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The first few weeks of a new school year can be a tough adjustment for everyone. It can be hard to find the time to pack healthy, yummy lunches and snacks for your little ones. Check out these fun, fast, and affordable ideas!

Stick a toothpick in it! Stick a toothpick through some rolled-up lunch meat and cheese, or fruit like watermelon or berries. Sometimes, all you need to do is change up the presentation a bit to please a picky eater!

A healthy school lunch is critical to student health and well-being and ensures that students have the nutrition they need throughout the day to learn.

Box it up. A bento box is an all-in-one Japanese lunch box containing a single portion of a balanced meal. There are several different bento boxes you can buy, but it’s also easy (and cheap) to make one yourself. Most of us already have Tupperware at home. Grab a shallow one that will fit inside your child’s lunchbox and a few cupcake wrappers. Fill the wrappers with different foods (see below) and place inside the Tupperware container, side by side, leaving no space in between each wrapper, and seal tightly.

  • Protein: ham and cheese cubes, 1/2 a peanut butter and jelly sandwich
  • Fruit & Veggies: apple slices, baby carrots, cucumber slices, banana slices
  • Crunch: granola bar (cut in half), crackers, nuts, pretzels
  • Dip: yogurt, hummus, applesauce

Bonus: Bento boxes are great for picky eaters who don’t like their foods to touch each other.

Make it Fun! Take an ordinary sandwich and use a cookie cutter to transform it into a fun shape or character. If you don’t have a cookie cutter, use a knife to cut the sandwich into a circle, triangle, or heart. Anything new and different should catch your little one’s eye (and hopefully make its way into their tummy).

Healthy and Sweet. What kid doesn’t love a sweet snack? Here are a few great alternatives to overly-sugary treats that can still curb that craving. The key is to make these snacks with your child or provide the ingredients and let them get creative.

Ants On A Log

Step 1: Take a celery stick and fill with peanut butter, cashew butter, or almond butter.
Step 2: Let your child choose their toppings. Give them healthy options like blueberries or raisins and then let them sprinkle in a few chocolate chips.

Peanut Butter & Jelly Taco

Step 1: Use the rim of a glass to press into a piece of bread like a cookie cutter and cut out a circle.

Step 2: Use the side of the glass to lightly roll over the bread to flatten it.

Step 3: Add the peanut butter and jelly (and other healthy foods like sliced bananas).

Step 4: Fold up the sides of the bread, and enjoy your taco-shaped PB&J!

Apple Nachos

Step 1: Slice up an apple and spread out the slices on a plate.
Step 2: Choose your dips and toppings! Peanut butter and yogurt make great dips. Fruit and nut toppings take this snack to the next level.

Do you need help getting healthy food for your family? We can help. Visit and enter your zip code. Then, click on FOOD for a list of no-and-low-cost resources near you.

You can also visit one of our Community Food Pantries located in and around Bexar County. Most are open 24/7 and contain non-perishable food and other grocery items.

Finally, if you or your child is a Community First Health Plans Member, please take our online General Health Assessment. Your responses will help us serve you better and connect you with helpful resources.

Reminder: Annual well checkups and sports/school physicals are provided at no-cost to Community First Members. Your doctor can be a great resource for child nutrition and can determine if your child’s growth is on target for their age. Visit our Annual Wellness Checks page for more information.

Beginning September 1, 2024 Community First Health Plans, Inc. will be adding STAR+PLUS to its line of health care products.

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