Ideas for Healthy Lunches and Snacks
Tips for making smart food choices when packing lunches and snacks
by Mark Hughes
Healthy Lunch and Snack Ideas
When you go to school, you want to be at the top of your game so you can stay alert and perform well. Eating a healthy lunch and snacks will help fuel your brain and body. But putting together healthy lunches and snacks can be surprisingly difficult and time consuming. It’s certainly much easier to bring pre-packaged snacks and lunches to school. These options, however, are often filled with saturated fats, sodium, and sugar—all things that you should avoid.
Below are some suggestions for lunches or snacks that are delicious, healthy, and easy to make. Round off any of these with fruit (apples, oranges, bananas) or veggies and beans (carrots, celery, edamame) on the side.
Use whole wheat, whole grain, or flax breads. Options for easy and yummy sandwiches are:
- Peanut butter and jelly, topped with sliced banana
- Low-fat deli meat, lettuce, tomato slice, and mustard or hummus
- Cheese, avocado, sprouts
- Smoked salmon, low-fat cream cheese, tomato, red-onion
Use wooden skewers to create healthy kabobs. Alternate sliced apples, bell peppers, grapes, baby tomatoes, cantaloupe, watermelon, broccoli, baby carrots, and anything else you can think of. For dipping, use yogurt, hummus, sour cream, or tzatziki, a Greek sauce made with yogurt and spices.
Pitas or roll-ups
Whole-wheat pita or roll ups are great because you can stuff them with anything: low-fat deli meats, steamed kale, sliced cheese, tomato and cucumber slices, sprouts. Stuff these beforehand, or simply pack the ingredients and put it together when you are ready to eat.
- Hot Food: soups and stews (this is an especially useful way to deal with leftovers)
- Cold Foods: blend up a cold fruit and veggie smoothie before you leave for the day
|Snack Food||Calories||Serving Size|
|baby carrots||26||8 baby carrots|
|cherry tomatoes||3||1 cherry tomato|
|celery sticks||1||1 stick|
|celery with hummus||89||1 stick with hummus|
|cottage cheese||90||½ cup|
|dried fruit||130||¼ cup|
|granola bars||100–200||1 bar|
|hard-boiled egg||77||1 egg|
|oat bran pretzels||120||18 pretzels|
|raw almonds||180||21 pieces|
|raw mixed nuts (unsalted)||170||¼ cup|
|soy yogurt||150||½ cup|
|100% whole wheat pretzels||110||10 pretzels|
|yogurt (fruit)||119||1/3 cup|
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