As moms, we play a big role in our children’s choices and behaviors. I’m always looking for healthy ways to keep my kids active and to fuel their healthy lifestyles. One of the best ways to keep our children healthy is by fueling their bodies with the proper nutrition needed. Just as I tell my clients, people (and kids) get healthy inside before looking healthy outside. That’s why healthy lunch ideas for kids are so important for their development!
Why is this critical, especially for kids? Nutrition for your children directly affects IQ, learning, concentration, sleep, and behavior. Just as athletes eat a diet to win, children can eat to learn. Foods that contain antioxidants, choline, omega-3 fatty acids, and complex carbohydrates are all particularly helpful in boosting brainpower!
PLUS, did you know that fruit and vegetable consumption in the United States is dropping to surprisingly low percentages, with only 14% of Americans eating enough fruits and vegetables every day?
As a busy mom of two active little boys, I know how hard it is to ensure my family is eating healthy. YES, even me! So, I want to share my secrets and my kid-approved healthy recipes with you! Use the healthy lunch ideas for kids below to ensure your children are getting the right nutrition they need.
I hope some of our favorite healthy lunch ideas will provide some brain-boosting power and lead your children to live healthy lives!
Healthy Lunch Ideas for Kids
Herbed Chicken Tenders with Honey Dijon
- 1 lb Chicken Breast (skinless, boneless, sliced into strips)
- 2 tbsp Avocado Oil (divided)
- 1/2 cup Oats (quick)
- 1 tbsp Italian Seasoning
- 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
- 6 Carrot (medium, peeled and sliced into fries)
- 1/4 cup Dijon Mustard
- 3 tbsp Raw Honey
- Preheat oven to 400F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Brush chicken strips with half of the avocado oil.
- Combine the oats, Italian seasoning, and sea salt and spread over a small plate. Press both sides of the chicken strips into the oat/spice mixture to coat, then lay on the baking sheet.
- Toss the carrot sticks in the remaining avocado oil. Spread across the other baking sheet.
- Place both pans in the oven and bake for 30 minutes, flipping the chicken and tossing the carrot fries halfway through.
- Meanwhile, combine the Dijon and raw honey in a small bowl to make the sauce. Mix well and set aside.
- To serve, divide the chicken tenders and carrot fries between plates and serve with honey Dijon dipping sauce. Enjoy!
One Pan Chicken, Golden Cauliflower & Carrot Fries
- 2 Carrot (medium)
- 1/2 head Cauliflower
- 3 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil (divided three ways)
- 8 oz Chicken Breast
- 1 tsp Dried Thyme
- 1 tsp Turmeric (powder)
- Sea Salt & Black Pepper (to taste)
- Preheat the oven to 375F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Peel and slice carrots into sticks. Wash and chop cauliflower into florets.
- Brush chicken breast with 1/3 of the olive oil. Season with thyme, sea salt, and black pepper to taste. Place on the baking sheet.
- Toss carrot sticks in 1/3 of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Place on the baking sheet next to the chicken.
- Toss cauliflower with the remaining olive oil, turmeric and, salt, and pepper to taste. Mix until cauliflower is evenly yellow, then transfer to the baking sheet.
- Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until chicken breast is cooked through.
- Remove baking sheet from the oven and divide onto plates. Enjoy!
Penne with Bursted Cherry Tomato Sauce
- 4 oz Chickpea Pasta (dry)
- 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 3 cups Cherry Tomatoes
- 2 Garlic (cloves, minced)
- Sea Salt & Black Pepper (to taste)
- 1 cup Basil Leaves (chopped)
- 1 tbsp Nutritional Yeast
- Cook pasta according to the directions on the package. Run under cold water once cooked to prevent overcooking.
- In a large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add tomatoes, garlic, salt, and pepper. Stir occasionally and cook until all the tomatoes have burst, about 15 to 20 minutes.
- Toss pasta with the chopped basil and divide it onto plates.
- Top each serving with tomato sauce and nutritional yeast. Enjoy!
Tuna Nori Wraps
- 1 can Tuna (drained and flaked)
- 1 Carrot (small, julienned)
- 1/2 Cucumber (julienned)
- 1/2 Avocado (peeled and sliced)
- 6 Nori Sheets (snack size)
- Divide the tuna, carrot, cucumber, and avocado onto each nori sheet.
- Roll or wrap the tuna-stuffed nori and enjoy immediately.
Turkey Hummus Sandwich
- 2 slices Organic Bread (or gluten-free)
- 4 oz Turkey Breast (cooked)
- 1 tbsp Hummus
- 1 1/2 tsp Dijon Mustard
- 1/2 cup Mixed Greens
- Lightly toast the bread.
- Spread one slice of the bread with hummus and mustard. Layer on the turkey and mixed greens. Place the second slice of bread over the top. Slice and enjoy it!
Slow Cooker Spaghetti Squash & Meatballs
- 1 lb Extra Lean Ground Turkey
- 1/4 cup Brown Rice Flour
- 1 Egg (whisked)
- 2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil (divided)
- 1 tbsp Oregano (divided)
- 3 cups Crushed Tomatoes
- 1 tsp Sea Salt (divided)
- 1 tsp Black Pepper (divided)
- 1 Spaghetti Squash (medium)
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the extra lean ground turkey, brown rice flour, egg, half of the olive oil, and half of the oregano. Mix well. Use your clean hands to roll the turkey mixture into small meatballs about the size of golf balls. Set on a plate.
- At the bottom of your slow cooker, add the remaining olive oil and oregano. Add in the crushed tomatoes, sea salt, and black pepper. Mix well, and then submerge your turkey meatballs into the sauce.
- Very carefully cut your spaghetti squash in half lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds. Place it flesh-side up in the tomato sauce. No need to submerge it in the sauce. (Note: If the spaghetti squash is too big to fit into the slow cooker, cut it into quarters.) Set your slow cooker on low for 6 hours or on high for 4 hours.
- Before you are ready to eat, use tongs to lift the spaghetti squash out of the slow cooker. Use a fork to scrape out the flesh into a sieve/strainer (or onto a layer of paper towel) and let the excess fluid drain off.
- Divide the spaghetti squash between plates and top with meatballs and tomato sauce. Enjoy!