Healthy lunch and snack ideas for kids during COVID back-to-school

Back to school. For most, this is an exciting time. Finally, kids are out of your hands! At this time, with COVID, kids may be going back to school in person, but some may be going back virtually. This may be anxiety-filled, and the last thing on your mind might be meal and snack ideas. But as the caregiver/parent, you still have the responsibility to provide snacks and lunches for kids at home.

As dietitian moms ourselves, we have a few lunch and snack ideas to fall back on, as well as some from our clients and friends. These snacks are great to have on hand or rotate during the week. Remember, you can choose what your kids eat. What they eat can influence their behavior, learning ability, memory, and anxiety.  As a rule of thumb, always include a carb (fruit, vegetable, grain) with a protein/fat in a snack to keep from a “crash” and keep your child sustained throughout the “at-home” school day.

Here are 20 simple lunches, 20 quick snacks, and 20 nutritious food products for your kids to cycle through!

Need help?

Do you find yourself struggling to get your kids to eat veggies or less “pantry foods”? Curious about what they should be eating? Have a picky eater? 

Schedule a session with Tammy Leeper! She is amazing with kids. She has this ability to chat with them on their level and get them eating healthier. 

Tammy is in-network with most major insurance companies. 

Lunch ideas:

  1. Snack lunch – Whole grain crackers, cheese slices, cherry tomatoes, and apple slices
  2. Hummus, pita chips, carrots, and bell peppers
  3. Veggie pizza quesadilla with toppings of choice
  4. Nachos with whole grain chips, low-fat cheese, beans, and chopped tomatoes
  5. Whole grain almond butter and banana sandwich
  6. Red Lentil Mac n Cheese
  7. Veggie pita pocket with hummus and veggies of choice
  8. Turkey, spinach, tomato, and avocado rolled in a whole wheat tortilla
  9. Egg salad sandwich on whole grain bread with avocado instead of mayo
  10. Tuna sandwich on whole-grain bread with cucumbers and pickles
  11. Scrambled eggs burrito and berries
  12. Whole wheat bagel with cream cheese, fruit, and veggies
  13. Sweet potato topped with chili
  14. Grilled chicken salad
  15. Mediterranean Pita Pizza
  16. Lentil Tacos
  17. Cheesy Baked Veggie Dunkers
  18. Veggie Loaded Sloppy Joes
  19. Avocado Hummus Sandwich
  20. Chicken Tostadas

Snack ideas:

  1. Hard-boiled egg and whole-grain crackers
  2. Oatmeal and peanut butter
  3. Popcorn and Lily’s dark chocolate
  4. Smoothie (Milk, spinach or cauliflower, the fruit of choice, and nut butter) — Let the kids choose what you put for each base in the smoothie! They are more likely to eat it when they have the choice.
  5. Dessert Hummus and fruit
  6. Greek yogurt and frozen fruit
  7. Cheese stick and frozen fruit
  8. Milk and graham crackers with peanut butter
  9. Nut butter and fruit of choice
  10. Celery and peanut butter
  11. Watermelon pizza (spread Greek yogurt and ground flaxseed on top of the watermelon)
  12. Avocado and whole-grain crackers or rice cakes
  13. Hummus and veggies
  14. Banana “ice cream” (Milk, frozen bananas, and nut butter blended)
  15. Bananas or strawberries dipped in Lily’s melted chocolate chips and frozen
  16. Sliced pears and ricotta cheese
  17. Cottage cheese topped on whole-grain toast or crackers
  18. Baked sweet potato fries dipped in guacamole
  19. Frozen fruit and Greek yogurt pureed and frozen into a popsicle
  20. Roast chickpeas (or garbanzo beans) and season with spices

Prepackaged snacks and brands:

  1. Biena Chickpea Snacks
  2. Trail Mix
  3. Snack Mates Kids Turkey Sticks
  4. Peeled Pea Crisps
  5. Biena Chickpea Puffs
  6. Perfect Kids Snack bars
  7. Super Berries Fruit Snacks
  8. Mamma Chia Squeeze
  9. Yogi’s Freeze-dried Yogurt and Fruit Snacks
  10. Kind Kids Granola Bars
  11. Larabar Minis
  12. Dino Bars Fruit Bars
  13. Freeze-dried fruit
  14. Nature’s Bakery Fig Bars
  15. RX Bars Kids
  16. Bitsy’s Cheddar Chia Crackers
  17. Stonyfield Organic Fruit and Veggie Pouches
  18. Fruit and Nut Muesli Cereal with milk
  19. Almond Spinach Artichoke Dip with veggies
  20. Dr. Praeger’s Sensible Foods Kids Kale Littles

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