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What to Pack in a School Lunch for Kids

I was asked by a reader to make a post about what to pack in a school lunch.

As you know, our kids are school age and they only want to pack sometimes because 98% of the time, they eat school breakfasts and lunches with their friends. 


When our kids ask for me to pack their lunch, I always make sure that they have these items:
-  A sandwhich 
- Fruits (berries usually or an orange or apple)
- Snack - crackers, goldfish, or chips
- Juice box
- A piece of candy 

Our kids love to eat fruits and even salad sometimes, but the salad wouldn't last well until lunch time at school, so I stick to the list above and switch it up depending on what we buy at the store and what they'd like with their lunches. 

They usually more times than not opt to eat school lunches vs packing a lunch, but when they do pack, it's good foods they love. Their school lunches though are pretty healthy ones; we have eaten there with them on their birthdays since that's the only time their school allows visitors to eat lunch with students.

18 comments :

  1. I think fruit is a great addition to anyone's lunch - kid or adult. We as a society don't tend to eat enough fruits.

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  2. That's a great well-rounded lunch for them. It's what I've always chosen too.

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  3. Great idea for back to school lunch. My girls love fruits and a light snack

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  4. Sandwiches are a staple in our house. The kids all have their favorites, but you can never beat a classic PB & J!

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  5. Our children usually buy lunch too, but our oldest is going to middle school this fall and the lunches cost 50% more than in grade school. He will buy only if he's going to eat everything. We have to order his lunches a month in advance, so we get a complete menu. He's excited about packing his own lunches!

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  6. That sounds like a perfect lunch...very healthy!

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  7. These are such great ideas. I had to pack for the first week of Kinder last week and it stunk.

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  8. My kids usually get their lunch from the school cafeteria but on occasion they want me to pack something for them instead. Love your list and sometimes I pack a tortilla roll-up in place of a sandwich. :)

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  9. I've packed school lunches for 14 years now and try to keep things fun and varied. Quiches are an easy option because they can be eaten hot or cold. I always have a salad and fresh fruits and make sure to add an ice pack to keep everything cold.

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  10. Great tips!! My son just started high school and this is the first time I haven't had to pack lunches. They have a huge lunchroom and it's only about $2.30 a day...so much cheaper than packing one!! Love these tips, though, for even my husband! :)

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  11. Great tips I love at looking at different ideas!!

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  12. My kids don't have an account at our school to eat whatever they want there, so they're forced to eat or starve. Sometimes they opt to starve. I love to be able to feel good about what they're eating, and I can't feel good about it if I don't get to control it. :) Great suggestions!

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  13. My kids eat at school, when I get too busy to make them a lunch. This year though, I am going to make a point to make their lunches at home.

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  14. Great list! My son prefers to have lunch at school too with his friends and since his days are long (7:40-4pm), we pack a healthy snack.

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  15. I try to give more veggies than fruit at lunch because I know they'll have fruit in the morning and after school. I'll add dip to help them get down the "green veggies" too. My son gets lunch at school, i hate the selection but I choose my battles

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  16. My kids buy lunch most of the time but with my princess starting all day Pre-K I think it will be better for her to bring lunch until she gets the hang of buying lunch. Thanks for the tips...I never know what to pack when I do make lunches :-)

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  17. I was just talking to my daughter about figuring out new ideas for home lunches for her to take to school. I am ALWAYS looking for suggestions.

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  18. Ah the daily lunch bag struggle! Here the schools don't allow juice boxes (too much waste and the kids don't finish them) and we don't let them take candy.
    I'm always looking for suggestions as the kids now hate sandwiches :(

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