Parents love the convenience of store-bought Lunchables. They seem harmless, but are Lunchables really healthy for our kids?
In short, not so much. These convenient lunches are made with refined flour and high-fat meat. They also lack fresh fruits and vegetables. Some particularly unhealthy options contain junky treats and sugary drinks.
We love finding DIY food ideas to create healthier versions of our kids’ favorite meals. So, we thought of some ways to put together healthy Lunchables at home. Don’t worry - our DIY lunch ideas are quick, easy, and nutritious, without the laundry list of questionable ingredients. Grab your divided containers and learn how to make your own Lunchables!
DIY Deli Meat and Cheese Kids Lunchables
The classic combination of deli meat, cheese, and crackers is a lunchtime favorite among kids. However, the pre-packaged version of this Lunchable is high in fat and low in fiber. Fiber is important for digestive health and preventing disease, but eating processed foods makes it hard to get enough. The small version of this kids Lunchable also packs over 25% of the maximum daily sodium intake recommended for children 6-18 years old.
To create a healthy Lunchable for kids that is still stackable and fun, start with whole-wheat crackers, which provide fiber, as well as vitamins and minerals. Next, add your child’s favorite deli meat. We prefer deli meat that is antibiotic and hormone-free, and low in sodium. If you want to include cheese with this DIY Lunchable, just remember to pack a healthy portion. Finally, add some carrot sticks or grape tomatoes and a serving of fresh fruit for a balanced and healthy meal that is perfect for kids.
If your child is bored with meat, cheese, and crackers, try using our Turkey Cheddar Pinwheels to make your own Lunchable. These bite-sized pinwheels are made with antibiotic and hormone-free turkey and all-natural cheddar cheese, wrapped in whole-wheat tortilla. Our pinwheels are served with protein and fiber-rich edamame and apricots, with a side of honey mustard for dipping for a creative twist on traditional kids Lunchables.
Make Your Own Healthy Pizza Lunchables for Kids
Pizza Lunchables are tasty, and kids love to use their imagination to build their pizza. However, the store-bought version of this Lunchable is processed and lacks nutrition.
Make your own healthy pizza Lunchable using a whole-wheat English muffin and low-sodium tomato sauce. Portion the appropriate amount of cheese and let your kids choose between toppings like pepperoni, chicken, or even sneak in sliced veggies! Pack a side of fruit for a complete and nutritious lunch. Your kids will love building their DIY pizza Lunchable so much, they won’t even miss the store-bought version.
For an option that’s still wholesome and delicious but requires no cooking or prep for parents, our Pizza Stacker is perfectly portioned for lunch, too! Kids love stacking pepperoni on our signature cheese pizza made with all-natural tomato sauce and mozzarella on a grilled, naan-style bread. Did we mention the tasty ranch for dipping?
Healthy Taco Lunchables are a Great DIY Lunch Idea
Make-your-own-tacos are one of our favorite food ideas that keeps the fun of a Lunchable with a healthy twist. The list of questionable ingredients in the store-bought, processed version of this kids Lunchable may leave parents scratching their heads, so opting for a DIY version is in both your and your kids’ best interest.
Making your own taco Lunchable is easy and you will have complete control of the ingredients. Start with whole-wheat or corn tortillas, and use cookie cutters to shape four bite-sized tortillas. Cook up your choice of meat (we like chicken or ground beef) with low-sodium taco seasoning. Then let your child help you choose toppings like corn, beans, tomatoes, avocado, cheese, and salsa. Finish this DIY food idea with some fresh fruit or a no sugar-added applesauce pouch.
Speaking of tacos, have your kids tried our Taco Bowl? We trade the tortilla for antioxidant-infused Spanish rice and top it with hormone-free, antibiotic-free, grass-fed ground beef that’s simmered in our homemade blend of spices. For an extra hit of health, we added a side of fresh corn and green beans. This sounds like another great, healthy lunch idea if you ask us!
Lunchables may seem like the ultimate quick and easy lunch option for busy parents, but they lack nutrients and are full of salt, sugar, and preservatives. Instead, use these DIY lunch ideas to make your own healthy Lunchables for kids! We promise your little ones will love their DIY Lunchables just as much – if not more – than the traditional version.
Looking for an easy way to make family meal time nutritious and fun? Yumble delivers fresh, delicious, fully prepared kids' meals right to your doorstep. Simply pick the plan that works best for your family meal time, choose your weekly meals, and Yumble will take care of the rest! No cooking required!