Tasty, healthy snacks for the lunchbox help your kids get the right nutrition. You can also rest assured they’re not trading their healthy lunches for junk food! Here are some fun DIY ideas for the lunchbox.
Apples and Peanut Butter Dip
For this fun treat, you’ll need apple slices and:
- Cream cheese – 8 oz. (whipped, reduced-fat)
- Peanut butter – 1 cup (creamy)
- Milk – ¼ cup (2% or skim)
- Dark brown sugar – 1 tablespoon
- Pure vanilla extract – 1 teaspoon
- Peanuts – ½ cup (unsalted, chopped)
Beat all except the peanuts in a small bowl until well incorporated. Add peanuts; mix well. One serving of dip (two tablespoons) contains only five grams of carbohydrates, along with five grams of protein.
Fruit and Cheese Kabobs
The lunchbox will be much more fun with these easy-to-prepare, colorful treats. You’ll need wooden kebab skewers (remove pointed ends after assembly) and:
- Cheese – 2-4 oz. (cubed, any flavor)
- Fruit – 4-8 oz. (cubed or sliced)
Arrange fruit and cheese on kebabs in alternating patterns, approximately two pieces of cheese and three pieces of fruit on each skewer. You can also create fruit-only kebabs. A four ounce fruit kebab offers one-half serving of fruit, while a fruit and cheese kebab offers one dairy serving and one-quarter fruit serving.
Nut Butter and Banana Sandwiches
This is a great alternative to sugary jelly paired with peanut butter, and offers a lot of wiggle room for preparation and ingredients. You’ll need:
- Whole grain bread – 2 slices per sandwich (may substitute any healthy bread)
- Peanut butter – 2 tablespoons (creamy; may also substitute sunflower butter, cashew butter or any other nut butter in creamy or crunchy)
- Banana – ½ per sandwich (sliced)
Spread nut butter evenly on bread slices; add sliced banana as the middle layer. Between the nut butter and banana, you’re giving your kids extra potassium, and protein that can help them concentrate better during their afternoon classes.
Lean Turkey Pinwheels
These tasty DIY pinwheel snacks are super healthy and will give the lunchbox a chance to shine! You’ll need:
- Whole wheat tortillas – 1 per wrap
- Lean turkey – 2-4 oz. (sliced thin)
- Swiss cheese – 1 slice (may substitute other cheeses, to taste)
- Fresh spinach – 2 oz.
- Ranch dressing – 1 tablespoon (bonus points for replacing all or some dressing with avocado)
Spread ranch dressing and/or avocado on tortilla to within an inch of each edge. Lay turkey and cheese on the tortilla and cover with fresh spinach leaves. Roll it and cut into slices about one inch thick. These pinwheels offer healthy lean protein and balanced nutrition in a fun-to-eat package.
Instead of prepackaged, sugary fare, give your kids real yogurt, sweetened with real fruit. You’ll need:
- Greek yogurt – ½ cup (plain or vanilla)
- Fresh or frozen fruit – ¼ – ½ cup
Blend ingredients to your liking. Fruit may be left chunky or completely blended into the yogurt. It’s a cool and creamy treat your kids will love.
Making the Lunchbox Fun
Packing lunches that are good for your kids, and they’ll actually eat, doesn’t have to be difficult. With a little time, you can easily make delicious snacks for kids that they’ll love to eat! Also you can pack it in our Mess Eaters Travel Pal to give more fun to the lunch