Want some healthy lunch ideas for kids?
Unfortunately most school lunches are not healthy….or tasty.
All moms know that school lunch prep has to be quick, easy and it really helps if it can be frozen. My favorite tool for school prep is my trusty muffin tray (actually I have a few of them!!). Muffin tin cups are just the right size for a single serving and the food comes out in a perfect lunch box size.
We also know that everything tastes better in a muffin tin!!
So here are my 9 all-time favorite recipes to use my muffin trays to pack delicious, nutritious lunches for my kids.
Healthy Lunch Ideas for Kids: SPINACH PIE MUFFINS
- 10 oz frozen spinach, thawed and excess moisture removed
- ½ cup ricotta cheese, or cottage cheese
- 1/4 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese (can substitute cheddar)
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 400°F/ 200 C
- Add spinach, ricotta (or cottage cheese), Parmesan, eggs, garlic, salt and pepper to a medium bowl and stir to combine. Grease muffin pan, Divide the spinach mixture among the 8 cups (they will be very full).
- Bake the spinach muffins until set, about 20 minutes. Let stand in the pan for 5 minutes. Loosen the edges with a knife and turn out onto a clean cutting board or large plate. Can be kept in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Healthy Lunch Ideas for Kids: CARROT MUFFINS
- 1 cup whole-wheat or gluten free flour
- ½ cup old-fashioned rolled oats,
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
- ⅓ cup honey
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¼ cup coconut oil, softened
- 2 cups shredded carrots
- ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut,
- ½ cup raisins (optional)
- ½ cup of chopped pecans (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350°F/ 175 C. Coat a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray. Whisk flour, oats, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and allspice in a medium bowl.
- Whisk eggs, applesauce, honey and vanilla in a large bowl. Whisk in coconut oil. Gently stir in the flour mixture just until moistened. Fold in carrots, ½ cup coconut and raisins.
- Divide the batter among the muffin cups. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until they spring back until lightly touched. Let stand in the pan for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Healthy Lunch Ideas for Kids: CHEESY QUINOA MUFFINS
- 1 Cup Cooked Quinoa (i like to cook my quinoa in either vegetable or chicken stock for extra flavor)
- 3 Large Eggs
- 1 Cup Shredded Mozzarella
- 1/3 Cup small Brocolli Florets- cut into small pieces (you can sub in other vegetables)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon of dried thyme (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400°F/ 200 C. Grease muffin tins. Set aside. Crack eggs in a medium bowl and whisk. Add all other ingredients, stir to combine and transfer to mini muffin tins. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until browned. Immediately transfer to cooling rack.
- Can be frozen for up to 3 months.
Healthy Lunch Ideas for Kids: BANANA BERRY MUFFINS
- 4 eggs
- 3 medium overly ripe bananas, mashed
- ¼ cup honey
- ¼ cup unsweetened milk beverage
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2¼ cups almond flour
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 cup of berries
- Preheat oven to 350 F/ 175 F. Grease muffin tin with coconut oil.
- Mix eggs, banana, honey, milk beverage, and vanilla in a bowl.
- In a separate bowl, combine baking soda, almond flour, sea salt and cinnamon. Combine both mixtures and stir well. Stir berries. Pour batter into muffin tins and bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown.
Healthy Lunch Ideas for Kids: ZUCCHINI LOAF MUFFINS
- 2 large eggs
- 2 cups grated zucchini (about 2 medium zucchinis)
- 1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs or cooked quinoa
- 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Pre-heat oven to 400 F/ 200 C. In a large bowl, lightly beat the eggs with a whisk.
- Add the zucchini, onion, cheese, quinoa, parsley, and salt. Mix gently until combined. Use a spoon to fill each greased muffin cup just to the top.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the tops are browned and set. Cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before removing from muffin pan.
- Can be frozen for up to 3 months.
Healthy Lunch Ideas for Kids: HARD BOILED EGGS
Perfect for lunchboxes, on a salad or as a snack.
- Preheat oven to 350 F/ 175 degrees C. Put 1 egg in each of 12 muffin cups. Bake in oven for 30 minutes. Plunge baked eggs in a large bowl filled with ice water until cooled completely, about 10 minutes.
- Hard boiled (peeled and unpeeled) eggs can be kept in the fridge for up to a week.
Healthy Lunch Ideas for Kids: MINI MEATLOAF
- 2 pounds of ground meat (any type, any combination)
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1/2 cup of cooked brown rice or quinoa
- ½ cup of chopped onion
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon of dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon of chilli powder, optional
- ¼ cup of fresh parsley, finely chopped
- Preheat oven to 425F / 220C. Add all ingredients into a large bowl. Use hands to mix everything until it is evenly combined.
- Scoop mixture into greased muffin tin. Cook for around 20-25 minutes or until cooked through.
- Can be kept in the fridge for 3-4 days or the freezer for 3 months.
Healthy Lunch Ideas for Kids: LEMON COCONUT OATMEAL MUFFINS
- 2 eggs
- 3 ripe medium bananas
- ¼ cup creamy almond butter
- ¾ cup unsweetened milk beverage
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup
- Zest and juice 1 large lemon (1/4 cup lemon juice)
- 1½ tsp vanilla extract
- 3 cups old-fashioned oats
- ⅓ cup unsweetened, shredded coconut
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- Preheat oven to 375F. Grease muffin tins with coconut oil.
- Mash bananas in a large mixing bowl. Add almond butter, maple syrup, lemon juice, lemon zest, vanilla, and eggs. Stir until well-combined. Add oats, baking powder, coconut, stirring to combine. Spoon batter evenly into muffin tin (you may have leftover batter.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until set and lightly browned. Cool for 20 minutes on a cooling rack before carefully removing from muffin tin.
- Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for 5 days or can be frozen for up to 3 months.
Healthy Lunch Ideas for Kids: CRUSTLESS QUICHE
The great thing about Mini quiches is that you can use just about any vegetable or protein you have in the fridge.
- 12 eggs
- 1 cup of milk beverage
- 1 cup of crumbled feta or grated cheese
- 1 cup of diced, cooked meat (ham, chicken, ground meat)
- 1 cup of spinach, chopped (or other leafy green vegetable)
- 2 scallions, finely sliced
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C). In a bowl combine cracked eggs, milk beverage and salt and pepper.
- Whisk until combined. In a greased muffin pan, evenly distribute cheese, scallions, meat and spinach. Pour egg mixture into pan until about ⅔ filled. Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until quiche is set.
- Allow quiches to cool before removing from the tray. Quiches can be frozen after they are completely cooled. These mini quiches can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.