As a teacher, I see a lot of lunches everyday at school! Over the years I have gathered lots of great lunch ideas that I now use when packing my own kids lunches
However, packing lunches is not my favourite thing in the world. To find the balance between making sure they are eating healthy and simply making sure that they are eating at school can be challenging.
I finally feel that I have an assortment of lunch ideas that works for all of us. The ideas are pretty simple, but when my kids come home and their lunch boxes are empty I am happy!
The lunches are appealing, and offer a nice variety. I hope that you are able to find some ideas!
Many of the ideas and food in the lunches are simple and perhaps items that you already use regularly. I hope thought that you also find a few new items in each lunch that give you something new to try in your child’s lunch.
In my experience, I also find that the way the food is presented can make a difference in terms of whether it is eaten, or not.
Another little thing you can add to your children’s lunches to make them even more special are these adorable funny and school appropriate school jokes. Print them and include on in the lunch box!
Encourage children to create their lunch with you or independently. It is also a great chance to talk about healthy and sometimes foods. Try adding some extra learning to healthy eating with these free printable Healthy and Unhealthy Food Sorting Worksheet.
Once you’ve got lunches covered, check out “Easy Meals for Picky Kids” for more great food and meals kids will eat.
Lunch Ideas #1
My kids like grilled cheese sandwiches, and don’t mind eating them cold. They are easy to make up at night and then pack in lunches in the morning.
Coconut also offers a different flavor that we don’t eat a lot other than in lunches.
- Vegetable straws
- Orange slices
- Mini tomatoes and broccoli
- Salad dressing (used as veggie dip)
- Grilled cheese sandwich with ketchup
- Apple pieces
Lunch Idea #2
My kids are pretty good about eating fruit, but when I skewer it with toothpicks I know it is going to get eaten. Don’t use toothpicks with young children, but if they are safe for your child, they are a fun way to pack fruit in lunches.
- Apple cinnamon rice snacks
- Carrot bread
- Grape and orange kabobs
- Avocado slice
- Hard boiled eggs
- Sliced carrots
- Saltine crackers
Lunch Idea #3
Sometimes simply preparing a food in a different way may encourage children to try it – and eat it!
Instead of a plain sandwich with cold meat, try creating pinwheel sandwich bites. Flatten a piece of bread, add the meat on top and then roll and cut.
Shaved carrots are also a fun option that some children may be more likely to eat.
- Granola bar
- Shredded carrots
- Coconut piece
- Pineapple and oranges
- Cold meat pinwheel sandwiches (flatten one slice of bread and put cold meat on top – roll and slice)
- Pumpkin spice muffin
Lunch Idea #4
One problem that I find with some fruit is that it goes brown before my kids have a chance to eat it. I have found a solution for this with apples. After cutting the apples, I add a bit of cinnamon. They taste great and look great all day long.
- Popcorn and dry cereal
- Cucumber and celery
- Dry coconut
- Apple pieces sprinkled with cinnamon
- Chocolate treat crackers
- Apple cinnamon bagel with butter
Lunch Ideas #5
Try some mini waffles for lunch and some yogurt with cinnamon. You can make it easier for yourself my cooking up lots of mini waffles, or mini pancakes and freezing them to use when you want.
- Banana chips
- Toasted mini waffles
- Peach Half
- Kiwi half
- Gherkin pickles
- Sugar snaps
- Yogurt sprinkled with cinnamon
- Apple slices
- Chocolate chip bagel with cream cheese
Lunch Idea #6
If your children will eat salad at home, try it out for lunch!
- Salad and salad dressing
- Pumpkin pancake muffin (Fill small muffin tins with your favourite pancake mix and bake.)
- Croutons (for salad or snacking)
- Cheese slices
- Dry cereal
- Applesauce with cinnamon
- Chocolate treat
Lunch Ideas #7
Mini naan bread is a great size for kids to build their own sandwiches. Cutting slices of bread with a cookie cutter also works.
I will often fill a section of my kids lunches with an assortment of snack type foods. To be honest, this is sometimes to use up food, but it is also great for variety. You can add popcorn, cereal, crackers, seeds and anything else you can find!
- Pretzel braids/dry cereal and crackers
- Carrots and celery
- Mini naan bread
- Circle cheese slices
- Circle cold meat (I used a cookie cutter to make the cheese and meat in the circle shape.)
- Chocolate treat
Lunch Ideas #8
Try leaving the peal on a banana for lunch. Also some cream cheese and crackers makes for a simple snack.
- Carrot sticks
- Banana (I leave it in the peal so it doesn’t brown or bruise)
- Pomegranate seeds
- Cream cheese
- Jam sandwich
Lunch Ideas #9
My kids love pancakes! I make up a whole batch of pancakes and then freeze them. If you have a thermos to keep food warm, pancakes are a great option.
- Watermelon and apples
- Carrot peelings (I used a potato peeler)
- Cucumber sticks
- Pancakes and maple syrup
- Cold pasta
Lunch Ideas #10
Dry cereal is an easy item to give some variety to lunch. I also like to make up mini muffins to fill lunches. I often use pancake mix in mini muffin tins and bake them like muffins and then freeze.
- Oatmeal muffin
- Dry cereal
- Orange and apple slices
- Broccoli and carrots
- Blueberry bagel with cream cheese
Hopefully our lunch ideas give you some lunch ideas for yourself and/or your kids. I always aim to fill one section in my kids lunches with veggies and one section with fruit. I find that if it looks appetizing it is more likely to be eaten. Happy packing!
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