28 Yummy School Lunch Ideas

Finding easy lunch ideas for kids can be a challenge, especially with all the options for processed meals out there. Thankfully, there are tons of healthy lunch ideas for kids that will make you feel better about packing your child’s lunchbox.

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We all know that school cafeteria food isn’t always the healthiest or best tasting option. And all of those canned and prepackaged foods are filled with sugar, salt, and ingredients you need a chemistry degree to pronounce!

Young woman making school lunch in the morning

As parents, we just want to find healthy, nutritious, and delicious packed lunch ideas for kids that will leave us plenty of time to attend to our other family matters.

That’s why we’ve found 28 amazing lunch recipes for kids that are sure to put a smile on your little one’s face!

Source: culinaryhill.com

1. No-Bake Energy Bites

One of the most fun and easy-to-make lunch ideas for kids is these protein-packed no-bake energy bites. These peanut butter, chocolaty bites are chewy, delicious, and loaded with the nutrients your growing child needs to put their best foot forward.

Source: jessicagavin.com

2. Italian Pasta Salad

This recipe for Italian pasta salad is wholesome, delicious, and takes almost no time to whip up. This dish is filled with goodies like rotini pasta, mozzarella cheese balls, sliced salami, baby tomato, black olives, pepperoncini, and more. You can make this dish up to three days in advance.

Also, feel free to add a bit of shredded cheese like parmesan to this dish.

Source: bakingamoment.com

3. Quick and Easy Butter Croissants

Airy, flaky, buttery croissants are always a sure-fire hit with kids. And thanks to this simple recipe, you can make them in just a fraction of the time!

They are also fantastic with a natural peanut butter cream cheese dip!

Source: wellplated.com

4. Banana Toast with Granola and Honey

One of our favorite easy lunches for kids is protein-packed Banana Toast with Granola and Honey. This sweet peanut butter and fresh fruit treat will give your child tons of energy for classes after lunch.

You can also substitute the peanut butter for hazelnut butter, cashew nut butter, or almond butter.

And, you can add dried fruit like raisins.

Source: abeautifulplate.com

5. Margherita Pizza

Another excellent lunch for kids is this recipe for Margherita Pizza that’s easy to make in a skillet and features a thin, crispy crust with fresh, delicious toppings like shredded mozzarella cheese and fresh tomatoes.

Source: jehancancook.com

6. Stovetop Mac and Cheese with White Cheddar

Often thought of as a dinner meal, Stovetop Mac and Cheese with White Cheddar is actually one of the most filling kids lunches for school. Just make sure you pack this dish in a well-sealed container.

Source: myfoodandfamily.com

7. Tuna Melt Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Another great delicious option when it comes to packed lunch ideas for kids is a Tuna melt Grilled Cheese Sandwich. This tasty sandwich is easy to pack and is filled with nutritious cheese and fish.

Source: damndelicious.net

8. Grilled Cheese Roll-Ups

When to quick lunch ideas for kids, these Grilled Cheese Roll-Ups take the top prize. They are so simple to make and filled with the cheesy goodness your kids crave.

Source: therecipecritic.com

9. Homemade Calzones

Don’t waste money on frozen pockets of hot processed goo. Make your own quick homemade calzones and give your kids a delicious lunch meal filled with fresh, delicious ingredients.

Source: divascancook.com

10. Egg Salad Sandwich

Another classic lunch meal is egg salad sandwiches made with creamy mayonnaise, chopped hard boiled egg, and lots of delicious spices and seasonings.

Source: snackworks.com

11. Mini Ritz Cracker Sandwiches

Using a small round cookie-cutter, you can make adorable mini Ritz cracker sandwiches filled with your child’s favorite deli meat and cheese. This is the perfect lunch box idea to pack along with fresh fruits, like apple slices and veggies like carrot and celery sticks.

Source: sallysbakingaddiction.com

12. Pepperoni Pizza Rolls

Please don’t bother with those yucky microwavable pizza rolls in the frozen foods section. Make your own at home, saving money and giving your child the fresh and delicious lunch they deserve. Plus, they are easier to make than you think to make!

Source: simply-delicious-food.com

13. Deviled Eggs

This classic party food also makes for a fantastic protein-packed, healthy lunch for kids. Plus, they are easy to whip up for a school lunch or a nutritious snack.

