Fast and Easy School Lunches That Will Actually Get Eaten.


By Michelle Stern


Our fishing expedition on


Lake this summer was comical. Despite our best efforts, we were unable to catch anything, even though the boat next to us was pulling in fish every time we looked! Clearly, there was something we weren’t doing right. As a man from the next boat yelled over to us, “What kind of bait are you using?” a crazy thought entered into my mind: Feeding children is a lot like fishing – you have to have the right lure, or they won’t bite! Packing desirable school lunches is a lot like the fine art of selecting an appealing lure while fishing. Try some of these stress-free strategies for packing healthy lunches that your fish will bite and not refuse.



  • Ask your kids what they will enjoy. Remember that if they don’t like certain foods at home, they won’t like them at school either!


  • Ask for their input before loading their lunch box. Just because they liked something today doesn’t mean that they will like it again tomorrow.


  • Keep in mind that your children don’t have much time to eat…so pack foods in small portions that are easy to eat, so they have time left to play.


  • Don’t be lured into buying prepackaged lunches, which are high in fat, sugar, salt and calories, are much more expensive, and produce tons of unnecessary garbage.


  • Let your child help you select a cool lead-free and reusable lunch bag or lunch box. Pick up a few reusable containers that will fit inside – this will prevent food from leaking and getting smashed, and will help you avoid using disposable items like plastic bags and foil.


  • Whenever possible, pack lunches the night before. Why add more stress to your morning routine?



Here are a variety of ideas for some fun and interesting lunches. Don’t forget to include fruits or vegetables, protein and whole grains every day.



Sandwich Alternatives:


  • Instead of sliced bread, try rice or whole grain crackers, whole wheat pita bread, bagels and tortillas.


  • Wrap it Up! Combine a variety of spreads, fillings and wrappers for a sandwich alternative your kids won’t forget. For lots of wrap recipes, please visit the Healthy School Lunches page at What’s Cooking.



Make Ahead…



Love the thermos ideas! I am thinking about getting out the crockpot this weekend and cooking up a big batch of lunches!

justice fergie

THANKS. the whole lunch thing gives me such grief!