5 Lunch Box Vegetables Your Kids Won’t Throw Away

It’s back to school time! And while I don’t have kids, I sure do remember throwing away more than my fair share of carrot sticks from the brown bag lunches that my hardworking mom lovingly prepared for me every day. (Sorry, Mom!)

But let’s face it: Carrot sticks are boring. Even more boring? Carrot sticks every day. So I say it’s time to freshen things up with lunchbox vegetables that your kids will actually eat. (And this goes for the kids-at-heart, too: I’m talking to you, grad students and working adults!)

So here’s a week worth of veggie treats to keep your little ones (and you) powered up with great nutrition. I say treats because these are the top 5 veggies that disappear from our fridge faster than I can make them—and when it comes to vegetables, that’s saying a lot!

1. Jicama chips with guacamole

I don’t know about you, but I’ve never met a kid who wasn’t crazy for guacamole. So why not pair it with an authentically Mexican dipper like sweet and crunchy jicama chips? Seasoned with a squeeze of fresh lime juice, they’re a surprisingly delicious replacement for corn chips. Better yet, a handful of jicama chips will give your kids will get a healthy dose of prebiotic fiber (no, that’s not a typo) to feed the good bacteria in their tummies.

2. Summer rolls with cashew dipping sauce

Great for peanut-free school zones, you can sneak a whole salad into a couple of summer rolls and your kids will be none the wiser. Better still, you can make these rolls (and the dipping sauce) the night before to keep your morning schedule humming along. If you forget? You can roll one of these puppies up in 30 seconds flat and sub a schmear of cashew butter and a little agave inside the roll for built-in dipping sauce. Click here for the recipe and easy step-by-step directions.

My dipping sauce recipe contains a little added sugar and salt (I plan to fix that at some point), but it’s a small price to pay for veggies your kids will love! (Sub coconut aminos for the soy sauce to keep the dipping sauce gluten- and soy-free.)

3. Kale Salad with Mango and Pineapple-Lime Dressing

This sounds like a mature flavor palate, but I’m telling you, your kids will love it! (As much as kids can love kale as opposed to, say, cupcakes.) The combination of juicy mangoes, nutrient-packed kale, and fresh, sweet ginger dressing is simply scrumptious.

4. Sugar Snap Peas with Sweet Ginger Dip

Sugar snap peas are sweet, crunchy, and sport more protein than the average veggie, which is a nice nutritional boost! They’re delicious paired with sweet ginger dip (just make sweet ginger dressing with ½ cup of pineapple juice instead of ¾ cup).

Note: Be sure to buy stringless sugar snap peas! My favorite brand is Mann’s, which are stringless, sweet, washed, and ready to eat. (No, they didn’t pay me to say that.) ;-)

5. Mini Sweet Peppers and Hummus

Mini sweet peppers—perfectly sized for kids—can be found at grocery stores around the country. They’re super easy to prep—just wash and go! They can be eaten whole, seeds and all, or your kids can munch around the seeds (they’re usually just at the top of the pepper). And just like their bigger bell pepper cousins, mini sweet peppers taste stellar dipped in hummus.

Since I’m going back to school myself this fall, I’ll be packing all 5 of these tasty veggies in my lunch bag, too. Because veggies are brain food!

What are your kids’ favorite lunchbox veggies? Share with other readers in the comments below!

Shared on Allergy Free Wednesdays and Gluten Free Wednesdays.

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Comments

    • noreply@blogger.com' says

      Love that! And if you have any other lunchbox ideas, I'd love to hear them–I'm trying to take off some of the weight I put this summer. (Fell off the wagon a lot…) Plus, I'm going to need lots of healthy snacks to keep me on the straight and narrow this fall when I head back to class this fall. Can't believe school starts this Tuesday!

  1. noreply@blogger.com' says

    Great choices. When i was a kid, I would of turned my nose up to all of these as I didn't eat veggies. Now I live on them as a vegan!! How times can change.

  2. noreply@blogger.com' says

    Ooh, I never thought to try dipping jicama in guacamole – I must try that. My 4 year old niece and 3 year old nephew love mini sweet peppers with hummus. I'll have to see if they'll eat the kale salad. If not, more for me!

    • noreply@blogger.com' says

      Hi Miss Cruciferous, jicama in guacamole is light and delicious, and I'm glad to hear that your niece and nephew like the mini peppers/hummus combo! And let me know if the kiddos like the kale salad. If it's a little too much for them at their age, there's still a good chance that they'll eat the mangoes. Still healthy, right? ;-)

  3. noreply@blogger.com' says

    This is such a timely post from my point of view! Just last week I found out that my son has been throwing away some of his lunch and I've been trying to work out ways of making it more appealing for him. He's actually really health conscious, so I think he'd really like the kale and mango salad (I know I would!) and would definitely like the summer rolls. I guess I've just got to

    • noreply@blogger.com' says

      Hi Lizzy, how cool that your son is health conscious! It's definitely worth a shot on the kale and mango salad. :-) And the summer rolls are a great sneaky way to add more veggies to your son's lunch box without his feeling like he's eating, well, veggies. The fun thing about the summer rolls is that you can freestyle with whatever your son likes (and whatever's in your fridge)-

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