School is back in session and the struggle to find a healthy lunch option besides a soggy salad is back, but fear no more. I am here to give you some delicious, low-carb school lunch ideas to make your year a little less painful.

Before you continue reading, let's get one thing straight: carbs are not the enemy! Carbohydrates actually fuel your body and are essential for your health—in moderation, of course. The suggested amount of carbs per day is about 50% of your daily calorie intake, so if you are eating 2,000 calories per day, you should be eating about 275g carbs.

With that being said, I am in high school and I understand if you don't have time to make a fancy, nutritious school lunch, while carefully examining the nutrition label of everything you eat, on top of sports, homework, clubs and social activities, but that's what I am here for.

Give yourself or your parents (we all know mom is still up at the crack of dawn rummaging through the fridge to whip something up to put in the brown paper bags) a break and try these delicious, healthy school lunches.

1. Lettuce Wraps

salad, lettuce, corn, vegetable, tomato
Kristine Mahan

This first school lunch option is a must. It's cheap, easy, healthy and endlessly versatile. All you need is a head of lettuce (I suggest Boston Lettuce... the leafier, the easier) and whatever you put your normal wrap.

From grilled chicken, mozzarella, roasted peppers to a BLT, the possibilities are endless. The only difference between preparing a lettuce wrap and a regular wrap is you should skip the dressing or keep it on the side for dipping to avoid soggy lettuce. 

Total carbs: 3.5g carbs plus your choice of fillings

2. Spring Roll

Anya Kassoff

I know what you are all thinking—how could the fried vegetable filled food you order from Chinese restaurants be healthy? Well, the answer is: it’s not.

Those are Chinese spring rolls. Vietnamese spring rolls, on the other hand, are just rice paper generally filled with fresh veggies and a protein of your choice. All you have to do is thinly slice fresh vegetables such as cucumbers, bell peppers and carrots as well as some sort of protein such as tofu, shrimp or grilled chicken.

Submerge a sheet of rice paper in a bowl of lukewarm water and lay it flat on a cutting board. Next, pile the fillings on top of the sheet, and then simply roll it up and enjoy this refreshing, healthy school lunch. 

Total carbs: 37.13g carbs

3. Deconstructed Layer Salad 

vegetable, sweet
Max Bartick

This right here is the solution to all of your salad issues. Layering your salad and waiting to mix it up until right before you eat it means no more soggy lettuce and mushy veggies.

The bottom layer should consist of your dressing of choice and any hard vegetables that won’t absorb the dressing too much. I have found that shredded carrots work best, but you could also use cucumbers, cooked beets or bell peppers.

The next layer should consist of any beans or grains such as chickpeas, quinoa, rice and black beans. Add on your choice of proteins and cheese next, then softer fruits and vegetables including tomatoes, avocado and berries, then any nuts or seeds, and finally lettuce greens.

When it’s time to eat, you can pour the salad into a separate bowl and combine the layers. But, no one has room in their school bag to carry around that many containers, so I suggest leaving a little room at the top of your mason jar or tupperware to shake your salad before removing the lid.

Total carbs: 47.46g carbs

4. Celery Sticks and Almond Butter

chocolate, cream, sweet, pudding, coffee, milk, caramel, dairy product
Caitlin Shoemaker

This old school snack has seemed to fade into the background lately, but I think we should bring it back. Modernize the classic Ants on a Log by using almond butter instead of peanut butter for an option with less fat.

From all of the vitamins and nutrients in celery to the protein and healthy fats from the nut butter, this meal will leave you feeling full and energized for your afternoon tests. If you feel that this alone isn’t filling enough, try throwing some chia seeds on top. These little seeds expand in your stomach to keep you feeling satisfied. 

Total carbs: 11.2g carbs

5. Vegetables and Hummus

vegetable, pepper
Emma Brant

Every Sunday, I like to make sure that there are bags of cut up vegetables and pre-packed hummus containers in the fridge. When you hit snooze one too many times and are rushing out the door, this protein-packed lunch is an easy grab. Switch it up with new veggie combos or a different flavor hummus and you are good to go. 

Total carbs: 27.54 carbs