Packing lunches for school can be a slog for you and can become boring for your children pretty quickly. That’s why we decided to do something a little different this month. In this article, we will share 20 ideas for fun and easy, packed lunches.
20 Fun & Easy Lunch Ideas
1. Keep it simple
Use a cookie cutter to make your child’s sandwich into a fun shape. This is such a simple idea. Make the same lunch but cut the sandwich into a fun shape. It changes everything!
2. Enlist help
Get your child involved in packing their own lunch. Let them choose their snacks and help with making their sandwich. This will take some of the load off of you and ensure that they are getting the food they really want. You may even be able to prep for the lunches over the weekend so there are grab-and-go items ready for their lunches each morning.
3. Add some color
Add some color to your child’s lunchbox with brightly colored fruits and vegetables. Don’t let the ideas go stale. Carrot sticks every day for a year may be hard to stomach. But if you mix up the variety each week, you will find they are more likely to eat them.
4. Think outside the sandwich
Make a packed lunch Bento box style with different foods divided into compartments. Consider hummus and veggies, or yogurt and fruit. Rolled-up sandwich meats and crackers are also fun.
5. Jazzy PB&J
Jazz up a PB&J sandwich by using different flavored jams or swapping out the peanut butter for almond, cashew butter, or even Nutella once in a while.
6. Words matter
Make lunchtime more fun for your child by including a fun note or joke with your child’s packed lunch. You may even create a series of notes that tell a story over several days. This will give your child something to look forward to with their lunch each day.
7. Homemade lunchable
Put together a “lunchable” style packed lunch with crackers, cheese, sliced meats, and grapes. Add homemade cookies for a special treat. These are a fun way to let your child decide what small things they would like in their lunchable.
Make a mini pizzadilla by combining a flour tortilla, pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese, and pepperoni. These are a kid-favorite especially if their school gives them access to a microwave.
9. Lunch cupcakes
Use a muffin tin to make packed lunch cupcakes. Fill the muffin tin with different fruits, vegetables, cheeses, meats, etc., and then top with a second flour tortilla or pastry dough.
10. Get in shape
Get creative with your child’s fruit by cutting it into fun shapes or adding dips like yogurt or honey. This is another opportunity to ask for their input. What would they prefer, apples with honey or strawberries with kiwi?
11. Hit the trail
Put together a trail mix of your child’s favorite cereals, nuts, dried fruits, and chocolate chips for a sweet and crunchy snack.
12. A frozen treat
Create a refreshing packed lunch drink by freezing fruit juices or smoothies overnight and packing them in a thermos.
Make a healthy-packed lunch version of nachos by using whole wheat tortilla chips, black beans, and salsa.
14. Fruit kebabs
Create a fruit kebab by threading different fruits onto a skewer.
15. Homemade granola bars
Make homemade granola bars for a sweet and nutritious packed lunch snack. There are so many options for these and they often freeze well.
16. Roasted veggies
Pack some roasted vegetables like brussels sprouts or sweet potatoes for a filling and healthy packed lunch option. Consider using a thermos to keep them warm.
17. Plastic mason jars
Use a plastic mason jar to make packed lunch salads that can be eaten on the go. This is actually a great idea for after-school snacks especially if their practice will be running past normal dinner time.
18. Look for no prep lunches
For an easily packed lunch that requires no cooking, pack a cold chicken or tuna salad. Add a side of tomatoes or carrots, a few crackers, and some cheese and you will have hit most of the food groups.
19. Mini quiches
Make packed lunch mini quiches using a muffin tin and your favorite quiche recipe. Simply fill the muffin tin with quiche mixture and bake as directed.
20. Taco bar
Kids love tacos! Surprise them with a bento-style taco bar. Pack guacamole, salsa, cheese, sour cream, a tortilla, and any other toppings they love. Let them be the creators of their taco dreams.
Planning ahead is an important step to making lunch easy.