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30 Healthy School Lunch Ideas

Your kids will love these easy and healthy school lunch ideas, which include more than just peanut butter and jelly!

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DIY Salad in a Jar

Our farm-fresh salad is layered with gorgeous garden veggies. And we built in a homemade dressing flavored with fresh herbs. Just shake it up to eat the rainbow. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, 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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Avocado Egg Salad Toast

I had a surplus of avocados after purchasing too many for an event. A few days later, I was making egg salad sandwiches for lunch and had the fantastic idea to use avocado to bind it together instead of traditional mayo. Not only was this version unbelievably delicious but the healthy fats in the avocado make this a much better option than the traditional mayo-laden version. —Shannon Dobos, Calgary, Alberta
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Pear Waldorf Pitas

Here's a guaranteed table brightener for a shower, luncheon or party. Just stand back and watch these sandwiches vanish. For an eye-catching presentation, I tuck each one into a colorful folded napkin. —Roxann Parker, Dover, Delaware
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Turkey Ranch Wraps

Here's a cool idea that's ready to gobble up in no time. It's a terrific use for deli turkey. Just add lettuce, tomato, green pepper, shredded cheese and ranch dressing for a flavorful blend. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Fruited Turkey Wraps

This colorful wrap tastes great and is so good for you. It's packed with lean protein, fruit and veggies and wrapped in whole-grain goodness! —Lisa Renshaw, Kansas City, Missouri
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Strawberry Pasta Salad

Bow tie pasta with strawberries makes a refreshing salad, especially with a little chopped mint. I multiply it for brunches, potlucks, even tailgates. —Barbara Lento, Houston, Pennsylvania
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Berry Turkey Sandwich

Sliced fresh strawberries, Swiss cheese and a nutty cream cheese spread make this turkey sandwich different. Try it on whole wheat, oatmeal or sunflower seed bread. It's tasty and easy to put together. —Edward Meyer of Arnold, Missouri
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Sesame Chicken Noodle Salad

This is my go-to recipe when I have no time. It’s quick, easy and you can use almost anything from the fridge. —Jess Apfe, Berkeley, California
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Pesto Egg Salad Sandwiches

For a casual springtime meal with a twist, boil up some eggs and dinner will be done presto. —Tenley Haraldson, Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin
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Peanut Butter Granola Pinwheels

I came across this easy and tasty snack while searching online for healthy munchies for kids. Great for after school, it's really quick to make and filling enough to hold the kids until dinner. To satisfy heftier appetites or to serve as a power lunch, cut each tortilla into fewer pieces or provide one per child. The recipe is easy to increase as needed. —Mary Haluch, Ludlow, Massachusetts
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Turkey Taco Salad

I discovered this taco salad while I was on a health kick. My husband and I love it now. When I served it at a family birthday party, everyone eagerly asked for the recipe. —Angela Matson, Amboy, Washington
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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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Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps

This recipe is so flavorful and fresh tasting. The teachers and staff at my school love it because it's fun to put together. —Laureen Pittman, Riverside, California
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Chicken Salad Party Sandwiches

My famous chicken salad arrives at the party chilled in a plastic container. When it’s time to set out the food, I stir in the pecans and assemble the sandwiches. They’re a hit at buffet-style potlucks. —Trisha Kruse, Eagle, Idaho
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Orange Turkey Croissants

Orange you glad it’s not the same old crustless ham and cheese? Orange you also glad you don’t have to get up early to pack lunch? In less than 10 minutes, you (and five others) will have something to look forward to all morning long. —Jennifer Moore, Centerville, Iowa
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Waldorf Turkey Pitas

Living in New York City means not having a lot of time to prepare meals. This recipe is quick, easy and healthy, making it perfect for my lifestyle. —Kevin Sobotka, Staten Island, New York
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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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Cherry-Chicken Lettuce Wraps

I came up with this amazing recipe when I had a load of cherries on hand. My family polished them off fast, and asked for more. Luckily I had enough fruit to make them again the next day! —Melissa Barlow, Fruit Heights, Utah
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Fruity Peanut Butter Pitas

My kids ask for these pita sandwiches all the time. They haven’t noticed that as good as they taste, they’re also good for them. —Kim Holmes, Emerald Park, Saskatchewan
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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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Tropical Beef Wrap

For my finicky little ones, I create fast, tasty recipes like this tropical sandwich wrap. You can even use up leftover roast beef in a pinch. —Amy Tong, Anaheim, California
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Easy Asian-Style Chicken Slaw

From the first time I made this chicken dish, I knew it was a winner—the bowl came back to the kitchen scraped clean. This one-dish wonder works every time in my house! —Bess Blanco, Vail, Arizona
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PBJ on a Stick

Take the classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich on the go with these skewers. They also make easy snacks. —Sara Martin, Brookfield, Wisconsin
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Thai Chicken Pasta Salad

I combined several recipes to come up with my healthier twist on traditional pad thai. My version has only one-third the sodium of frozen versions you find in the store. —Beth Dauenhauer, Pueblo, Colorado
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Quick Taco Wraps

I was running late one night, so I shopped in my own fridge and came up with ingredients that became taco wraps. Everybody at the table was a happy camper. —Katie Mitschelen, La Porte, Indiana
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BLT Tortillas

I first sampled these BLT wraps at a bridal luncheon years ago. Now I frequently make them for our weekly neighborhood dinners. —Darla Wester, Meriden, Iowa
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Cilantro-Avocado Tuna Salad Sandwiches

Lime juice and cilantro in tuna salad – who knew? This recipe for avocado tuna salad came to me as a way to have a protein-packed meal with lots of pizzazz. —Heather Waldorf, Black Mountain, North Carolina
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Lunch Box Pizzas

When you have these fun-to-make mini pizzas, it's no challenge finding lunch fare that the kids enjoy. Plus they pack nicely in sandwich bags and travel well, so there's no mess. —Rhonda Cliett, Belton, Texas
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B Is For Book Sandwich

To fix this ham-and-cheese pleaser, just take a page from our creative food editors. You also can use a cutout of your child’s initial. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Carrie Madormo, RN
Now a freelance health and food writer, Carrie worked as a nurse for over a decade. When she isn't hunched over her laptop with a baby in hand, you will find her cooking her grandmother’s recipes, lacing up her running shoes or sipping coffee in the bathroom to hide from her three young children.