Healthy Lunches Teens Will Love – Check Out These 25 Simple Recipes

Sending your teen off with a lunch that’s easy to pack, full of stuff they’ll actually eat, and made with real ingredients to keep them going through their busy day might seem tough.

But I’m here to help with some tips, ideas, and recipes to make sure they get healthy lunches they’ll enjoy. Teens are super busy with schoolwork, activities, and hanging out with friends.

Eating the right food can really help them stay sharp, keep active, and handle all the emotional ups and downs of being a teenager. Whenever my kids come home with their lunch still in their box, I know I’m in for an afternoon of moodiness and tiredness.

It means I’ve got to think up some new lunch ideas that they’ll be excited to eat. Here are some great ideas that your kids will love.

These Are My Favorites

Easiest Recipe: Hard-Boiled Eggs

Hard-boiled eggs win the title for the easiest recipe. They require minimal preparation—just water and eggs. Boil the eggs for about 9-12 minutes, cool them in ice water, and they’re ready to eat or pack. They’re incredibly versatile, serving as a great protein-packed snack or an addition to salads and sandwiches.

Healthiest: Chicken and Vegetable Collard Wraps with Sun Sauce

For the healthiest option, the Chicken and Vegetable Collard Wraps with Sun Sauce stand out. Collard greens offer a low-calorie, nutrient-dense wrap alternative, packed with vitamins A, C, and K. The chicken provides lean protein, while the vegetables add fiber and essential nutrients.

Most Affordable: Tomato Soup

Tomato soup is actually one of the most affordable options on the list. It can be made with just a few simple ingredients: canned tomatoes, onion, and some basic seasonings.

1. Ham Roll-Ups

Ham Roll-Ups

Perfect for teens on the go, ham roll-ups are protein-packed and customizable. Simply lay out a slice of ham, spread cream cheese over it, add a stick of cucumber or bell pepper in the center, and roll it up. It’s a no-cook, grab-and-go option that’s both satisfying and nutritious.

2. Turkey and Cheese Pinwheels

These pinwheels are a fun twist on the classic turkey and cheese sandwich. Spread a whole wheat tortilla with mustard or hummus, layer on turkey slices and cheese, then roll and slice into pinwheels. They’re bite-sized, easy to eat, and full of energy-boosting protein.

Turkey is not only high in protein but also contains tryptophan, an amino acid that can help improve mood and sleep.

3. Salami Salad

A salami salad mixes the savory flavor of salami with fresh veggies for a hearty, no-lettuce salad. Cube salami, cheese, and toss with cherry tomatoes, olives, and a simple vinaigrette. It’s a great way to get teens to eat their veggies with flavors they love.

4. Yogurt Parfait

Yogurt Parfait

Layer Greek yogurt with fresh fruit and granola for a parfait that offers a balance of protein, fiber, and healthy fats. It’s an excellent way to start the day or for a mid-afternoon snack that supports brain health and energy levels.

5. Banana Sandwich

Swap out bread for bananas in this fun sandwich. Slice a banana lengthwise, spread peanut butter on one side, sprinkle with granola or chocolate chips, and top with the other banana slice. It’s a sweet treat that’s naturally packed with energy.

6. Meatballs

Homemade meatballs are a versatile protein source. Mix ground meat with breadcrumbs, an egg, and seasonings, then bake. Serve them alone, with pasta, or in a sub. They’re easy to make in bulk and freeze for later, making meal prep a breeze.

7. Coconut Tenders

Coconut Tenders

Coconut tenders are a crunchy, sweet alternative to traditional chicken tenders. Dip chicken strips in egg, coat with a mix of shredded coconut and breadcrumbs, then bake. They’re a hit for their flavor and crunch, plus they’re a great source of protein.

Coconut provides a good dose of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which are fats that can be used by the body for a quick energy source.

8. Mason Jar Salads

Layering salad ingredients in a mason jar keeps everything fresh until lunchtime. Start with dressing at the bottom, add hardier veggies next, and finish with greens on top. Shake it up before eating. It’s a compact, no-mess way to enjoy a salad.

9. Sliced Steak Salad

Thinly sliced steak over a bed of greens with veggies offers iron and protein, essential for growing teens. Marinate steak, grill, slice, and serve over salad with a dressing of choice. It’s a satisfying meal that feels more like a dinner than lunch.

10. Burger and Slaw

Burger and Slaw

A mini burger paired with slaw is a fun, nutritious lunch option. Make small patties, grill, and serve with a cabbage or carrot slaw on the side. It’s a familiar favorite with a healthy twist.

11. Go Green Rice Salad

Mix cooked rice with chopped spinach, peas, and a pesto dressing for a filling salad. It’s a great way to incorporate greens and provides a good mix of carbs and fiber.

