Summer is always busy and as a parent, you’ve got your hands full now more than ever. Your days are jam-packed with activities – pool parties, picnics and so much more. While all of that fun in the sun is great, it can sometimes be a struggle to figure out what to feed your little munchkins. Luckily, there are some pretty fabulous foodie dietitians out there to help! I’ve asked them to share their favorite quick and nutritious lunches to feed their kids and here’s what they had to say!
Visit our Pinterest page for more photos
1) Snack Dinner from Sally Kuzemchak, MS, RD
I love this idea from one of my favorite family-focused colleagues. Because why not turn nourishing snacks into a meal!
From Sally, “I get lazy in the summer–but also busy, since I’m trying to work from home while shuttling kids to camps, refereeing sibling squabbles, and playing host to various neighborhood kids who are in and out of the house. So my favorite lunch is a platter of random healthy stuff I pull out of the fridge, a version of the “Snack Dinner” but just for lunch.
My kids like it and so do their friends. I refilled a snack plate of cheese, crackers, cucumbers, and apples THREE times the other day for my kids and their buddies. They demolished it! Even the cucumbers.”
2) Tuna Salad Cucumber Boats from Emily Kyle, MS, RDN, CDN, Owner of Emily Kyle Nutrition
Sometimes it’s all about delivery when it comes to feeding your kids. Emily gets it right by serving this meal in a fun “boat” made out of cucumbers!
From Emily, “My favorite, easy-to-make, super kid-friendly lunch idea for the summer is my Tuna Salad Cucumber Boats. I am lucky to have an adventurous little eater who loves tuna salad, but you could easily substitute chicken or egg salad in this recipe. We are blessed with a big, bountiful garden so it is always fun to go out and pick out own cucumbers for lunch, but you can easily use cukes from the farmers market or grocery store too.”
3) Chicken Salad Lettuce Cups from Katie Morford, RD, author of Best Lunch Box Ever
When it’s hot, it’s always nice to have a meal that’s cool. Especially if you’re a kid and you’ve been playing outside all morning! Katie’s got the right idea with these lightened-up chicken salad lettuce cups – refreshing and fun to eat!
From Katie, “One of my summer favorite for kids (and grown ups) is chicken salad in lettuce cups. It’s dressed mostly with Greek yogurt, which makes it a little lighter than an all-mayo dressing with an added dose of protein. If you are packing it to go, pack the chicken salad in one container with a freezer pack and the lettuce in another. Kids and grown ups can assemble little chicken salad “tacos” when it’s lunchtime. Here’s the recipe.”
4) Luvo Roasted Cauliflower Mac & Cheese
What kid doesn’t love macaroni and cheese? It’s a favorite and we love that this version packs a veggie punch too! Serve this mac & cheese as a side along with grilled chicken strips and fresh summer fruit!
5) Veggie Spring Rolls from Laura Hoover, MPH, RDN, author of Mom’s Sugar Solution
If you’re looking for a meal your kids will love to make just as much as they’ll love to eat, then this is the recipe! These veggie spring rolls allow your kids to call the shots when it comes to fillings, giving them ownership over the nourishing meal they’ve created!
From Laura, “These Veggies Spring Rolls are super easy, summery, and we love ’em!”
6) Microwave Mug Pizza from Jodi Danen, RDN, Owner & Registered Dietitian of Create Kids Club
Your kids love pizza too? What a surprise! Yes, it’s a favorite food of many kids, but often pizza can be over-loaded with high-sodium toppings. That’s why these customizable mug pizzas are so great. Load them your kid’s favorite veggies and watch them devour with delight!
From Jodi, “I have a lot of lunch recipes, but this one is one of my favorites!”
7) Salmon Cucumber Pinwheels from Culinary nutrition expert Jessica Levinson, MS, RDN, CDN
Do your kids love smoked salmon as much as you do? Then these pretty pinwheels will surely bring them joy. This one is super simple to assemble, perfect for little hands to help!
From Jessica, “One of my girls’ favorite lunches is what I call Smoked Salmon Cucumber Pinwheels. Spread cream cheese on corn tortillas or whole wheat lavash wrap, top with sliced smoked salmon and cucumber sticks. Roll up and cut into pinwheels. Enjoy!”
The classic pasta and meatballs gets a serious upgrade with this Luvo meal. A guaranteed kid-approved meal, serve alongside a leafy green salad and grapes. Or try another similar one using Luvo’s Chicken Meatballs in Tomato Basil.
9) Super Simple Salmon Patties from Sara Haas, RDN, LDN, author of Taco! Taco! Taco!
It’s about time salmon patties got an upgrade and this is an upgrade your kids will love. Just the right amount of seasoning plus a healthy touch of fresh lemon is all you need!
From me, “I really disliked salmon patties as a kid, but now that I’m a mom, I’m determined to get my little sous chef to eat more fish. She absolutely loves these salmon patties. And I love that she loves them!”
What is your kid’s favorite quick and nutritious lunch? Share in the comments below!
Did you enjoy this post? Stay in the know with more nutrition tips, and exclusive promo offers — join our newsletter.