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60 Healthy Lunches for Kids

Feel good about the items you're adding to your kiddo's lunchbox with these healthy lunches for kids. Along with mains, you'll get sides and snack options, too!

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Chicken Avocado Wraps

I came up with this sandwich while trying to figure out what to make for lunch one day. This chicken avocado wrap recipe is now a favorite at my house. —Shiva Houshidari, Plano, Texas
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Turkey and Pasta Ranch Salad

This easy pasta salad is loaded with fresh veggies, and the classic ranch dressing makes it appealing to kids. —Julie Peterson, Crofton, Maryland
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Turkey Tortilla Soup

My wife created this recipe as a healthy way to use up Thanksgiving leftovers. It’s a nice alternative to the typical fare, and it’s so easy. Our family looks forward to this soup every year. —Matthew Szyndler, Maumee, Ohio.
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Blueberry Cantaloupe Salad

The simple citrus and poppy seed dressing in this fruit medley really dresses up the refreshing mix of berries and melon. —R. Jean Rand, Edina, Minnesota
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Carrot Cookie Bites

Carrot Cookie Bites

This recipe is a longtime family favorite. The cookies are soft and delicious, and the aroma while baking is absolutely irresistible! I'm always being asked for the recipe. —Jeanie Petrik, Greensburg, Kentucky
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Lunch Box Chicken Wrap

Lunch Box Chicken Wrap

This lunchbox-friendly wrap is a tasty way to use leftover chicken and get kids to eat more veggies. Using colorful, thin strips of vegetables adds visual interest when the wrap is cut into slices. Suddenly spinach is too pretty to refuse. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Honey Poppy Seed Fruit Salad

This colorful fruit salad with poppy seed dressing pairs well with any morning entree and takes just 10 minutes to assemble. The subtle honey sauce in this salad steals the show. —Dorothy Dinnean, Harrison, AR
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Satisfying Tomato Soup

After craving tomato soup, I decided to make my own. My sister Joan likes it chunky-style, so she doesn't puree. Serve it with a grilled cheese sandwich. —Marian Brown, Mississauga, Ontario
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Raspberry Pecan Chicken Salad

I gave this sweet-savory chicken salad a little zip with Chinese five-spice powder, which tastes a bit like pumpkin pie spice. Sprinkle some on roasted carrots for an awesome meal. —Lisa Renshaw, Kansas City, Missouri
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Sweet Potato & Bean Quesadillas

Sweet potatoes and black beans roll up together for a quesadilla that’s easy, fast, fun and delicious. —Brittany Hubbard, St. Paul, Minnesota
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Really Good Snack Mix

I grew tired of my family picking through a snack mix for their favorite ingredients and leaving the rest. So I experimented using only their most-loved mix-ins and came up with this recipe. Now there's never any left! —Lori Genske, Waldo, Wisconsin
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Peanut Butter, Honey & Pear Open-Faced Sandwiches

I work a 12-hour night shift at a hospital, and when I come home in the morning, I don't want to cook a big breakfast. I love these sandwiches because they're versatile; sometimes I use apples instead of pears and different cheeses, such as Brie or grated Parmesan. —L.J.Washington, Carpinteria, California
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Chicken Sausage Pita Pockets

Chicken Sausage Pita Pockets

Chicken sausage comes in many flavors, so I try different ones when I make pitas with fresh basil and veggies, inspired by the Greek gyro. —Christina Price, Colorado Springs, Colorado
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Grapes with Lemon-Honey Yogurt

We like to sweeten up Greek yogurt with honey, cinnamon and vanilla. It’s a tasty counterpoint to plump grapes and crunchy nuts. —Julie Sterchi, Campbellsville, Kentucky
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Cold-Day Chicken Noodle Soup

When I was sick, my mom would make me this heartwarming chicken noodle soup. It was soothing when I had a cold, but this soup is a bowlful of comfort on any chilly day. —Anthony Graham, Ottawa, lllinois
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Slow-Cooked Applesauce

My sweet and chunky applesauce is a perfect snack or side dish with your favorite entree. Because it's prepared in the slow cooker, you can fix it and forget it before you and the family head out for some fun. —Susanne Wasson, Montgomery, New York
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Turkey Sandwich with Raspberry-Mustard Spread

My hearty sandwich has different yet complementary flavors and textures. It is filled with flavor and nutrients, without all the unhealthy fats, sodium and added sugar many other sandwiches have. And it’s absolutely delicious! —Sarah Savage, Buena Vista, Virginia
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Easy Hamburger Soup

Lunches on the run will be a little tastier with this hot and hearty beef and barley soup. The recipe is very simple to prepare. —Mary Prior, Rush City, Minnesota
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Chia Seed Protein Bites

I keep these little bites on hand in my refrigerator and grab them for breakfast or a snack when I'm in a hurry. We have a lot of food allergies in our family and I like to keep healthy snacks around that everyone can eat. This recipe has no gluten, eggs, dairy or corn, so it's the perfect go-to treat in our house. —Tanja Miller, Peoria, Arizona
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Garden Vegetable Beef Soup

