Easy School Lunch Ideas For Kids

Get creative with these school lunch ideas for kids to try during the week. This list of options includes lunch box ideas for picky eaters as well. 

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Plan school lunches in advance for the kids

There are various ways to make lunchtime more exciting for your kids this year. All you need are a handful of treats they already love.

Stock your pantry with items from your favorite grocery store and discover ways you can plan meals ahead to save on time.

Creating a lunch menu can help minimize the time you space trying to figure out what your kids will eat, and ensures they’ll have a nutritious meal.

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Try one of these 30 easy kid lunch ideas for school

What Can I Give My Child For School Lunch?

Before you can begin planning your meals, you’ll want to think of the types of foods your kids enjoy eating at home. From snacks to regular meals, these will give you a hint on what to place in their lunchboxes. 

Hot meals aren’t the easiest to pack for your children. A hot meal would be time-consuming for your child to warm up and eat it within the time allotted for lunch. 

You can always opt for cold lunch ideas for kids like the ones mentioned below:

  • Fruits (fresh/dried or in pouches)
  • Yogurt
  • Raisins
  • Granola
  • Crackers (with or without cheese)
  • Sandwiches
  • Vegetables
  • Bagels
  • Wraps
  • Muffins
  • Dry cereals

How Can I Make School Lunches More Fun?

Despite wanting to provide your kids with nutritious meals whenever they open their lunchbox, it’s important to make it interesting each time. 

From love notes to jokes, to even using different shapes. Some moms go above and beyond when creating lunches for their children. 

You can simplify the process by adding something they can look forward to like a treat. One of the ways I like to surprise the kids at lunchtime is with one of their favorite organic gummy bear pouches.

What Can I Pack A Picky Kid For Lunch?

You can start by including two options your child will eat and one they would be willing to try. Including a treat in their lunch box makes it easier for them to enjoy it on a regular basis.

There are various ways to dress up a bagel. You can add cream cheese and jelly if your kid has a sweet tooth. 

There’s also the option to make ham and cheese on a bagel. 

Simple dips such as yogurt, ketchup, and hummus are a great way to start on the foods your picky eater will enjoy. 

Any foods that pair well with ketchup are high on the school lunch ideas for picky eaters list.

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Try these simple school lunches the kids will enjoy.

What Can Kids Make On Their Own For Lunch?

Easy-to-make options are always top of mind for kids who are looking to be more independent. You’re probably wondering, what can an 11-year-old cook?

What you should be asking is: what is an easy lunch to make at home? This will bring up school lunch ideas for kids to make themselves. 

Much like picky eaters, anything simple is always on their list of favorite things to eat. 

In general, kids can be easy to please when they know what they want. Anything that can be warmed up in a microwave can be made by a growing child. 

These easy 30 ideas for school lunches are not only simple to make but guilt-free and delicious:

  • Peanut butter and jelly sandwich
  • Leftover pizza
  • Chicken salad sandwich
  • Tuna fish sandwich
  • Apple and peanut butter wrap
  • Chicken quesadilla
  • Chicken avocado wrap
  • Turkey and cheese pinwheel
  • Chicken and cheese panini
  • Mac and cheese
  • Ham and cheese with cracker
  • Salmon with seasoned potatoes
  • Chorizo and cheese tortilla
  • Chicken Caesar salad
  • Ham and cheese panini
  • Chicken nuggets and dipping sauce
  • Mashed avocado with toast
  • Homemade granola bar
  • Grilled cheese sandwich
  • Blueberry muffin
  • Hard boiled egg
  • Arepa with cheese and chorizo
  • Hummus and pita bread
  • Ham and cheese kabob
  • Chips and guacamole
  • Banana and peanut butter sandwich
  • Homemade cereal bars
  • Pretzels and hummus
  • Yogurt and honey
  • Yogurt and granola

These school lunch ideas are great for preschoolers and teens as well. Toddler school lunches might need alternatives due to allergies and such. 

How To Help Other Families This School Year

With kids heading back to school this year, there continues to be a need for food assistance. 

Although some schools have decided to offer free breakfast and lunch to students, others have decided to stop distribution as a whole. 

There are options on how you can help families get the right nutrients during their time of need. Below are 3 ways you can offer a hand: 

  1. Pack extra lunches for your children to share with a friend
  2. Send a groceries to a friend
  3. Ask the kids if they’ve had enough to eat.
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Simple school lunches kids can make on their own.

Sometimes parents won’t tell the truth about the struggles they are facing as a family, but children will often tell you if they don’t have enough to eat. 

It only takes your willingness to lend a hand and one person to reach for it. 

Offer your help as much as you can this school year. There’s someone out there who will appreciate it.

Do you have any school lunch ideas you’d like to add?


  1. aisasami

    Great ideas! Always having a fun lunch makes eating at school easier. Also, it is popular here in Japan, but making characters out of food items or deocrating the lunchbox with the kid’s favorite charcters is good too,

  2. angela@marathonsandmotivation.com

    So glad I came across this, it is super helpful! So many great ideas that my kids will just love!!!

  3. Amy Liu Dong

    It’s really hard for me to think what to pack for my picky eater and these are great help for me. Thank you for sharing these ideas with us.

  4. A Nation of Moms

    It is nice to have some ideas for going back to school. I am always at a loss for when it comes to packing lunches.

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