3 School Lunch Ideas, Healthy & Easy

If you're looking for nutritious ideas that children will actually enjoy and finish, try these recipes that are sure to win approval from the short set.

Vegan Hummus Avocado Wrap

Use ripe avocado or even leftover guacamole, and protein-rich hummus to make these vegan hummus avocado wraps. Add some sprouts or salad greens for crunch, but if sending to school, leave out the tomato to avoid sogginess. Plain hummus is delicious here, but a flavored variety, like roasted red pepper, will also work nicely.

The Spruce Eats / Eric Kleinberg

Ingredients

Steps to Make It

  1. Bring flour tortilla to room temperature.

  2. Spread hummus down the middle of the flour tortilla.

  3. Arrange avocado, alfalfa sprouts, tomato, and cucumber (if using) on top of hummus and fold up into a sandwich wrap.

Cheesy Meatball Bombs

These cheesy meatball bombs that start with packaged biscuit dough explode with flavor. Filled with the Italian favorites of meatballs, tomato sauce, and Parmesan cheese, your kids will think they've won the lottery. When using leftover meatballs or pre-made frozen, this recipe comes together quickly. Serve these meatball bombs with some marinara on the side for dipping.

The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney

Ingredients

Meatballs:

  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley

  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

  • 1 large egg

  • 3/4 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs

  • 1/4 cup milk

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/4 onion, finely minced

  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced

  • 1/2 pound ground beef

  • 1 sweet Italian sausage, casing removed

Bomb Dough and Toppings:

  • 2 (12-ounce cans) Pillsbury Southern Homestyle refrigerated biscuits, not the flaky kind

  • 1 1/2 cups marinara sauce, or other tomato sauce of your choice

  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 5 tablespoons (2 1/2 ounces) unsalted butter, melted

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 teaspoon finely minced parsley, plus more for garnish

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Steps to Make It


  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  3. To prepare the meatballs, combine the parsley, Parmesan cheese, egg, breadcrumbs, milk, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Whisk them together until completely combined. Gently fold in the onion, garlic, ground beef, and sausage until completely combined.

  4. Using a cookie scoop, scoop the meatball mixture into balls, roll, and place them on the parchment paper.

  5. Bake in the oven for about 25 to 30 minutes or until completely cooked.

  6. Remove them from the oven and allow them to cool slightly.

  7. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 325 F.

  8. Roll out each biscuit into about a 4-inch circle. Place a meatball in the center and top with 1 to 2 tablespoons of the marinara sauce and some of the shredded mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.

  9. Seal the dough closed by pulling the edges together and pinching them closed. Place the meatball seam-side down onto the parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush with the olive oil and repeat with the remaining meatballs.

  10. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the dough is firm and golden brown.

  11. While they are baking, melt the butter in the microwave with the minced garlic. Whisk in the chopped parsley and salt after the butter has melted.

  12. Remove the meatball bombs from the oven and brush them with the butter mixture.

  13. Serve with extra marinara sauce, if desired, and enjoy.

Kid-Friendly Energy Bites

Skip the store-bought, highly-processed, sugar-loaded confections and make your own kid-friendly energy bites at home instead! With just a handful of wholesome ingredients (and a bit of chocolate), these energy bites can be mixed up in a matter of minutes. The peanut butter provides a boost of protein while the oatmeal offers some fiber, meaning these energy bites will leave your little one feeling full and satisfied through the rest of the day.

The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups old-fashioned oats

  • 1/3 cup coconut flakes

  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

  • 1/4 cup honey

  • 2 tablespoons mini chocolate chips

  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed, optional

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate melting wafers, for dipping and drizzling

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Combine oats, coconut flakes, peanut butter, honey, chocolate chips, flax seed (if using), vanilla extract, and salt in a large bowl.

  3. Stir well, until all ingredients are well-combined.

  4. Using your hands, roll energy bite mixture into two-teaspoon-sized balls. Place on a wax paper lined cookie sheet and transfer to the freezer for 10 minutes while you prepare your chocolate for dipping/drizzling.

  5. While energy bites are chilling, prepare dark chocolate melting wafers by placing in a small, microwave-safe bowl and heating at 15-second increments (stirring well in-between) until chocolate is completely melted.





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