your kids get hungry before their designated lunch time. Make these bacon Cheddar pinwheels as a mid-morning snack. For the Bacon Cheddar Pinwheels recipe, click here.

Cheesy Chicken Lunchbox Muffins

Shutterstock / Margoe Edwards

Wonton wrappers provide you with “a ready-made pre-cut piece of dough with very few ingredients and no fat… [they] work beautifully as a thin but sturdy crust for mini quiches and this savory lunchbox muffin,” says special contributor Missy Chase. For the Cheesy Chicken Lunchbox Muffins recipe, click here.

Fruit Salsa

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This is “a kid-friendly recipe that’s packed with nutritious (and delicious) fruits,” says special contributor Kathy Powers. “Serve with whole-grain pita chips, preferably homemade, and dust them with some cinnamon and sugar for added flavor.” For the Fruit Salsa recipe, click here.

Grab-and-Go Crispy Granola Bars

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“Kids love this healthy cross between a granola bar and a Rice Krispies treat. These bars are far healthier than kids’ breakfast cereals, delivering a good boost of whole grains and fiber, as well as calcium from the powdered milk. I keep some in little plastic bags frozen individually to keep them from going stale, and toss them in lunchboxes or for a snack on the run.” — Missy Chase For the Grab-and-Go Crispy Granola Bars recipe, click here.

Mac and Cheese Lunchbox Muffins

Shutterstock / iuliia_n

“These are a handy lunchbox alternative to sandwiches and are loaded with hidden veggies! The Sneaky Chef mac and cheese formula is tried and true, and this turns it into a hand-held meal that can be popped into the kids’ lunch boxes. No fork is needed, as they are eaten just like a muffin. Kids don't mind them cold. Make ahead and freeze, take them out and put into the fridge the night before, and you are set to go.” — Missy Chase For the Mac and Cheese Lunchbox Muffins recipe, click here.

PB & J Pinwheels

“This recipe solves the age-old problem of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich becoming boring,” according to Heirloom Tomatoes. Make these bite-sized pinwheels for an after-school snack, or throw them into your kid’s lunchbox. For the PB & J Pinwheels recipe, click here.

Pizza Lunchable

Photo Modified: Flickr / m01229 / CC BY 4.0

Lunchables, while your kids may love them, are very unhealthy. To solve the nagging, make Lunchables at home. You can easily make a small pizza crust with store-bought pizza dough, or even use tortillas as the base — it’s that simple. For the Pizza Lunchable recipe, click here.

Top Dog Corn Muffins

Photo Modified: Flickr / kae71463 / CC BY 4.0

By transforming corn dogs into muffins, I could sneak in whole grains, vegetables, and calcium while retaining the traditional great taste of hot dogs and cornbread. This complete meal in a muffin makes a fun dinner on the run or lunchbox sandwich alternative.” — Missy Chase For the Top Dog Corn Muffins recipe, click here.

Turkey Pinwheels

Photo Modified: Flickr / Maggie / CC BY 4.0

“Whether you’re looking for something new to pack in your child’s lunchbox or a healthy snack to take to work, this recipe from Tessemae’s All Natural is a must-try. You only need four ingredients and a few minutes of prep work to make this wholesome and satisfying snack. Best of all, it can be made up to one day in advance.” — Tessemae’s For the Turkey Pinwheels recipe, click here.