Make Your Own Lunch Kit

lunch kit

Say sayonara to store-bought lunch kits! These DIY versions will make your kid the envy of the lunchroom.

Nutrition Facts

Pre-packaged lunch kits sure seem convenient, but the quality of the food is subpar at best. Popular options include crackers and processed meats and cheeses, coupled with sugary drinks and cookies. The calorie counts vary from 300 to 450 per serving, with 8 to 20 grams and fat, plus 30 to 40 percent of an adult's sodium needs for the entire day. What's even more disturbing is the staggeringly long list of ingredients, usually chock-full of preservatives.

Packing Up

Bento-style containers make homemade lunch kits a breeze. Compartments keep food fresh and allow little fingers to snatch up and assemble their favorites. Most set-ups retail for $15 to $25 each at Pottery Barn Kids and Laptop Lunches. Resealable plastic bags and small plastic containers can also get the job done.

Getting Fresh

Here are 5 fresh lunch combos that keep the menu fun and healthy.

  • Thick-sliced roasted turkey, cheese cubes, edamame and yogurt-dipped pretzels (above)
  • Greek yogurt, fresh berries, granola and carrot sticks
  • Grilled chicken, tortilla chips, black bean salsa and broccoli florets
  • Mini PB &J, whole wheat pretzels and grapes
  • Pasta salad, green beans and apple

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition. See Dana's full bio »

Next Up

Make Your Own Popsicles

My kids absolutely love ice pops! Instead of buying store brands packed with sugar and high fructose corn syrup, I make my own using the freshest ingredients. They’re easy and fun for the whole family.

Make Your Own Hummus

Hummus may be an old favorite to some, but still foreign to others. Here is the skinny on this healthy spread and some recipes to try.

Make Your Own Pudding

When I was a little girl, my dad’s specialty was chocolate pudding. Believe me, if my dad can do it so can you (burnt eggs were also on the menu).

Make Your Own Margaritas

Some celebrations call for magaritas, but lots of alcohol, sugary add-ins, and a super-sized glass and you’ve got a 600+ calorie cocktail. Take part in the fiesta with our recipes -- all under 275 calories.

Make Your Own Babaganoush

In the Middle East it’s traditional to find babaganoush with appetizers like hummus, tahini, pita bread and olives. Here's how to make your own.

Make Your Own Salsa

Believe it or not, salsa has topped ketchup as America's most popular condiment, according to some sales reports. Salsa can be more than just tomatoes and onions, though. Pass up the jarred stuff and make fresh mixes at home.

Make Your Own Twinkies

Twinkies' ingredient list includes highly-processed ingredients like trans fats, processed sweeteners and preservatives. Avoid all this stuff by making your own instead!

Make Your Own Croissants

Try these buttery bite-sized treats at your next get-together. They're full of flavor but have just 59 calories per croissant.

Make Your Own Biscuits

Don't fill up on bread at Thanksgiving, but don't skip the bread basket all together. Keep the calories in check with these 60 calorie homemade biscuits.

Make Your Own Jam

Many store-bought jams, jellies and preserves contain more sugar than fruit. While you do need some sugar, it’s really the fruit you want to taste! Simple ingredients and a little bit of simmering and you’ll have the best tasting fruit spread imaginable.

Related Pages