Source: barleyandsage.com

14. Cheesy Sourdough Discard Crackers

Processed cheese crackers are out, and fresh-backed cheesy sourdough discard crackers are in. Pack these tasty homemade crackers in your kid’s lunch, and they will quickly taste the difference!

Source: chef-in-training.com

15. Chicken Nuggets

Another frozen food you can make better at home is chicken nuggets. Unlike those nuggets with “mystery” ingredients, these nuggets are all-natural with a crispy, crunchy outside and tender, juicy insides.

Source: mygreekdish.com

16. Pita Bread

Fresh-baked pita bread is a fantastic substitute for white bread that really holds a sandwich together much better. This soft and puffy bread is also perfect for wraps and dipping.

Source: downshiftology.com

17. Hummus

Speaking of dipping, you can make homemade hummus to go along with your fresh-baked pita bread for a healthy school lunch. This delicious, flavorful spread is made with healthy chickpeas and savory spices.

Source: loveandlemons.com

18. Spaghetti and Meatballs

Another quick and easy dinner recipe that’s great for a next-day school lunch is spaghetti and meatballs. This savory, rich, and comforting meal will certainly satisfy their appetite.

Source: recipetineats.com

19. Leftover Blueberry Pancakes

Like dinner meals, breakfast food can also be a great lunch option for kids. These thick, fluffy, soft blueberry pancakes are bursting with fresh berries and can be cut or rolled up for dipping in maple syrup.

Source: littlesunnykitchen.com

20. Vegan Hummus Wrap

Even if you’re not a vegan, there’s nothing wrong with having at least one meatless meal each week, and your kids won’t miss the meat when they try this savory veggie hummus wrap.

Source: taste.com.au

21. Homemade Tortilla Chips with Guacamole

This recipe shows you how to make your own homemade tortilla chips using simple ingredients as well as smooth, creamy, and flavorful guacamole dip. The perfect team for any lunchbox.

Source: kathrynskitchenblog.com

22. Turkey Cheddar Pinwheels

Turkey cheddar pinwheels is another party appetizer that also doubles as a fantastic school lunch for kids. You’ve got tasty cheddar cheese and turkey rolled up into a fun-sized little round roll.

Source: recipetineats.com

23. Baked Chicken Quesadillas

Quick, easy, and so delicious, baked chicken quesadillas are excellent for school lunches. You can also include small containers of salsa and sour cream for a fun and tasty meal. Also, try using rotisserie chicken for your meat.

Source: gimmesomeoven.com

24. Salted Soft Pretzels

This recipe for soft salted pretzels simplifies the process so you can make fresh, chewy pretzels that are perfect for dipping in cheddar cheese sauce.

Source: gimmedelicious.com

25. Avocado Hummus

If you would like a more nutritious dip for your child’s homemade salted soft pretzels, might we suggest this recipe for delicious avocado hummus? This veggie dish combines two incredibly healthy ingredients to create a sensational dip.

Vegetables like celery, grape tomatoes and cucumber also taste amazing in this dip.

Source: themerrythought.com

26. Homemade Everything Bagels with Cream Cheese

This recipe shows you how to make your own bagels from scratch using a signature everything bagel seasoning. These bagels are great by themselves or cut in half to make savory sandwiches. You can also reduce their size to fit smaller hands.

Source: www.hopeful.org

27. Spinach Pesto Pasta With Mozzarella and Blistered Tomatoes

Many kids find eating veggies a chore, but with this amazing veggie recipe for Spinach Pesto Pasta with Mozzarella and Blistered Tomatoes, you’ll have no trouble getting them to gobble up all their greens.

Packed with delicious protein such as mozzarella cheese and spinach, your kids will love the zesty pesto sauce and flavorful, juicy little cherry tomatoes.

Source: healthylittlefoodies.com

28. Fruity Chicken Meatballs

Our final recipe is a unique take on a classic kid’s favorite. Fruity chicken meatballs are packed with tender chicken, fruit, veggies, and spices. Your kids will love their sweet and savory flavor, and they taste great with just about any dipping sauce.

Or you can make them into a delicious submarine sandwich or with pasta. The possibilities are endless.

You can also watch a video below featuring more fabulous kids school lunch ideas.

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Cassie brings decades of experience to the Kitchen Community.
She is a noted chef and avid gardener. Her new book "Healthy Eating Through the Garden" will be released shortly. When not writing or speaking about food and gardens Cassie can be found puttering around farmer's markets and greenhouses looking for the next great idea.
Cassie Marshall
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