The Best Foods to Pack for Healthy Lunches and Snacks

Sponsored by Noom | Sep 18, 2019 Big Kid
The Best Foods to Pack for Healthy Lunches and Snacks
Image: Twenty20


By Nancy Barber

With the early morning rush, it can sometimes be tough to pack a healthy lunch for the kids. Add to that all the choices in the grocery aisles. Here are 10 healthy go-to items that you can add to your grocery list, so they'll be easy to find in either the fridge or the cabinet when you're racing to get the kids ready for school.

  • Ants on a Log

    ants on a log

    It’s a classic for a reason! Spread peanut butter on long slices of celery, and then add a line of raisins on top. Voila! Ants on a log! Be careful not to overload with peanut butter, though, as the cute snack can quickly become too packed with fats.

  • Deli Meat Roll-Ups

    rolled deli meat

    It’s a nice pick-me-up when a sandwich is just too much. Roll a slice of deli meat, such as low-sodium turkey, and chow down. A layer of cheese or mustard can also be added to make the roll-ups a bit more substantial.

  • Fruit

    variety of fruit

    Fruit of any kind is a delicious addition to any meal. Strawberries, blueberries, bananas, oh my! The selection is endless, and there's definitely something for everyone. With so much to choose from, whether it's berries or citrus, the tastes are varied and plentiful.

  • Raw Vegetables

    raw vegetables

    Cooked vegetables can be healthy, but raw is the most beneficial. Add a bag of carrots or even zucchini slices to a lunch for a nutritious addition. Peppers or broccoli are perfect, too. Slice up pieces to snack on, or include a healthy dip to eat with them. They are plenty of ways to eat veggies, and the health benefits are well worth it.

  • Yogurt

    fruit and yogurt

    Steer clear of sugary yogurts, and opt for a healthy option to add as a snack. Greek yogurt is an excellent choice for those who love the taste of yogurt but also want to stay healthy. It has roughly double the amount of protein as regular yogurt and half the sugar. How could there be a downside? If switching to a healthier yogurt is hard, add in granola or a little honey to ease the transition.

  • Sandwich


    We’re not talking about your classic PB&J on white bread. We’re looking at a healthy alternative to a lunchtime staple. Whole-grain or whole-wheat bread is essential to the construction of a healthy sandwich. Layer on fresh food, such as tomato slices and crisp lettuce. Use a low-sodium meat, and go easy on the cheese. You can even add avocado or sprouted greens to get really creative.

  • Hummus

    hummus and celery

    Made primarily of chickpeas, it can be a healthy snack all on its own. However, hummus is better when you have something to dip into it. The traditional option would be pita bread, but there are plenty of alternatives. You can dip carrots, celery sticks, peppers, broccoli, asparagus ... the list goes on and on! Raw veggies are a great way to enjoy hummus without feeling guilty by loading up on bread at the same time.

  • Hard-Boiled Eggs

    hard-boiled eggs with pepper

    The taste might not be for everyone, but hard-boiled eggs are an excellent source of protein. They are an easy midday snack as well. The eggs can be eaten on their own or layered into a sandwich. To really make a fun lunch option with them, you can even whip up a healthy version of egg salad!

  • Granola Bars

    nuts and granola bars

    Granola bars can be loaded with sugar, so be careful with your choices. Look for options that have high sources of protein, containing nuts and berries. The chocolate chip kind is delicious, yes, but not always the healthiest version. Take it one step further, and create your own granola bars! Making them can be a fun activity for the whole family, and you’ll know exactly what’s in them since they came right from your kitchen.

  • Popcorn


    Avoid any popcorn covered in butter -- real or fake -- and you’ve got a great choice for a healthy snack. It’s a whole-grain, fiber-rich food with a low calorie count. What could be wrong with that?! The answer is butter. The second that butter or butter flavor is added, this healthy lunchtime treat turns into an unhealthy snack. We know that butter can make things taste delicious, but resist the urge. Healthy popcorn can be also be tasty once you give it a try.

lunch healthy choices

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