12. Pesto Pasta Salad

Toss cooked pasta with pesto, cherry tomatoes, and mozzarella balls for a tasty and filling dish. It’s easy to make in advance and perfect for a quick lunch that delivers energy and nutrients.

13. Meatloaf Muffins

Meatloaf Muffins

Bake meatloaf in muffin tins for individual servings. Mix ground meat with veggies, an egg, and seasonings. They’re portion-controlled, easy to pack, and a fun way to serve a classic.

14. Hard-Boiled Eggs

A simple source of high-quality protein and fats, hard-boiled eggs are easy to prepare ahead of time. They’re versatile, portable, and can be a snack or part of a meal.

Eggs are considered a “complete” source of protein because they contain all nine essential amino acids necessary for the human diet.

15. Cookie Dough Bites

Mix almond flour, peanut butter, honey, and chocolate chips for no-bake cookie dough bites. They’re a healthier treat that satisfies sweet cravings while providing energy.

16. Monkey Mix

nuts, dried fruit, chocolate chips, and cereal

Combine nuts, dried fruit, chocolate chips, and cereal for a homemade trail mix. It’s a customizable, energy-packed snack that’s perfect for busy teens.

17. Chicken and Vegetable Collard Wraps with Sun Sauce

Use collard greens as wraps for a gluten-free lunch option. Fill with cooked chicken, veggies, and a sunflower seed sauce for a nutritious wrap that’s full of flavor.

18. Citrus Tarragon Chicken Salad

Mix cooked chicken with yogurt, citrus zest, tarragon, and grapes for a refreshing chicken salad. Serve on whole-grain bread or lettuce wraps for a light, energizing meal.

19. Avocado Tuna Boats

Avocado Tuna Boats

Fill avocado halves with a mix of tuna, mayo, and diced veggies. It’s a no-cook, high-protein meal that’s rich in healthy fats and omega-3s, ideal for brain health.

20. Ants on a Log

Fill celery sticks with peanut butter and top with raisins. It’s a classic, fun snack that provides a good mix of carbs, protein, and fat, plus it’s easy to make.

21. Tomato Soup

Blend tomatoes, broth, and seasonings for a homemade soup that’s comforting and nutritious. Serve with a side of whole-grain bread for dipping. It’s a cozy, hydrating option for colder days.

22. Carrot Ginger Soup

Simmer carrots, ginger, and broth for a smooth soup that’s full of flavor and nutrients. It’s a great way to boost immunity and provide a comforting meal.

Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, which the body converts into vitamin A, essential for good vision and immune function.

23. Primal Chili

Cook ground meat with tomatoes, bell peppers, and spices for a hearty chili. It’s a protein-rich meal that’s satisfying and can be customized with different toppings.

24. Korean Beef Bowls

Sauté ground beef with soy sauce, garlic, and a touch of sugar, then serve over rice with veggies. It’s a quick, flavorful dish that provides a balance of protein, carbs, and veggies.

25. Chicken Teriyaki Rice Bowls

Chicken Teriyaki Rice Bowls

Top rice with teriyaki-cooked chicken and steamed veggies for a balanced bowl. It’s a simple, tasty meal that covers all the nutritional bases for a busy teen.


What’s the healthiest snack?

The healthiest snack is one that provides a balance of protein, fiber, and healthy fats, while being low in calories and added sugars. Some examples are nuts, yogurt, berries, cottage cheese, and hummus with whole wheat pita bread.

Is 1500 calories too low for a 14 year old?

The calorie needs of a 14 year old depend on their sex, height, weight, and activity level. However, the average energy requirements for a 14 year old are 11,000 kJ or 2,629 kcal for boys and 9,800 kJ or 2,342 kcal for girls. Therefore, 1500 calories may be too low for most 14 year olds, unless they are under medical supervision.

What snacks are fat free?

There are many snacks that are fat free or have less than 1 gram of fat per serving. Some of them are fruit, vegetables, popcorn, sorbet, gelatin, fruit leather, and raisins. You can also make your own fat free snacks by substituting low fat or nonfat ingredients for high fat ones.

Is pizza once a week ok?

Pizza can be part of a healthy diet if you eat it in moderation and balance it with other nutritious foods. However, pizza is often high in calories, saturated fat, and sodium, which can increase your risk of heart disease and weight gain if you eat too much of it.


With a little creativity and planning, you can easily whip up meals that are not only nutritious and affordable but also appealing to their tastes.

The key is to focus on variety, balance, and incorporating fresh ingredients that will keep them energized and satisfied throughout their busy days.

Making these healthy recipes can also motivate you to start paying more attention to your own diet as well, and even try with some strict plan like Paleo.