7 Healthy Back-to-School Lunch Ideas

7 Healthy Back-to-School Lunch Ideas

It’s hard to believe that the summer is already almost over, and that means it’s also time to start preparing for back to school and the age-old dilemma: what to pack for lunch. Here are a few healthier alternatives that are both tasty and nutritiously balanced to promote growth, deliver much-needed energy and support brain power.


Ditch the boring old square sandwich options and roll up some yummy goodness. For added benefit, choose wraps that are made of 100% whole-grain, as they provide more healthy fiber than the white variety. Or, kick things up with a flavored wrap, like sun-dried tomato, spinach, or garden vegetable.

Fruit and Nuts

Nothing packs in healthy goodness quite like fresh fruit and wholesome nuts. Combine your kid’s favorites for a nutritious finger-food lunchtime alternative. Some ideas to try out include sliced apples, grapes, raisins and roasted almonds. (Just be sure to check your child’s school policy regarding nut products.)

Make-Your-Own Tacos

For a lunch idea that’s both tasty and fun, pack a lunch box with several ingredients to make the perfect taco. Some ideas include lean ground turkey meat, Hanover Foods seasoned black beans, diced tomatoes, shredded cheese, tortilla chips, salsa and sour cream.

Baked Chicken Tenders

Try a healthier twist on a school lunch favorite by using boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut up, dredged in olive oil and lightly coated in breadcrumbs. Pop them in the oven and bake at 425 for 8-10 minutes on one side and another 5 on the other (or until fully cooked). The best part of this recipe is that it’s baked, not fried, so you’ll know your child is eating a much more wholesome meal.

Mediterranean Smorgasbord

Light, refreshing and good for them too, this lunch box idea combines all the best flavors of the Mediterranean region into one creative and delicious meal. Think sliced cucumbers, carrot sticks, feta cheese, kalamata olives, pita bread, and hummus. (Try making your own with our simple hummus dip recipe.)

Build-Your-Own Sandwich

Any kid will tell you that assembling their own sandwich is way more fun. It’s also a great way to teach children how to make healthier ingredient choices. Start with a small whole-grain roll and then add lean deli meat along with topping options like lettuce, cheese, sliced tomato, pickles, mayo, mustard and anything else your kid enjoys.

Broccoli and Cheese Quesadilla

This is a great way to get your kids to eat more veggies. Simply combine Hanover Foods petite broccoli florets, cooked and cut up, with shredded cheese pressed between a 100% whole wheat flour tortilla. Fold in half, cook on both sides until golden brown, cut and pack for your child to enjoy. Don’t forget to include some salsa and sour cream for dipping.

As you can see, there are plenty of options when it comes to packing school lunches. Above are just seven of the many healthier alternatives that provide the nutrition your child needs to grow and learn. Not only will your kids look forward to lunchtime, but they just might end up becoming the envy of the lunchroom.