Are you ready for more than 50 healthy and tasty lunch ideas for kids? Me too! But first, I would like to talk (just a bit) about breakfasts.
We are known for unusual breakfasts at our house. They are not really unusual for us as my kids are used to them by now 😉 .
Do you see what I did there? Yup, soup and salad for breakfast. But do you know what keeps my kids from commenting? The third item on their placemat: the cake. When they see that, it makes them happily eat whatever I put in front of them until they get to the cake which they even more happily enjoy.
Why am I sharing this with you? Because I want to encourage you to spice up your breakfast. Breakfast foods shouldn’t always be eggs, oatmeal, pancakes, cereal, and waffles. They can also be soup, salad, or anything else that you won’t necessarily serve for breakfast. Because, why not?
OK, let’s go back to lunch ideas for kids. That’s why you are here, right?
My goal for today is to share with you nutritious and delicious simple lunch ideas for kids. I hope you’ll find many good food ideas that your child will enjoy at school and won’t bring back home.
I divided the foods into a few categories. An ideal lunch includes at least one item from each category. I realize that this is often not possible. A good alternative is to ensure that your child’s daily diet includes at least one item from each category.
More than 50 lunch ideas for kids
Vegetables (fresh, cooked, frozen, or chips) – with or without a dip (hummus, yogurt, etc.)
- Broccoli pieces
- Cauliflower pieces
- Carrot sticks or baby carrots
- Celery sticks
- Cucumber rounds (or cut them in fun shapes such as stars, hearts, etc.)
- Snap or sweet peas
- Frozen or steamed green peas
- Steamed green or yellow beans
- Bean sprouts
- Grape or cherry tomatoes
- Bell peppers (yellow, red, green)
- Sweet corn
- Baked sweet or regular potatoes
- Kale chips
- Zucchini chips
Fruits (raw, cooked, dried, or frozen)
- Banana chips
- Banana wrap
- Frozen or fresh grapes
- Apple sauce
- Fried plantains
- Dried fruit such as raisins, mango slices, cranberries, prunes, apricots, mulberries, goji berries, etc.
- Fruit roll-ups
- Whole grain sandwich
- Whole grain wrap (with chicken and vegetables)
- Whole grain crackers (rice, corn, etc.)
- Muffins made with whole grain flour
- Waffles made with whole grain flour
- Pancakes made with whole grain flour
Protein and healthy fats
- High quality sausages (we get ours from farmers’ market)
- High quality meat
- Breaded chicken
- Canned beans (they are a great source of protein and fiber if your child likes simple, cooked beans)
- Pancake sandwich with nut butter in the middle (or seed butter for a nut-free alternative)
- Baked or broiled salmon
- Smoked salmon
- Seaweed snack
- Boiled eggs
- Plain yogurt (mixed with fresh slices strawberries, other fruit)
- Cheese cubes
- Nuts – walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, pistachios, etc. (if the school allows nuts)
- Seeds – pumpkin, sunflower, sesame (seeds are a good alternative for a nut-free snack)
- Beet pancakes
- Banana pancakes
I am going to suggest only one thing: leftovers from last night’s dinner. This is big one at our house and I think it should be at your house too. It saves a lot of time and stress. After we eat dinner (sometimes even before we do), I pack a bit of food from dinner in one my son’s lunch containers for him to take to school the next day. All I have to do in the morning is take the container out of the fridge and add a fruit and a vegetable to the lunch bag.
Here are some delicious dinners at my house:
- Roasted chicken, steamed yellow and green beans, and mashed potatoes
- BBQ ribs, cooked quinoa (in broth), steamed green peas, and roasted sweet potatoes
- Broiled salmon and happy salad
- Chicken wraps (wrap, boiled chicken breast, lettuce, tomatoes, olives, grated cheese, mustard, ketchup, and mayo)
- Curry carrot apple soup
- Vegetable rich navy bean stew
- Coconut curry chicken egg tart
- Romanian vegan potato stew with a vegetarian option
- Quick one pot colorful vegetarian chili
Last year I shared with you what I packed for my son for the first 2 weeks of grade 1. Here they are, if you would like to check out not only what I packed, but also what he brought back home.
This year, unlike last year, I noticed after the first 2 days of school that giving him 5 food choices is again, too much. He doesn’t have time to eat as he wants to go back to play as quickly as possible. Giving him 3 food choices ensures that he eats all of his food and there is no food wasted. Happy child, happy mom!
Here you have it, more than 50 healthy and tasty lunch ideas for kids.
I would love if you would share some of your child’s favourite foods that you pack in their lunch on a regular basis.