Over 30 easy, nutritious lunch ideas for kids who don’t like sandwiches.
Packing the kids’ school lunches is one of the most dreaded tasks of the day for many parents. It’s so challenging to keep coming up with healthy and exciting lunches that your kids will actually eat, isn’t it?
Recently, I shared 50 non-sandwich lunch ideas thanks to my Facebook followers suggesting all kinds of easy and nutritious suggestions to help make the lunch-packing task less of a chore.
That post sparked a flood of emails in my inbox. All kinds of people wrote in to share their favourites with me! I have over 30 more fun lunch ideas for kids to share with you today, and there isn’t a traditional sandwich in this bunch either!
P.S. These are also great lunch ideas for a home daycare or for any day at at home.
30+ Fun and Easy Lunch Ideas for Kids
- Pizza pinwheels are terrific for lunch: just make our quick and easy pizza dough, add toppings, roll it, bake it, and cut it up.
- Homemade lunchables: much cheaper than store-bought, and you can make them healthier too.
- Pasta with Butter and Parm (add frozen mixed veg and cubed ham to boost flavour and nutrition)
- Whole wheat tortillas with cream cheese & jam
- Pasta shapes with veg, ham, butter and parm
- Muffins instead of sandwiches – grate carrots or zucchini in for extra nutrition
- Shredded cabbage salads, potato salad, pasta salad… really any salads are going to be great
- Wraps filled with leftovers. My son doesn’t like sandwiches, but he’ll eat almost any leftovers rolled up in a wrap
- Tortilla chips with beans, salsa and cheese (in separate containers)
- Pizza Rolls or Pepperoni rolls (just put pepperoni in bread dough & bake!)
- Lettuce “Sandwiches” (use lettuce instead of bread)
- Cubed grilled chicken – it’s easy to grill up a chicken breast the night before
- Healthy Summer Rolls
- Cheese & crackers
- Hot Dog tucked into a thermos
- Cut up fruit (pineapple, strawberries, melon) with a tub of yogurt to dip in
- Apples and Peanut butter – Slice the apples and send them with a container of peanut butter. If peanuts are banned at your school, try Sun Butter or Pea Butter.
- Fruit salad and greek yogurt
- Leftovers – anything that they had for dinner can be popped into a thermos the next day.
- Tequitos (black bean and salsa) – wrap in foil, and tuck into a thermos keep warm.
- Zoodles or ravioli in a thermos (an easy go-to when I’m in a pinch)
- Meatballs (you can make BBQ meatballs, swedish meatballs or italian meatballs)
- Tuna & mayonnaise salad (mix tuna & mayo and place on salad)
- Turkey & ranch wrap – Spice it up by giving your kids dressing to add right before lunch.
- Rice crackers with cream cheese
- Butter chicken and rice wrap
- Quesadilla (shredded cheese melted between two tortillas)
- Leftover pizza
- Hummas with pita chips and cubes of cheese
- Homemade trail mix – Use whatever is in your pantry, plus a few chocolate chips!
- Peanut butter banana boats
- Cheese, cut into a variety of shapes (or you can buy the shapes pre-cut at the store)
- Peanut butter & jelly sushi rolls. Our boys LOVED this when they were younger. Flatten a piece of bread with a rolling pin. Layer it with pb & j. Roll it up like sushi. Cut it in half, to make two smaller rolls.
- Try these soup recipes for a healthy, filling lunch. Send a container of fishy crackers, croutons or pumpkin seeds to add in
- Of course, you’ll want to add in their favourite treat! Pumpkin chip cookies and Crazy Banana Cake are always popular with the kids.
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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.