This soup is my go-to healthy lunch option. It's a great way to eat my vegetables, and it's so comforting during the cold winter months. —Dawn Donald, Herron, Michigan
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Thyme-Sea Salt Crackers

These homemade crackers are decidedly light and crispy. An addictive snack on their own, they also pair well with a sharp white cheddar. —Jessica Wirth, Charlotte, North Carolina
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Turkey Quesadillas with Cranberry Salsa

Turkey Quesadillas with Cranberry Salsa

A sweet-tart cranberry salsa is the ideal accompaniment to leftover turkey in this breezy quesadilla. With a hint of lemon and pear, the salsa is also good with chicken or pork. —Jodi Kristensen, Macomb, Michigan
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Turkey Chili

I've taken my mother's turkey chili recipe and made it thicker and more robust. It's a favorite, especially in fall and winter. —Celesta Zanger, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
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Mint Watermelon Salad

I invented this refreshing fruit salad one sultry afternoon while my friends were gathered around my pool. It was quick to prepare and disappeared from their plates even quicker. Even the kids loved it! —Antoinette DuBeck, Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania
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Feta Chicken Salad

I grew up eating chicken because my father was the manager at a poultry facility, but this is the one dish that never gets boring. —Cheryl Lundquist, Wake Forest, North Carolina
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Roasted Cauliflower & Red Pepper Soup

When cooler weather comes, soup is one of our favorite meals. I developed this recipe for my husband and me. I wanted it to be a healthier version of all the cream-based soups out there. After a bit of trial and error, this is the keeper. —Elizabeth Bramkamp, Gig Harbor, Washington
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Homemade Peanut Butter

We eat a lot of peanut butter, so I decided to make my own. My homemade version is easier on my wallet, and I know what ingredients are in it. It's also a lot tastier! —Marge Austin, North Pole, Alaska
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Chicken Pasta Caesar Salad

My colleagues and I made a pact to eat healthier, and we took turns sharing dishes. I'm happy to report that, thanks to recipes like this crisp and tangy salad, we all trimmed down. —Teresa Jordan, Springville, Utah
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Honey-Melon Salad with Basil

Put the taste of summer in your salad! Loaded with juicy cantaloupe and honeydew, and glazed with a sweet honey dressing, this dish will be gone in minutes. Watermelon is a tasty addition, too. —Khurshid Shaik, Omaha, Nebraska
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Bruschetta Chicken Wraps

As an Italian American, I love, love, love garlic, tomatoes and basil, all of which are musts for good bruschetta. This recipe was created in celebration of the first tomatoes to come out of our home garden this year. —Gina Rine, Canfield, Ohio
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Tangy Poppy Seed Fruit Salad

For a fruit salad that’s delightful, we combine berries and citrus with a honey-lime dressing flecked with poppy seeds. —Carrie Howell, Lehi, Utah
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Creamy Chicken Rice Soup

I came up with this creamy chicken rice soup recipe while making some adjustments to a favorite stovetop chicken casserole. We like this soup for lunch with a crisp roll and fresh fruit. —Janice Mitchell, Aurora, Colorado
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Hummus & Veggie Wrap-Up

I had a vegan wrap that was similar to this once when I stopped at a diner while on a long and arduous walk. I enjoyed it so much that I modified it to my own taste and now have it for lunch on a regular basis. Everyone at work wants to know how to make it. —Michael Steffens, Indianapolis, Indiana
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Sausage Pizza Pasta

It's pizza in a bowl! Here's a terrific (and tasty) way to make sure your kids get the whole grains and vegetables they need to grow up big and strong. —Danna Holt, Shoals, Indiana
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Southwest Chicken Barley Chowder

Mashed squash helps make this chowder creamy but not heavy, and it's a favorite way to get barley on the table. My kids even ask for leftovers for lunch. —Pamela Cleghorn, Campbellsburg, Indiana
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Sunflower Strawberry Salad

We have an annual strawberry festival in our town, so recipes with strawberries are popular here. I've served this salad at luncheons and have always received a lot of compliments.
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Chicken Gyros

This yummy chicken gyro recipe is a cinch to prepare. Just take tender chicken, coat it in a creamy cucumber-yogurt sauce, then tuck it into pita pockets. Some folks like lettuce and diced tomato on top. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Mediterranean Chicken Orzo Soup

My husband is Greek, so I'm always trying new Mediterranean recipes. This lemon chicken orzo soup is his favorite dish that I make. Serve it with a little feta or Parmesan and a side of toast. —Kristine Kosturos, Olympia, Washington.
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Chicken & Spanish Cauliflower "Rice"

I learned about the paleo diet from some friends who now have tons of energy and are super fit. Since then, I’ve changed my eating habits, too. Everyone from my dad to my little nephew loves this chicken in Spanish cauliflower rice. —Megan Schmoldt, Westminster, Colorado
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Apple-Raisin Baked Oatmeal

