Back-to-School Lunchbox Ideas for Diabetics

Packing school lunches for kids with diabetes can be challenging, but it doesn’t have to be. All you have to do is focus on fun; healthy foods that will help them manage blood glucose levels and keep them energized throughout the day.

There are numerous school lunch ideas that are suitable for kids and even adults. Set yourself up for success and pack a Transcend glucose gel as well. With 15g of fast-acting glucose, our gel is always the best choice for treating lows without overtreating.

It’s better to make your own lunches, vs. purchasing the traditional box lunches and most importantly, make them fun for kids to eat. Plus, you have control over the quality of the ingredients and the contents. School lunches are often loaded with 

We’ve created a brief list of healthy school lunch ideas for kids with diabetes and adults too! Use these ideas to build lunches or create your own ideas.

  • Baby carrots, snap peas or cherry tomatoes 
  • Cubes of fresh fruit
  • String cheese wrapped in ham or turkey breast
  • Cup of low-fat yogurt and granola with freeze-dried fruit
  • Graham crackers spread with peanut butter
  • Peanut butter and banana sandwich on whole wheat toast 
  • Hard-cooked egg
  • Hot foods, such as soup and chili
  • Hummus with pieces of whole wheat pita bread
  • Salad with pieces of grilled or baked chicken
  • Seedless grapes, frozen or fresh
  • Turkey dogs and low-fat cheese cut into small pieces
  • Vegetable sticks with your child’s favorite low-fat dipping sauce

To get your child more involved with making his or her own lunch, ask your child to help. Most kids love to assemble and prep food. Give them some choices from each food group and let them mix and match what they want for lunch. If the lunch contains something your child has chosen and packed, he or she will be more likely to eat it. Make packing lunch a fun activity by using cookie cutters on cold cuts and pieces of fruit!

One of the main reasons to pack your lunch is that it makes it easier to avoid unhealthy choices. School lunches often rely on things that are too sugary for Diabetics. There will still be times when kids are still offered snacks and drinks at school so it’s important to talk to them about being careful with some things, here is a  list of food items to consider warning your child about.

  • Candy and cookies – low-quality carbs with no nutritional value
  • Fruit Juice – even 100% fruit juice is filled with sugar, but lacks the fiber and nutrients of fresh fruit
  • Raisins – Dried fruits are highly concentrated with natural sugars 
  • White bread & refined flours – the body treats these ingredients the same as sugar

It may seem fairly obvious not to pack things like candy in a lunchbox, but there will be times when other kids will bring these items to share for birthdays and holidays so it’s important to make sure your child knows how to handle those situations. 

Looking for a recipe idea to make up for the cookies your child can’t have? Try these healthy Raw Cookie Dough Bites! Because eating the dough is the best part anyway.  

INGREDIENTS
  • ½ cup creamy raw almond butter or peanut butter
  • ¼ cup, plus 1 tbsp raw honey or maple syrup
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup, plus 1 tbsp coconut flour
  • 3 tbsp ground flax seed
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ cup dark chocolate chips or carob chips
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. In a large bowl, mix together the nut butter, honey (or maple syrup) and vanilla until creamy and well blended. In a separate bowl, combine the coconut flour, ground flax seed, and sea salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix well to combine. Use your hands to knead the dough. If the dough is too wet, add a bit more coconut flour. If it’s too dry and doesn’t hold together well, knead in one teaspoon of water. Fold in the dark chocolate chips or carob chips. Scoop out tablespoon-size portions and roll into one-inch balls using your hands to create a bite-sized treat.
  2. *Refrigerate truffles for 30 minutes before serving. Makes about 18 cookie bites.

Recipe from MOMables.com