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11 Healthy Back-to-School Lunches

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Back-to-school is a crazy time of the year for parents and their children. Between sports practices and games, homeworkand trying to get kids to bed early, it can be hard to find time to prepare a healthy lunch that both parents and children approve.

Lunch is an important meal, fueling children in the middle of classes, helping keep them alert and energetic as the afternoon stretches on. In order to get kids more excited about their packed lunch, try involving them in the preparation process. If they approve of their healthy meal, there is a better chance they will look forward to it. Even if they don’t want to help, surprise them with these twists on classic favorites, without packing extra calories or sugar.

–Jaclyn Labes

Try packing kids a side of carrot sticks or red bell peppers with Cooking Light’s turkey and swiss roll ups recipes.

Bon Appétit’s variety of cream cheese sandwich combinations will keep you inspired to try different ingredients.

Spice up kids lunch boxes with this on-the-go taco bar recipe from Food Network. Have them help prepare their own taco bar by putting sides into small containers.

This nutritious trail mix recipe is a perfect snack to include with lunch. Plus, it doesn’t take long to make.

Usually anything green is best avoided, but this Broccoli Pesto Pasta from Bon Appétit is delicious and a perfect way to sneak vegetables in.

Skip the same old sandwich and try making this quick and easy ham and cheese quesadilla recipe made with a whole-wheat tortilla. These small wedges are perfect finger-foods that kids will love.

Kids can be picky when it comes to eating their fruits and vegetables, but this Ants on a Log recipe is a fun way to get them to eat healthier. If desired, trade out cream cheese for peanut butter or almond butter.

Martha Stewart’s Taco-Salad Wrap recipe is a perfect vegetarian meal to pack. Add a side of fruit for a small after lunch treat.

Let the kids pick out the shape before baking Martha Stewart’s custom-made chips recipe. After baking, pack some into a snack-size bag and add it into your child’s lunch box.

Include Martha Stewart’s Fast-Fresh Fruit recipe inside a small container for a small snack.

It’s hard to go wrong with a classic. Mix it up by using this whole-wheat bagel recipe.