Baked oatmeal is a popular breakfast in my house. I make it often for my husband and seven children because it's budget friendly and versatile. I like to add a variety of dried fruits or nuts to mix it up. —Christina Smeal, Fairmont, West Virginia
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Tomato & Avocado Sandwiches

I'm a vegetarian, and this is a tasty, quick and healthy lunch I could eat for every meal. At my house, we call these sandwiches HATS: hummus, avocado, tomato and shallots. These are ingredients I almost always have on hand. —Sarah Jaraha, Moorestown, New Jersey
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Easy Homemade Chunky Applesauce

Here's a comforting, home-style treat that never loses its appeal. Dish up big bowlfuls and wait for the smiles! —Marilee Cardinal, Burlington, New Jersey
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Pizza Spaghetti

This recipe came to me when I saw someone dip a slice of pizza into a pasta dish. My wife and kids love it and so do my friends! —Robert Smith, Las Vegas, Nevada
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Parmesan Fish Sticks

I wanted a healthier approach to fish sticks and developed a baked tilapia with a slightly peppery bite. My husband and sons love the crispy coating. —Candy Summerhill, Alexander, Arkansas
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White Chicken Chili

Folks will enjoy a change from traditional chili when they dip their spoons into this flavorful blend of tender chicken, white beans and just enough zip. This is our favorite white chicken chili recipe. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Roasted Fresh Pumpkin Seeds

I learned how to roast pumpkin seeds from my mother, who learned it from her mother. Keep an eye on the seeds so they don’t scorch. —Margaret Drye, Plainfield, New Hampshire
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Mediterranean Orzo Chicken Salad

On hot days, I pull out this recipe for a cool supper. The lemon dressing is so refreshing. If you have it, used grilled chicken. —Susan Kieboam, Streetsboro, Ohio
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Honey-Yogurt Berry Salad

I wanted my family to eat more fruit but not more sugary ingredients. This berry salad lets you play with different low-fat yogurts and fruits. —Betsy King, Duluth, Minnesota
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Black Bean Turkey Chili

This busy-day chili is packed with flavor. We make it ahead and freeze some to eat later. —Marisela Segovia, Miami, Florida
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Whole Wheat Orzo Salad

In less than 30 minutes, I can put together this hearty salad of pasta, white beans and veggies – and it’s good for a crowd. — Mya Zeronis, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
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Asian-Style Turkey Pitas

Asian-Style Turkey Pitas

Tired of turkey sandwiches? Try Beverly Graml's fresh-tasting adaptation—a warm spicy stir-fry tucked into pita bread. "A neighbor game me this quick-and-easy recipe years ago," she pens from Yorktown, Virginia. "It's been my most popular day-after-turkey dish ever since."
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Power Berry Smoothie Bowl

While you can't taste the spinach in these smoothies, you get all its nutrients with big berry flavor. —Christine Hair, Odessa, Florida
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Avocado & Garbanzo Bean Quinoa Salad

This delicious quinoa avocado salad is high in protein and holds well in the fridge for a few days. If you make it ahead, add avocados and tomatoes right before serving. —Elizabeth Bennett, Seattle, Washington
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Melon with Serrano-Mint Syrup

This is just one of the recipes I developed to take advantage of the fresh mint I grow nearly year-round. The serrano pepper is a nice contrast to the sweetness of the syrup and salad. —Jennifer Fisher, Austin, Texas
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Dill Chicken Soup

I could eat soup for every meal of the day, all year long. I particularly like dill and spinach—they add a brightness to this light and healthy soup. —Robin Haas, Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts
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Shredded Chicken Gyros

We go to the annual Salt Lake City Greek Festival for the awesome food. This chicken with lemon and spices is a great way to mix up our menu, and my kids are big fans! —Camille Beckstrand, Layton, Utah
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Honey-Lime Berry Salad

I picked up this dish a couple of years ago, and really like the mint and fruit combo. Cilantro is one of my summer favorites so sometimes I use it instead. Turns out, this recipe's really two in one! —Kayla Spence, Wilber, Nebraska
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Nutty Apple Butter

Being a New England native, I love apple-picking season. Grab some apples and peanut butter to make your own creamy riff on a PB&J. Of course it’s great on a sandwich, but you can dunk sliced fruit or graham crackers in it, too. —Brandie Cranshaw, Rapid City, South Dakota
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Hearty Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

Hearty Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

This satisfying soup with a hint of cayenne is brimming with vegetables, chicken and noodles. The recipe is from my father-in-law, but I tweaked it to make it my own. —Norma Reynolds, Overland Park, Kansas
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Rosemary Walnuts

My Aunt Mary started making this recipe years ago. Each time we visited, she would have a batch ready for us. The use of cayenne adds an unexpected zing to the savory combo of rosemary and walnuts. When you need a good housewarming or hostess gift, double the batch and save half for yourself. —Renee Ciancio, New Bern, North Carolina

Caroline Stanko
As an Associate Digital Editor, Caroline writes and edits all things food-related and helps produce videos for Taste of Home. When she’s not at her desk, you can probably find Caroline cooking up a feast, planning her next trip abroad or daydreaming about her golden retriever, Mac.

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