7 Healthy Lunch Box Menus for Teens

lunch box menus for teens
Foto: CC0 Public Domain / Pexels / Vanessa Loring

Dealing with teens can be tricky, but packing their lunch doesn’t have to be. We’ve put together a list of lunch box menus for teens to help you get organized.

Coming up with good lunch box ideas for kids is tough enough, but teens are on a whole other level. In order to prepare your teen for the future, it’s a good idea to have them help prep their own meals. Whether you’re packing their lunch for them or are encouraging them to do so themselves, we’ve come up with a list of lunch box menus for teens that can provide inspiration. 

1. Fresh & Crunchy Menu

Adding fresh vegetables can upgrade any sandwich.
Adding fresh vegetables can upgrade any sandwich.
(Foto: CC0 Public Domain / Unsplash / Eugen Kucheruk)

It’s not always easy to come up with healthy lunch ideas for teens, especially when they have to pack their meals to take to school. Have fun creating this deliciously crunchy menu:

  • Bagel sandwich: Spread homemade hummus on a bagel and top it with thinly sliced fresh vegetables of your choice.
  • Chips: Use vegetable scraps to make your own potato peel chips.
  • Fruit skewers: Add pieces of diced pear and some grapes to toothpicks to make an easy-to-eat healthy dessert. 

2. “Taste the Rainbow” Menu

You teen can enjoy a colorful feast.
You teen can enjoy a colorful feast.
(Foto: CC0 Public Domain / Unsplash / Luisa Brimble)

This menu is sure to brighten your kid’s day. They can easily prep this meal themselves and hone their chopping skills while they’re at it. 

3. Forward Focus Menu

Fruits and nuts are a great combination.
Fruits and nuts are a great combination.
(Foto: CC0 Public Domain / Unsplash / Tyler Nix )

Chances are your teen needs all the help they can get when it comes to focus and concentration. You can be strategic with lunch ingredients to help give them that extra boost. Nuts contain high levels of omega-3s, which aid cognitive function in the brain, while blueberries are one of nature’s superfoods.

  • Nut butter & blueberry sandwich: Many schools have rules against peanut products, so select a peanut butter alternative that suits your teen’s palate. Spread it on slices of spelt bread and add some fresh blueberries. 
  • Homemade trail mix: You and your teen can have fun making this together and customizing it to your preferences. You can also opt to make homemade granola bars instead. 

4. Leftover Lottery Menu

Leftover pasta makes a quick and simple lunch for teens.
Leftover pasta makes a quick and simple lunch for teens.
(Foto: CC0 Public Domain / Unsplash / https://utopia.org/guide/how-to-wash-grapes-and-avoid-chemicals-in-your-diet/)

This menu combines comfort foods and leftovers for a feel-good lunch.

  • Leftover pasta: Many pasta dishes like Dominican spaghetti and pumpkin gnocchi taste just as good cold as they do warm. This lunch will also help you clear out your fridge of leftovers. If your teen’s school has microwaves available, they can heat their lunch up. 
  • Vegan peanut butter cups: Many of us want a sweet bite after finishing our lunches, so a portable chocolatey snack will hit the spot. 

5. Bold Brunch Menu

Who says you can't enjoy breakfast for lunch?
Who says you can’t enjoy breakfast for lunch?
(Foto: CC0 Public Domain / Unsplash / Aneta Voborilova)

Depending on your teen’s school schedule, their lunch hour might be a bit on the early side. If that’s the case, try packing a breakfast option for them instead. 

  • Overnight oats: If you don’t have much time to get ready in the morning, make your life easier by prepping some overnight oats. Try out different flavor combinations, like pumpkin pie overnight oats
  • Yogurt parfait: Layer homemade yogurt with berries and granola, then drizzle with some honey or maple syrup 
  • Pastry: To help round out this lunch box menu, pack a date scone, vegan scone, or a muffin.  

6. Nice Nibbles Menu

Bruschetta is a light snack to enjoy at lunchtime.
Bruschetta is a light snack to enjoy at lunchtime.
(Foto: CC0 Public Domain / Unsplash / Konstantinas Ladauskas)

Ever had one of those days where you end up grazing instead of making a main meal? Your kids have them too. This lunch box menu is great for teens who want to snack throughout the day. 

  • Vegan crostini appetizers: Keep it simple with some crostinis, or open-faced sandwiches. Your teen will enjoy having bruschetta and different spreads. Just be sure to pack the topping separate so the bread doesn’t get soggy. 
  • Popcorn and dried fruit: Homemade microwave popcorn makes a tasty snack. Add dried fruit to the mix for a hint of sweetness. 
  • Homemade energy bar: Make sure that your teen has enough energy to get through the day with an easy 3-ingredient energy bar. 

7. Japanese Joy Menu

Not all teen lunch box menus have to be cold. Add warm dishes to a thermos to keep the heat.
Not all teen lunch box menus have to be cold. Add warm dishes to a thermos to keep the heat.
(Foto: CC0 Public Domain / Unsplash / Frank from 5 AM Ramen)

On a cold day, there’s nothing better than warming up with a hot lunch. There are plenty of soup recipes you can make and pack into a thermos, but for this teen-friendly lunch menu features ramen. 

  • Vegetable ramen: Start by whipping up our homemade ramen broth recipe. Add noodles and a protein of your choice to the broth before placing in a thermos. Your teen can add the toppings separately at school. 
  • Cucumber salad: To bring a bit of freshness to the meal, pack some sunomono in the lunch box. 
  • Vegan mochi: Mochi is a much-loved dessert across Japan. With a wide variety of filling ideas, you’re bound to find flavors that your teen loves. 

Lunch Box Menu for Teens: Additional Snacks

Choose snacks that are easy to pack and eat on the go.
Choose snacks that are easy to pack and eat on the go.
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / Ragabz)

Some kids need more food than others, so if the above lunch box menus don’t have enough substance for your teen, supplement them with the following ideas: 

Happy packing!

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