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Healthy Lunch Foods For Children Organized By Food Groups

Maggie LaBarbera • RN, MBA • Mar 14, 2012

Packing a healthy lunch.  Make sure you have foods from at least 4 food groups.  

My Plate reminds us that half the plate should be filled with vegetables and fruits.  Find different ways to add vegetables to lunch.  It can be served over brown rice, part of a sandwich or side salad.  Really any way that your child likes!

Read more about the five food groups:

Vegetable Food Group - make half of the plate filled vegetables and fruit

Fruit Food Group - color the plate with different colored fruits and vegetables     balanced school lunch five food groups

Dairy Food Group - drink or eat low fat (1%) or fat-free dairy products

Grains Food Group - make at least half the grains "100% whole grains"

Protein Food Group  - vary the protein and keep it lean!

Here is a list of foods to pack for lunch organized by food groups.  The possibilities are endless, it is really a matter of the foods your child enjoys.  Let your child help plan the menu.
Here are some lunch meals to get you started.

Lunch Meal Ideas And The Five Food Groups


Lunch Meal Vegetable Fruit Grains Dairy Protein
Sliced ham and cheese sandwich with crunchy vegetable crunchy vegetable   whole wheat bread low fat cheese ham
tuna salad with fruit slices, milk green bed of salad fruit slices   low fat or skim milk tuna
Peanut butter and banana sandwich, milk and crunchy celery celery banana or apples whole wheat bread low fat or skim milk Peanut butter or any nut/soy butter
cucumber pita sandwich, milk, handful of seeds cucumber   whole wheat pita low fat or skim milk seeds
vegetable soup and crackers, milk and handful of nuts vegetable soup   whole grains crackers low fat or skim milk nuts
Rolled sliced meat, cheese cubes, crackers and crunchy veggies crunchy vegetable   whole grains crackers low fat cheese cubes sliced meat
brown rice and stir fried and diced meat or tofu or beans stir fried vegetable   brown rice low fat or skim milk meat or tofu or beans
Fruits and vegetables with yogurt dip and crackers vegetables fruits whole grains crackers low fat yogurt dip  
Whole grains cereal fruit and nuts   fruit whole grains cereal low fat or skim milk nuts
Bean and cheese burrito with sliced mango salsa sliced mango whole grains tortilla low fat cheese beans
Bagel with low fat cottage cheese, raisins, nuts and applesauce and nuts  

raisins, applesauce

whole grains bagel low fat cottage cheese nuts
baked potato, cheese, steamed vegetables, and lean turkey bacon bits, sliced fruit baked potato with steamed vegetables sliced fruit   low fat cheese lean turkey bacon bits


Healthy Foods To Pack For Lunch:

You can see that as you mix and match, you can easily create a lunch made up of the four food groups!
Vegetable Group Fruit Group Grains Group Dairy Group Protein Group 
cucumbers sliced Sliced mango whole wheat bread low fat or skim milk edamame (soybean)
celery sticks kiwi whole oats bread Vanilla low fat yogurt sugar snap peas
carrots apples whole grain bagel mozzarella cheese leftover chicken
lettuce handful of raisins stick pretzels low fat sliced cheese handful of nuts
tomato handful of dried cranberries tortilla cottage cheese peanut butter
jicama banana cereal - 5 gm of fiber cube cheese boiled egg
sweet potato melon balls flatbread fortified soy milk low fat or skim egg salad
baked potato slices sliced peaches whole wheat shaped pasta fortified lactose free milk low fat or skim almond butter
corn and peas strawberries crackers ricotta cheese cup soy butter
cauliflower trees blackberries whole wheat pita string cheese tuna
broccoli trees blueberries whole wheat English muffins milk based pudding cup beans
zucchini sticks cherries rice cakes   ham slices
peas in a pod mixed fruit cup brown rice   hummus
cherry tomatoes raspberries     sunflower seeds
green salad        








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Written by Maggie LaBarberaWritten on Mar 14, 2012Last updated on Aug 31, 2014




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