I wanted to make a list of healthy lunch ideas for 13-year-olds as I’m sure you know that 13-year-old boys are swamped with school work, especially in today’s day and age where everything is computerized. Now, it’s no wonder they’re stressed out and they can’t get their homework done. They need lunch ideas that are good for them.
We all know that eating right really does make a difference in how we feel. Most of us have heard that saying “you are what you eat” before. That saying is so true and everyone should take it to heart, including teenagers.
Try these simple and balanced lunch ideas for teens
But teens also need nutritious food to support this growth; in particular protein, calcium and healthy fats. A packed lunch should be one that is quick to make, easy to eat and balanced – providing a range of nutrition.
If you have active teenagers they’ll need even more food, ideally of the healthier snack variety.
Some teens are keen to take the lead on prepping their own lunch, while others still see it as a job for the parents. Let’s start with ideas for the latter!
- Sandwiches, wraps, bagels or rolls are an obvious choice – try different fillings through the week – roast chicken or cheese salad, tuna and sweetcorn, hummus and grated crated, mozzarella, tomato and basil, chicken and avocado, smoked salmon and cream cheese. Variety in our diet helps us to eat a wider range of nutrients than if we stick to the same few choices.
- Salads can also work well and may be seen as a more ‘grown up’ option but make sure there are some carbohydrate sources to munch on e.g. breadsticks or crackers and you could include some cheese (e.g. feta, mozzarella, goat’s or cheddar depending on their preference) to up their calcium intake.
- Warm food can also help to mix things up a little especially during the cooler months – think pasta, noodles or chili with rice.
- Veg & fruit – teens in general don’t eat enough veg and fruit and they are so important to our overall health. Add anything they like to eat and that is quick to prepare e.g. apples, satsumas, grapes, kiwis, chopped melon, pineapple (this can be from a tin rather than fresh), cucumber, tomatoes, mini sweetcorn, carrots, edamame beans or peas still in their pods.
- Snacks – breadsticks, granola bars, oatcakes, energy balls, hard-boiled eggs, crackers, tortilla chips, cheese chunks. Ideally prioritise these healthier options over crisps, biscuits, cakes and chocolate. While they are tasty, they don’t contain as many nutrients as those healthier types of snacks. Don’t restrict these types of food, one portion a day is considered part of a ‘balanced’ diet.
We unpack the basics behind packed lunches
If your teen is keen to make their own lunch, keep your fridge and cupboards well stocked and have a list of easy to make options somewhere within reach.
Key items are a selection of bread, fruit, veggies including salad, contents for sandwiches or wraps, healthy snacks and less healthy snacks. Ask your teen to plan their balanced pack lunch themselves and you can shop accordingly!
Hydration is key
Dehydration can have a negative impact on concentration and energy levels. Always send your kids off with a water bottle and encourage them to avoid fizzy or energy drinks due to the high levels of sugar within them.
HEALTHY SCHOOL LUNCH IDEAS FOR TEENS – READY TO EAT!
Given the current state, heating up lunches at my kids’ schools is not an option. My kids are not only designated to certain floors, bathrooms and stairwells this year, they no longer have access to a microwave. Unfortunately for me, I’ve always relied on frozen meals (A LOT more than I’d like to admit) and other lunch ideas for teens that require reheating. And for some weird reason, my kids refuse to use a thermos these days- I guess it’s no longer “cool.”
S**t just got real!
So… I find myself scrambling to ensure we have lots of ideas for cold lunches and trying to decide what to make for lunches that they’ll like, that are healthy, I can eat myself, don’t require reheating and won’t take a ton of time ! If you find yourself in the same boat, you’ll love these ready to eat school lunch ideas for teens.
When I look back at what I ate for lunch as a teenager, that’s when I get concerned. Let’s just say I ate more fries and gravy at the cafeteria than any person should have. However, the school cafeterias and canteens probably won’t be open this year, so at least I get a bit of a reprieve on that. And fortunately, all the years we nagged our kids (aka tried to instill healthy eating habits in them) seem to be paying off. My teenagers are both pretty health conscious now and like the idea of eating healthier versions of the junkier foods they love! So without further adieu…here are a collection of delicious school lunch ideas!
Check out this recipe