These healthy lunch ideas for kids are easy to make and don’t require reheating. If you’re stuck in a lunch rut, use these as inspiration to invite more fun and variety.
Quick and Easy Lunch Ideas
While I wanted to provide you with as many helpful ideas as possible, perhaps seeing this long list may feel overwhelming to you.
What I suggest is picking 2-3 lunches per week to try. If there are ones that you notice your child particularly enjoys, jot them down so you can add them to your regular rotation.
Before you know it, you will have a list of healthy lunches that you can rotate through on a weekly or monthly basis!
Healthy School Lunch Ideas (Tips and Tricks)
- Check with the school for any peanut or food restrictions that they may have.
- Keep food safety in mind always! None of these meal ideas need to be reheated but you do want to keep them cool.
- Try at home first. Try not to pack a completely new food as your child may find it intimidating.
- Your child may eat differently at school versus at home. Adjust how much you pack accordingly.
- Enlist the help of your child. Get them involved with menu planning and lunch packing. It's a great way to ensure they’ll have foods they want to eat, while also helping them make healthy choices.
- Not every lunch box has to have all 5 major food groups represented, but I encourage you to aim for at least 3. It's important to incorporate some source of protein, healthy fat, and/or fiber to provide the long-lasting energy that they'll need.
- Feel free to add or swap out any of the suggested finger foods.
More Lunch Resources
- Master List of Sandwich ideas for toddlers and kids
- Lunch for Toddlers (can be enjoyed at daycare or preschool)
- Lunch box ideas for kids
- 30 Bento Box School Lunch Ideas
60 Quick and Easy Lunch Ideas for Kids
- Nut/seed butter and jelly sandwich, carrots, vanilla wafers, yogurt tube
- Nut/seed butter and fruit (banana, berries) sandwich, cherry tomatoes, chickpeas
- Nut/seed butter and banana tortilla roll ups, carrots, veggie straws
- Ricotta and strawberry on Hawaiian bread, bell peppers, edamame
- Cream cheese and mashed butternut squash sandwich or quesadilla, edamame, carrots, cucumber, raspberries
- Cucumber cream cheese sandwich, blueberries, animal crackers
- Raspberry cream cheese sandwich, zucchini, granola bar
- Cream cheese and chicken quesadilla, grapes, celery
- Pizza quesadilla, mangoes, pretzels
- Mashed sweet potato and black bean quesadilla, salsa, freeze-dried strawberries,
- Mini bagel sandwich with scrambled egg and cream cheese , cantaloupe, cherry tomatoes
- Cottage cheese with fruit and crackers, celery with nut/seed butter
- Lentil veggie quesadilla (recipe below), strawberries
- Hummus and grated carrot pita sandwich, fruit cup
- Hummus pasta, hard boiled eggs, watermelon
- Zucchini pesto pasta, chicken, fruit
- Chicken salad with pita, peas, cherry tomatoes, apples
- Egg salad, crackers, grapes, sweet potatoes
- hard boiled egg , cheese, berries, cucumber
- English muffin pizza, fruit
- Taco bar - with beans, cheese, corn, lettuce, guacamole/salsa, tortilla chips
- Iron-rich pasta, cantaloupe, cookie
- Sweet potato sauce pasta, apples, granola bar
- Creamy broccoli pasta, chickpeas, grapefruit
- Buttered pasta, green peas, tofu, applesauce
- Deconstructed loaded sweet potatoes - with mashed sweet potatoes, sour cream, tomatoes, black beans
- Cream cheese and broccoli (finely chopped) waffle sandwich, animal crackers, carrots
- Pumpkin waffles, zucchini, tofu
- Nut/seed butter and banana waffle sandwich, carrots, peas
- Beet Pancake sandwich with Greek yogurt or cream cheese, hard boiled egg, fruit
- Banana pancake and date syrup sandwich, celery with nut/seed butter, pineapple
- Hummus grilled cheese, pear, broccoli
- Yogurt with granola, dry cereal, fruit,
- Yogurt, banana date bread, bell pepper
- Overnight oats, fruit cup, grape tomatoes
- Spinach muffin, cheese, hard-boiled egg, fruit
- Veggie muffin, cottage cheese, bell pepper, fruit
- Yogurt muffin, zucchini, edamame, watermelon, veggie straws
- Veggie nuggets, beet hummus, chicken, purple sweet potatoes, apples
- Zucchini fritters, white beans, applesauce
- Chicken, sweet potatoes, crackers, fruit
- Snacky finger foods lunch
- Vegetable omelette, parsnips, freeze dried fruit
- Pizza eggs, pita, raisins
- Vegetable baked oatmeal, yogurt tube, blueberries
- Vegetable french toast, strawberries, kidney beans
- Deconstructed breakfast tacos - scrambled eggs, cut up tortilla, black beans, salsa, cheese
- Sweet potato cakes, cottage cheese, grapes
- Beet meatballs, pasta, kabocha, kiwi, grape tomatoes, cucumber
- Cookies (oatmeal, zucchini, or chickpea cookies), edamame, steam roasted carrots and parsnips
- Chickpea cakes, graham cracker, bell peppers
- Vegetable tortilla roll ups, orange
- Broccoli hummus dip, crackers, hard boiled egg, cucumber, carrots
- Pumpkin lentil bars, cheese, broccoli, red bell pepper, animal crackers
- Salmon patties, hummus, veggie straws, pears
- Salmon quiche, tortilla, mangoes
- Shrimp cakes, granola bar, fruit
- Chicken bulgogi, rice cakes, seaweed sheets, zucchini, pear
- Hamburger helper, avocado (be sure to squeeze some juice), fruit, muffin
- Korean chicken and potatoes, rice balls with sesame oil
May Also Be Interested In
Healthy Lunch Idea for Kids - Lentil Veggie Quesadilla
- ½ cup cooked lentils (can use any variety), see note
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- 2-3 tablespoons salsa
- ¼ cup grated carrots
- a handful of baby spinach, roughly chopped
- ¼ cup shredded cheese (or more)
- 4 medium whole wheat tortilla
- In a medium bowl, roughly mash the lentils with potato masher or a fork. Add all the ingredients minus the cheese.
- Divide the mixture between two tortilla. Add cheese (you can add more if you wish). Top with remaining tortillas.
- Melt butter over medium heat in a skillet. Place quesadilla and cook for 3-5 minutes on each side, until golden brown and crispy
- Slice into thirds or quarters.
- I suggest cooking a large batch of lentils to enjoy throughout the week, like this quesadilla. Here's how to cook the lentils perfectly.
- Feel free to use whatever vegetables you wish - broccoli, zucchini, bell peppers, mashed sweet potatoes, corn, peas...