22 Easy, Tasty Kids’ Lunch Ideas

Loaded Turkey Taco Bowl

Looking for some fresh lunch ideas for kids? Quick and easy doesn’t have to mean bland. Spice things up with these healthy options.

Lunch time is a highlight in any kid’s day: It’s a chance to hang out with friends or family and dig into some tasty food. But if there’s one universal truth about kids’ lunch, it’s this: While the sandwich is a tried-and-true staple, it can get real old, real quick. Looking to spice up your kid’s lunch, either at school or at home? The Bump food guru Karen Biton-Cohen whipped up 22 easy, fun—and healthy!—recipes that are perfect for little ones. From unique takes on cold lunch ideas to crowd-pleasing options for picky eaters, these fresh lunch ideas for kids will soon be mealtime favorites.

In this article:
Lunch box ideas for kids
Healthy lunch ideas for kids
Easy lunch ideas for kids
Vegetarian lunch ideas for kids
Fun lunch ideas for kids
Kids’ lunch ideas for picky eaters

Lunch Box Ideas For Kids

When it comes to school lunch ideas for kids, there’s a reason the sandwich is king: It’s easy to make and guaranteed to last until the lunch hour. But when the endless cycle of ham and cheese or tuna fish sandwiches grows stale, it’s good know there are plenty of other easy, tasty cold lunch ideas for kids. Check out these deliciously fresh lunch box ideas:

kids-lunches-turkey-hummus-pinwheels

Photo: Karen Biton-Cohen

Turkey Hummus Pinwheels
The great thing about these pinwheels? Since all the good stuff is tightly rolled up inside the tortilla, there’s no dreaded bread smushing.

Recipe: Spread hummus onto a flour tortilla. Top with a handful of arugula leaves. Place turkey slices over the top. Roll up with tortilla and cut into 1-inch-thick pieces.

kids-lunches-chicken-salad-stuffed-pita-pocket

Photo: Karen Biton-Cohen

Chicken Salad Stuffed Pita Pocket
When you’re rushing to get the kids ready for school and out the door, you want a sandwich that’s straightforward to make. This three-ingredient cold lunch option is super-easy to put together, especially if you make the chicken salad the night before or pick up your favorite store-bought brand.

Recipe: Stuff a whole wheat pita pocket with your favorite chicken salad. Add fresh arugula leaves (romaine and spinach are good options too) and apple slices.

kids-lunches-cheese-crackers-

Photo: Karen Biton-Cohen

Cheese and Crackers
It’s a classic for a reason! Cheese and crackers are fun, tasty finger food, and a good source of protein to boot. Offer a few different kinds of cheeses and crackers so kids can mix and match as they please.

Recipe: Prepare a finger-food platter with an assortment of cheese, crackers and fruit.

Healthy Lunch Ideas For Kids

If you’re reading this thinking, “You try making my kids eat healthy!”, these four kids’ lunch ideas are up for the challenge. Each option is as nutritious as it is tasty, so don’t be surprised if your kid comes back for seconds.

kids-lunches-sweet-potato-chickpea-patties

Photo: Karen Biton-Cohen

Sweet Potato Chickpea Patties
If your kid loves hummus, she’ll love these chickpea patties. They have the feel of a burger but are packed with chickpea goodness, including fiber, protein, iron and zinc.

Recipe: In the food processor, blend 1 cup sweet potato puree, 1 can of chickpeas (drained), 1/4 cup parsley leaves, 1/4 cup diced onion, 1/4 cup rolled oats, 1/4 cup whole wheat (or regular) flour, 1/2 tsp. dried thyme, 1/2 tsp. paprika, 1 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. black pepper. Form into equal-sized patties and fry on a lightly oiled nonstick skillet until golden brown, about 5 minutes on each side.

kids-lunches-super-green-roll-ups

Photo: Karen Biton-Cohen

Super Green Roll Ups
The spinach in these roll ups boast a whole alphabet worth of vitamins—namely, A, B, C and K, not to mention magnesium and potassium. The avocado adds a dose of healthy fat, and the miniature size makes these perfect for popping into little mouths.

Recipe: Spread pesto over tortilla. Layer baby spinach leaves and avocado slices over the pesto. Roll up with tortilla and cut into 1-inch-thick pieces.

kids-lunches-grilled-chicken-grain-bowl

Photo: Karen Biton-Cohen

Grilled Chicken Grain Bowl
Quinoa is a gluten-free choice that comes with loads of benefits, including B vitamins, magnesium and fiber, while chicken offers a healthy amount of protein—diced for extra-easy chewing—and broccoli adds vitamin K and C.

Recipe: Build a bowl by layering hearty cooked quinoa, diced roasted chicken pieces and steamed broccoli (or another favorite veggie, like wilted spinach, sautéed zucchini or roasted sweet potato). Lightly drizzle with olive oil and serve warm.

kids-lunches-loaded-turkey-taco-bowl

Photo: Karen Biton-Cohen

Loaded Turkey Taco Bowl
Add an extra dash of healthiness to your #TacoTuesday by swapping out beef for leaner turkey. Just as delicious but even better for you. If your child is sensitive to spice, or just hasn’t yet acquired the taste, feel free to omit any herbs and spices for a more simple flavor.

Recipe: Heat 1 tbsp. olive oil in a large skillet over a medium-high flame. Add half a yellow onion (diced) and 2 garlic cloves (minced) and sauté until soft and fragrant. Add 1 lb. ground turkey meat and cook while breaking apart. Once the meat is cooked through, season with 1 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika, 1/2 tsp. cumin and 1/4 tsp. cracked black pepper. Add 1/2 cup salsa and 1/4 cup cilantro leaves (chopped), and toss until well incorporated. Reduce the flame to low heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Serve the turkey taco meat over cooked brown rice, and your favorite taco fixings, like corn, beans, diced avocado and lime wedges.

Easy Lunch Ideas For Kids

As a parent, you’re pretty busy. Who has time to whip up a gourmet meal? If you’re looking for kids’ lunch ideas that don’t require too much prep but still deliver on taste and nutrition, we’ve got you covered.

kids-lunches-avocado-toast-hard-boiled-eggs

Photo: Karen Biton-Cohen

Avocado Toast with Hard Boiled Egg
It’s the breakfast du jour for a reason: Avocado is delicious, an excellent source of heart-healthy fats and is packed with nearly 20 vitamins and minerals, making it super-nutritious. Top it off with a hard boiled egg to pack an extra punch of protein.

Recipe: Mash avocado onto a piece of whole grain toast and top with a generous squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Layer sliced hard-boiled egg over the avocado and season lightly with salt and pepper.

kids-lunches-english-muffin-almond-butter-bananas-honey

Photo: Karen Biton-Cohen

English Muffin with Almond Butter, Banana and Honey
The hardest part of this recipe? Slicing up a banana—not bad. If your child is allergic to nuts, sunflower seed butter is…

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