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  • The STEM Nanny Company

Lunchbox Smiles: 5 Easy and Nutritious School Lunch Meals Children Will Love

School gates swing open, and children excitedly return to the classrooms. The back-to-school season is here! When you are a parent or a nanny rushing to get the kids ready for school and out the door on time, we understand that coming up with ideas for healthy and appetizing school lunches can be quite a chore. But fear not, because we are here to help you navigate this exciting yet busy time!

Here are a few lunch ideas that are not only nutrient packed and easy to prepare but also cater to picky eaters. These delicious and balanced options are designed to bring a ray of sunshine to your child's lunch time. Let's dive into these ideas that promise ear-to-ear lunchbox smiles.

Pasta Salad
Pasta Salad

A simple, yet delicious meal that is protein-packed, energy-boosting, and healthy! It is so easy to make that even children can do it! The star ingredient of this dish is pasta (rotini, penne, macaroni, shells). Add canned tuna or chicken for protein and veggies like peas, carrots, corn, celery, or broccoli. Serve cold with salt and pepper, or add Greek yogurt or mayo for a creamier texture. Here is a delicious and easy recipe!


This quick and healthy option can be customized to your child’s taste and preferences. It is a delicious alternative to a sandwich and offers endless possibilities. The best part is that it is so easy to make that children can do it too!

All you need is a tortilla to use as base! Then spread and add whatever condiments and ingredients your child likes! Use spreads like mayo, dressings, or cream cheese, and add proteins like turkey, ham, cheese or tuna. Veggies add a colorful and fun look! Use peppers, tomatoes, carrots or lettuce. Once ready, roll it up and cut into small pieces, halves or serve it as a burrito! For a sweet option use fruits like berries and hazelnut spread or almond butter, any combination is possible! Find a few recipes here!

Veggie Packed Meatballs

This meal may require a little longer prep time, but it is worth it! Meatballs are yummy and a great option to hide ingredients that otherwise children may not want to try. Quinoa and spinach may fall into this category. Try grated carrot or chopped broccoli for additional nutritional value and choose ground turkey, chicken, or beef as your base protein. Combine all your ingredients, add spices and roll them into bite sized meatballs. The best part of this recipe is that you can make large batches and freeze to have in stock! Check out this recipe for inspiration!


That is right! A quesadilla filled with pizza ingredients! This fun and yummy lunch box meal is a healthy alternative to regular pizza. All you need is a flour tortilla, marinara sauce, cheese, and your child’s favorite toppings! From ground meat to ham and pepperoni as proteins, to peppers, tomatoes, and onions as veggies, any combination is a guaranteed lunchbox success! Here is a basic recipe.

Cucumber Sushi
cucumber sushi

If you are looking to add more veggies to your child’s diet, try cucumber sushi! This creative and delicious option offers a great opportunity for children to explore new veggies in a fun way! The base of this meal is cucumbers. Use cream cheese or mashed avocados as a spread; deli meats, chicken or cheese as protein; and any veggies you want to try! Carrots and red peppers work great for this recipe as they add more crunch and color. Check out this delicious recipe!

With these school lunch ideas in your arsenal, you can bid farewell to lunchtime stress and say hello to nutritious and enjoyable meals for your kids. Remember, a little creativity goes a long way in keeping those lunchboxes filled with smiles.

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