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It’s hard to believe that my daughter’s school is starting in just a few weeks! I’m getting prepared for the school year and one thing I wanted to do differently this year was to create and utilize a Healthy School Lunch Station for my daughter’s lunches!
What’s a Healthy School Lunch Station
A healthy school lunch station is a cabinet that is used exclusively for lunch and snack items. It includes:
- Bento boxes and/or lunch boxes
- Healthy foods (see ideas below)
- Drinks and/or drink containers
- Paper towels (to pack with lunch)
The healthy school lunch station basically has everything needed to pack a healthy lunch. I also arranged everything so my daughter can pack her own lunches this year.
Why? Because over the last two years that I’ve been packing her lunch, she has thrown away a LOT of food. That’s because there is a short list of foods that I feel are healthy and which she is willing to eat. I figured if she packs her own lunches this year, she may be more willing to eat what’s in them.
Healthy School Lunch Food Ideas
We generally mix and match snack foods for lunch, because I am convinced my children would live exclusively off of snacks, if they had a choice. They’re easy to mix and match, and come together conveniently in a Bento Box.
That being said, here are some healthy school lunch food ideas –
No-Refrigeration School Lunch Ideas
These lunch ideas do not need to be refrigerated, making them great for your Healthy School Lunch Station!
- Clementine Oranges
- Grape tomatoes
- Dried Fruit
- Nuts (if they’re allowed at your child’s school)
- Veggie Straws
- Fruit cups
- Peanut butter
- Fruit snacks (we make sure to buy ones free from food dye, HFCS and artificial flavors)
- Granola Bars
- Air-popped popcorn
- Homemade Trail Mix
Refrigeration School Lunch Ideas
These lunch ideas do require refrigeration, so I like to store all of these in a basket, in my fridge, so we can easily pull out the basket when we’re packing lunch. The basket also makes it easy for my kids to find their snacks after school.
- Pineapple chunks
- Cucumber slices
- Snap peas
- String Cheese
- Hard boiled eggs
Most days, we pack water for lunch. I will occasionally put milk into a thermos, or pack juices for her. Juice can contain a lot of added sugar and food dyes, so I always make sure I am buying 100% juice. Here are some drink ideas:
- Apple juice
- Grape juice
Stock up on Other Supplies
When I am stocking up on healthy school lunch station foods, I also like to stock up on some essentials for the school year! Essentials meaning tissue, paper towels and toilet paper. I usually buy double, so we are well stocked at my house, and so we have enough to share with daughter’s school. Here’s what I picked up this year:
- Kleenex® Trusted Care* 3 Bundle Pack
- Kleenex® Trusted Care* 4 Bundle Pack
- Scott® Tissue 20 Roll Pack
- Viva® Vantage® 6 Big Rolls
Get Box Tops with Kleenex Facial Tissue
I love buying these specific brands because it allows us to participate in Box Tops! This time of year, we are looking for as many Box Tops as we can, since we can earn Box Tops with select Kleenex®, Scott® and Viva®products.
Box Tops are on many of your everyday items, so be sure to clip those Box Tops and share them with your child’s school. It’s an easy way to help out schools in your community!
Where to Stock up
We stocked up on all of our supplies at Walmart – where we always find the lowest prices!
I’d love to hear from you! Do you have any healthy school lunch station ideas? What kind of foods does your child like in their lunch? Do you participate in the Box Tops program? Share in the comments below, and don’t forget to stock up and earn Box Tops!