Back to School Kids Lunch Boxes | Healthy Lunch Ideas for Kids

Many schools in California reopened for in-person learning since this month of August. Which also means thousands of moms now are looking for lunch box ideas for kids. In this post I'm sharing the lunch boxes I packed for my kids this month. 

Compared to the lunchboxes with 4-5 compartments and variety of items that I have seen, my lunches seem nothing great and quite simple, I think. A cow will have to jump over the moon for me to cut and make fancy shapes or have themed boxes or make different designs on their food for their lunch boxes. Although the most I can do is offer variety every day and not repeat the main dish, because that is a personal challenge that I'm up for. For that, I have made a basic lunch checklist I can give in their lunch box, and I cross it as I go.

Back to School Kids Lunch Ideas
My kids eat like a bird and a snail combined, and focus more on talking than chewing, and end up eating only half of their lunch in the 30 minutes they get. So if you wonder why the quantity of food I pack is lesser than the pretty and full lunch boxes on Pinterest, now you know why.

Healthy Lunch Ideas for Kids
Along with their food, I like to send one lunch box note for kids that's either a motivational message, a quick wish to have a good day, a positive quote, or something along those lines. These lunch box note cards are easy for them to understand, quick for them to read so they're not wasting too much time during lunch, and they bring the lunch notes back home to add to their collection. Click here to get your printable lunch box notes for kids.

kids lunch box ideas for school
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Recipes

For Spinach Rice, Mushroom Fried Rice, Cauliflower Fried Rice, Broccoli fried rice, and Cabbage fried rice, the basic procedure I follow is:
1. Heat oil, saute chopped onion, garlic, and ginger, add your choice of veggie or mixed vegetables
(for firmer veggies like cauliflower/broccoli/carrot I cover and cook for a few minutes until veggies are tender yet have a crunch, for spinach/mushroom/cabbage I stir-fry until cooked)
2. Add salt, black pepper powder, and boiled rice from the previous day. If you use freshly boiled rice in a stir-fry and mix it, it breaks the rice grains and gets mushy. Finish with lemon juice, some cilantro if using, and done.




Poori, Beetroot Poori Recipe
Knead whole wheat flour with some salt and water to form a thick but soft dough, let it rest, divide into small balls, roll out and deep-fry in hot oil to make poori.
To make dark pink Beetroot Poori, I pressure cooked the beetroot chunks and used only the beetroot water to form the dough instead of using plain water. Boiled/steamed beetroot went as a snack on the side one day, and the beetroot poori was packed for their lunch the next day.
I used the same beetroot dough to make Paratha stuffed with paneer one day.



Spiced Fox Nuts Recipe
First I dry roast the fox nuts (phool makhana) on medium-low flame, stirring occasionally. At the end I add some ghee and mix them well. They soak up the ghee very fast, so you should stir them quick so that ghee reaches all the fox nuts. Switch off the heat, add salt + cumin seed power + chat masala + dry mango powder + red chili powder or black pepper powder + turmeric powder, and mix the spices well. You will get savory, a little spiced, a little tangy, yellowish and crunchy fox nuts that are healthy and make a great snack for kids and adults. Kind of like an Indian popcorn.


Lentil Cracker Recipe
Follow the link to get the recipe for Lentil Crackers (Moong Dal ki Kurkuri Puri as my mom calls it; it's her recipe). It's a very healthy and crunchy tea time snack, and if you add less spice it's great for kids to munch on as well. I made a big batch of these lentil crackers this month for kids' snack and my tea time.

Boiled Sweet Corn Recipe
I get the 8 pack husked and trimmed corn from Costco. Since they are cut in half, it's easy to insert them in a pressure cooker. I add sufficient water until the corn is immersed, some salt and sugar, and pressure cook until 2 whistles, or about 8 minutes on medium heat. Once the pressure is released and lid is opened, it's delicious to eat the boiled sweet corn on the cob. But to make it easier for kids to scoop up and eat, I slice the corn kernels. You could also add butter to the hot boiled sweet corn, it's takes it to another level.

Whole Wheat Flour & Almond Laddu Recipe
Follow the link to get the Whole Wheat Flour & Almond Laddu Recipe. I made a big batch of this laddu, which will easily last a few weeks, and I like healthy foods like these that need a one-time effort but you reap the benefits the whole month. It's easy for me to hand one laddu as a snack for kids at home, and to add to their lunch box too. One small laddu ball is easy and quick to eat, and is packed with goodness.

Cream Cheese Pinwheels
Flatted a slice of bread with a rolling pin, spread room temperature cream cheese over it, roll into a log, slice into pinwheels - it may look fancy, seem complicated, but it's SO easy!



Did you find this post helpful? Comment to let me know, bookmark the post for later, and share with those who'd find it helpful too.

xoxo,

Nisha

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