11 healthy, packable kids' lunches that'll outshine your standard PB&J


Back to school season means back to lunch packing. 

Stuffing a PB&J, baby carrots and a packaged cookie into your kid's lunchbox each day may be tempting, but there are plenty of close-to-as easy recipes out there to keep the lunch routine exciting and appealing for picky eaters. 

Bonus: You'll probably want to make these lunches for yourself too. Think of all the time saved! Try these delicious and healthy packable lunches that go far beyond the school cafeteria and make that lunchbox exciting again. 

Greek tortellini salad

The Clever Carrot

Tortellini for lunch? Score! Subbing out lettuce for pasta in this veggie-full meal makes it a salad even kids will be excited about eating. Get the recipe here.

Hummus veggie wrap

Foodie Crush

Pack in the veggies with this wrap idea that has enough subtle variations to make for unique lunches all week. Get the recipe here.

Antipasto farro salad

In This Kitchen

It may sound and look fancy, but just think of this dish as a deconstructed salami sandwich. Whole grains, cured meat and dressing are served cold in a healthier version of the lunchtime deli staple. Get the recipe here.

Pesto carrots and chickpeas with rice

Naturally Ella

Sneak some greens and veggies into this rice bowl with flavorful homemade pesto, which can also be spread on sandwiches intermittently throughout the week. Get the recipe here.

Caprese quinoa salad

Damn Delicious

Tiny tomatoes, avocado and cheese make this quinoa-based non-salad so exciting, kids will forget they're not even eating pasta. Get the recipe here.

Crunchy beet and sprouts sushi

A Beautiful Mess

Basically a salad masquerading as a sushi roll, this is a fun way to include plenty of veggies at lunchtime. Add a few soy sauce packets for a fun lunch... and a napkin! Get the recipe here.

Sweet, savory and salty apple tomato sandwich


This lunch with homemade pickled green tomatoes, apples and cheese is the perfect amount of sweet, savory and salty in one sandwich. Get the recipe here.

Kale caesar salad

Gimme Some Oven

So your kid is too young to wait in line at Sweetgreen. That doesn't mean the salad habit can't start early. This kale is so dressed up in cheese and croutons, it barely looks like healthy food. Get the recipe here.

Healthy carrot macaroni and cheese

Cook The Story

Your kid will be the envy of the lunch table upon opening a steamy, hot thermos full of homemade mac and cheese. The pureed vegetables hidden in the cheese sauce can be your secret. Get the recipe here.

One-pot red lentil chili

One pot of this vegetarian protein-packed lunch equals over a week's worth of hot meals. Get the recipe here.

Creamy miso peanut chicken lettuce wraps

Pinch of Yum

Scoop chicken salad into lettuce cups in the morning before packing lunch or pack two separate containers for older kids to assemble themselves at lunchtime. Get the recipe here.