Packing lunches can be so frustrating if your kids don’t like sandwiches. My guys have never really liked them, so I’ve always had to think of creative lunch ideas that are not sandwiches.
If your kids are like mine, and you struggle with what to put in their lunch bags, take heart! I’ve rounded up a whole bunch of lunch ideas for kids who don’t like sandwiches! Hopefully some of these yummy and healthy ideas will take the stress out of packing lunches at your house. Hey, you can even use these lunch ideas for holidays and weekends too!
food images via Shutterstock
Lunch Rule of thumb… if you can, just make it fun!
Fun-shaped cutters are great for cheeses and vegetables. Quirky toothpicks make cubed meat, cheese and fruit way more fun to eat, and don’t forget to slip a silly, handwritten joke or message into the lunch bag for fun too!
50+ Kid Lunch Ideas That Are Not Sandwiches
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- Caesar salad wrap: lettuce, chicken strips, caesar dressing, shredded mozzarella
- Mini yogurt bar – pack yogurt and toppings in different containers.
- Hard boiled eggs (you can even make them in shapes)
- Snap peas with ranch
- Garbage bread
- Shish kabobs – meat, cheese, fruit on a skewer
- Pita Chips and hummus
- Turkey & cheese wrap – just roll up turkey and a cheese stick
- Apple slices, coated with peanut butter, and dipped in granola cereal
- Butter Chicken Wrap – Indian butter chicken and rice rolled up in a fajita
- Waffle sandwich
- Peanut butter and banana roll ups (roll in a wrap and cut into disks)
- Mini quiches
- Cottage cheese with peach slices or blueberries
- High-protein peanut butter muffins
- Taco wrap – roll up taco meat, cheese, leaf of lettuce
- Savoury Ham and Cheese Muffins
- Tortillas with cream cheese and jam
- Scrambled eggs with crumbled bacon – in a Thermos
- Mac and cheese in a Thermos
- Pita filled with leftover chicken, pork or lunch meat
- Pasta with butter, parm, ham and veg
- Homemade “stackables” Lunch meat/pepperoni, cheese and crackers
- Leftover Pizza
- Cheese cut into shapes with cookie cutters and a side of almonds
- Pizza wrap – pizza sauce, grated cheese, sliced pepperoni: roll it all up
- Cheesy chicken Nuggets
- Hot dog: wrap in foil, pop into a Thermos
- Container of dry cereal and a small container of milk
- Quesadilla – cheese and sliced veg in between 2 fajitas. Heat, wrap in foil
- Fruit salad with pecans
- Cold pasta, cherry tomatoes, parmesan, drizzle with Italian dressing
- French toast sticks
- Bagel with cream cheese
- Cinnamon raisin bagel with apple butter
- Breaded Chicken Nuggets
- Celery with peanut butter and raisins
- Hot Dog wrapped in a crescent roll
- Scrambled egg with pepperoni
- Pretzels with peanut butter
- Peanut butter and Jam Pinwheels (rolled in a wrap)
- Homemade Trail Mix
- Veggie sticks with hummus
- Ham on cucumber slices
- Nachos and salsa
- Pasta salad with pepperoni and olives
- Bacon with cheese melted on top
- Meat wrap – use deli meat as the bread… fill it with lettuce, tomato & pickles and roll it up.
- Apple sandwich – two apple slices filled with peanut butter and a few chocolate chips
- Quinoa chips with hummus
- Cooked rice with black beans and cooked peppers
- Lettuce wraps – use a leaf of lettuce as a tortilla wrap. Fill it with meat and cheese.
Hopefully these lunch ideas will get you out of the lunch-packing rut you’re in!
Here’s another way you can make lunches less of a chore: pack lunch once for the whole week. Throw in a side of fruit or vegetables to give them something else to eat with their lunch. Add in a nutritious cookie, and you’re all set.
And now check out these Mason Jar Meals! You can pack them in advance, and take them on the go!
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Jackie is a mom, wife, home daycare provider, and the creative spirit behind Happy Hooligans. She specializes in kids’ crafts and activities, easy recipes, and parenting. In 1997, Jackie stepped out of the corporate world to start a family and to open her own home daycare. She began blogging in 2011, and today, Happy Hooligans inspires more than 2 million parents, caregivers and Early Years Professionals all over the globe.