Parenting Healthy Lunches for Teens: 100 Nutritious Brown Bag Lunch Ideas

From grown-ups to teens to toddlers in daycare, brown bag lunches have been a part of many of our lives.

Most people already know that bringing their lunches can be a lot healthier and more nutritious than going out to eat every day, but doing so isn’t enough to make sure you’re eating right. You also need to make sure that what you’re bringing in those brown bags and lunch boxes is good for you. This part of the equation doesn’t have to be complicated, however, and can be pretty delicious, too. If you’re struggling to figure out what to bring along with you for lunch, whether you’re headed to work or school, check out some recipes that are both nutritious and tasty. Many of which are kid-friendly, too!


These sandwiches go above and beyond the standard PB and J in terms of nutrition and taste.

  1. Roasted Red Pepper and Basil Tuna Sandwich. Ditch the boring old tuna sandwich in favor of this option that adds in veggies and herbs to give taste without loads of calories.
  2. White Bean and Avocado Sandwich. This rich and creamy sandwich will fill you up without filling you out.
  3. Cheddar and Apple Sandwich. Even kids will love this tangy and sweet combo for lunch.
  4. Better BLT. A regular BLT may not be the healthiest sandwich, but this revamped version changes things up.
  5. Falafel Sandwich. Enjoy this vegetarian Middle Eastern treat for lunch without even having to go out.
  6. Grilled Eggplant Sandwich. Instead of meat, consider this burger made with eggplant instead.
  7. Nut Butter, Honey and Banana Sandwich. You could whip up a traditional peanut butter and jelly, but this recipe will help you change things up and add some health with banana and honey. A concoction even little ones will love.
  8. Hummus, Avocado and Tomato Sandwich. Combining these health foods into one sandwich is a great way to build a tasty and filling lunch.
  9. Balsamic Tuna Salad Sandwich. Go another route with your tuna sandwich by using this healthier recipe.
  10. Turkey Burger with Feta and Spinach. This burger is simple but tasty, plus lower cal than its beefy cousin.
  11. BBQ Chicken Sandwich. This sandwich, made with BBQ chicken breast, is a great meal any time of the year.
  12. Pita Pockets with Avocado and Sprouts. Grownups and kids alike will enjoy this healthy veggie pocket. Go with whole wheat pitas for an even healthier lunch.
  13. Portobello and Goat Cheese Sandwich. Grill up a portobello mushroom the night before to ensure you’ll be ready to take this great sandwich to work with you the next day.
  14. Meatball Parmesan Sub. Don’t think a meatball sandwich can be healthy? Try this recipe to enjoy an old school classic with a healthier twist.
  15. Tangy Roast Beef Sandwich. This sandwich is a great choice for dinner or lunch and healthy to boot, with fat-free ingredients and sprouts for a topper.

Wraps and Rolls

Ditch the heavy bread without losing an ounce of taste with these delicious and nutritious wrapped meals.

  1. Whole Wheat Hummus and Veggie Wrap. Whole wheat tortillas, hummus and veggies help make this recipe a super healthy lunch choice.
  2. Rotisserie Chicken Wrap. Use leftover rotisserie chicken to fill this yummy wrap.
  3. Vietnamese Salad, Shrimp and Turkey Roll. Using thin, rice-based wrappers, these rolls let you combine healthy ingredients with an Asian flair.
  4. Salmon Veggie Wrap. Salmon isn’t just for dinner. Roll it up in this wrap for a great lunchtime treat too.
  5. Ham and Cheese Rollups. Kids will love this simple classic that can taste good and actually be healthy, too.
  6. Thai Chicken Wrap. Rachael Ray offers this recipe for a spicy peanut Thai chicken wrap that will impress your coworkers or classmates.
  7. Pepperoni Pizza Wrap. Pizza doesn’t have to just come in slices. Add a little health to your lunch with this wrap version.
  8. Black Bean Burrito. If you’re craving Mexican for lunch, don’t go out. Bring this healthy burrito from home instead.
  9. Mediterranean Wrap. Stuff your wrap with zucchini, hummus, tomatoes, spinach, onion, pine nuts and mint to give it a Greek flair.
  10. Caesar Turkey Wrap. Caesar salads don’t have to go in a bowl. Wrap them up using this recipe.
  11. Grilled Chicken Pesto Wraps with Sun-Dried Tomato. Pesto and sun-dried tomatoes combine to give this wrap and Italian flair.
  12. Mushroom and Rice Wrap. Canned mushroom, corn and rice topped with salsa and lettuce makes a healthy lunch.

Want soup and salad ideas? Click here —->

Part 1 (Sandwiches, Wraps and Rolls)
Part 2 (Soups and Salads)
Part 3 (Leftovers and Sides)
Part 4 (Desserts, Snacks, and Drinks)