Do your kids like lunchables? My kids LOVE them! What is it about finger foods in a box? I don’t know, but I know my kids would probably take a lunchable over any other lunch. It seems crazy to me, but it is what it is. However, I want to feed my kids a healthy lunchable.
Because I will not spend a ridiculous amount of money to buy my children a lunchable every day and because I like having a little more control over the quality of food my kids eat, I thought I would come up with my own homemade lunchables. I thought, how hard can it be to make healthy lunchables? I am happy to report that it is not very difficult at all and do you want to know the best thing? My kids love these even more than the pre-boxed variety! That’s a win-win for me. 😉
Equipment you need for this lunchbox:
We love these easy lunchboxes. We have used a cheaper version in the past, but I have switched to the name brand easy lunchboxes. They do a much better job and they last a lot longer. It is worth the few extra dollars for the name brand.
I also love to use the rectangle silicone cupcake molds to separate food in the later containers. They are great to hold treats and other items that you don’t want to “touch”. I used 3 of them to keep my food separate into separate containers just like a store bought lunchable.
Use a formula for Homemade lunchables:
If you have never made homemade lunchables before, you may be surprised at how easy they are to throw together. Do you want to learn how to make healthy lunchables? I use a very simple formula. I just make sure my kids have (2) proteins, (1) carb, (1 or 2) fruits or veggies and a drink. I also throw in a dessert.
Variety of Choices for Healthy Lunchables:
If you are not sure what to make your lunchables, simply start by looking in your fridge. What food do you already have? What do you have that you know your kids like? If you are completely stuck, here are some examples of different foods I have used.
Protein (choose two):
- turkey breast
- cheese (all varieties)
- chicken nuggets
- hot dog
Carbohydrate (choose one):
- crackers (my kids like wheat thins, saltines and club crackers)
- bread or buns
Fruit and Veggies (choose two):
- oranges (my kids prefer clementines)
- grape tomatoes
If your lunchable needs a little extra, don’t forget the dips or sauces. Here are some ideas:
- BBQ Sauce (my kids love our homemade one)
- pizza sauce (way cheaper to make it yourself)
My kids love homemade desserts the best, so I try to put a homemade goodie in their lunch most days. Here are some of their favorites:
- graham crackers
- strawberry cookies
- snickerdoodle cookies
- brownie cookies
- jello cookies
- lemon cool whip cookies
Have the kids make their own Healthy lunchables:
Since this is such an easy lunch idea, the kids can make their own! You can easily print out the list of items to make their own and they can pick from each list to make their own approved lunchable.
Premade ideas for Homemade lunchables:
Now that I got you started, I am sure you can probably think of a bunch of different proteins, carbs and fruits & veggies that your kids like. Just in case you are still struggling with how to put it all together, here are a few homemade lunchables ideas for you:
- pepperoni, cheese, pitas and grapes
- turkey, cheese, ritz and carrots
- ham, cheese, club crackers and apple slices
- chicken nuggets, pretzels and orange slices
- hot dogs, mini buns and grape tomatoes
The possibilities are endless! Start here and then figure out what your kids like the best. Mix and match their favorites and you’ll make their day with a lunchable they will love! They may even get their friends to ask their parents to start making homemade lunchables for them.
Make them Ahead
I hope you feel like you know how to make healthy lunchables for your kids’ lunches. If you are short on time in the morning, lunchables are very easy to make ahead of time. There is not much I like better then going to bed knowing my kids’ lunches are already made and ready to go for the next day.
Do you already make your own homemade lunchables? What are your favorite things to add? How do you make them a healthier alternative to the store bought lunchables? I’d love to hear from you!