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Are you stuck in a rut when it comes to school lunches? You won’t be after checking out these 100 school lunch ideas for kids that they LOVE to eat.

Wherever and however you do school this year, one thing remains a truth: kids need to eat! These lunch ideas are filled with wholesome, kid-friendly food that won’t drive you crazy to make. 

Recipes for Lunch Ideas for Kids {Perfect for School!}

With 100 different lunch ideas, there is plenty of variety here to keep everyone happy and interested in lunch for a very long time!

Bonus: even if your child has food restrictions, you’re sure to find several lunch ideas here that they will love!

1. Create a Bento Box Lunch

If your child likes something different every day, they’ll absolutely love bento box lunches! These are a great way to get a healthy balanced meal, and also a perfect way to use up any leftovers you might have.

bento box lunch ideas for kids

 

2. Taco Pop-Tarts

Here’s a savory twist on a favorite childhood treat: Taco Pop-Tarts. Let’s be honest. Anything tastes amazing in Pop Tart form, and they’re perfect for the lunchbox!

3. Nutella Sushi

 Looking for a somewhat wholesome way to satisfy a sweet tooth? Create Nutella and banana sushi by layering a tortilla with Nutella, adding a banana, and rolling it together. Slice it up and add it to your child’s lunch box – it will disappear quickly.

Do you love Nutella as much as we do? Then check out these 20 recipes Nutella addicts will love!

4. Chicken Parmesan Meatballs

On your next meal prep day, make a big batch of chicken parmesan meatballs. Not only will the kids love them for lunch, but they make great lunches for moms and dads, too!

lunch ideas for kids: taco pop tarts, nutella sushi, chicken meatballs

 

5. Apple and Cheddar Quesadillas

Here’s one of my favorite lunch ideas for kids! Pair cheddar with crunchy apples to make apple and cheddar quesadillas. Kids love them cold or warm! Round it out and serve alongside fresh veggies and guacamole.

6. Waffle Taco Bar

A waffle taco bar is something you definitely don’t see every day! Use waffles as the taco shell, then include a mix of ground turkey (or beef, beans, etc), cheese, tomatoes, and any other favorite taco toppings. Yum!

waffle taco bar bento lunch idea

7. Dinosaur Lunch

Making food look fun goes a long way towards getting your children to actually eat their food (veggies too!). Jurassic Park fans will love this roaring fun dinosaur bento lunch.

8. Turkey and Cheese Roll

Rolls are perfect for making sandwiches easier for little hands to hold. This turkey and cheese roll served with goldfish crackers, green pepper slices, and fruit is a winner.

9. Polka Dot Pizza Dippers | The Good Stuff

Pizza for lunch? Why not! How much will your kids love these pizza dippers? Press pepperoni into premade biscuit dough and cut into circles and bake. Then, serve them with some marinara sauce on the side.

10. Upgraded PB&J Lunch

If your little one is a fan of the classic PB&J, they’ll absolutely love this peanut butter and jelly bento box! This is a great option to meal prep for the week.

variety of lunch ideas for kids

Free Lunch Checklist

Never wonder what you are going to feed your kids ever again! This lunch ideas checklist is perfect!

BONUS: it has NO sandwiches on it!!

lunch checklist

 

11. Hummus Platter

Fuel your child with some vegetarian protein! Hummus can be served with pita bread squares, and/or veggies like carrots, cucumber, grape tomatoes, and peppers. 

12. Crescent Roll Hot Dogs

Kids will go gaga for crescent roll hot dogs – especially if you pack a tiny serving of ketchup! Round this one out with a side of his or her favorite vegetables, or a small salad. 

13. Grilled Cheese Roll-Ups

Nothing is more comforting than a hot lunch on a chilly day. Kids will love these grilled cheese roll-ups with a thermos full of tomato soup. These are incredibly easy to make too – slice off the crusts, then use a rolling pin to flatten the bread. Sprinkle with cheese, roll them up and fry. Yum!

14. Homemade Spaghettios

Hate the thought of sending canned food to school? No problem! Your kids will love these homemade Spaghettioshomemade Spaghettios

 

kid lunch ideas - hot dogs, grilled cheese sticks, and spaghettios

15. Mini Burritos

Cut your standard flour tortilla into fourths and make mini burritos! These are perfect for little hands and filled with high-protein meat, beans, and cheese. 

mini burritos on a plate

16. Pasta Salad

Looking for an easy cold lunch that has a decent amount of veggies? Look no further than this pasta salad recipe! Use a combination of fresh and frozen veggies, along with cubes of chicken or ham.

17. Ramen Noodle Salad

Ramen noodle salad is a fresh take on your standard cup of noodles. Mixed with edamame and veggies, this will quickly become a school lunch favorite!

18. Zucchini Mac and Cheese

Does your child hate veggies? Sneak them into something he loves, like this mac and cheese recipe with hidden vegetables. Believe it or not, this recipe is filled with zucchini! 

noodle lunch ideas for kids

19. Pizza Rolls

Pizza rolls (or pizza pinwheels) pair well with just about any fruits or veggies you want to add to the lunchbox. Make (or buy) a basic pizza dough, roll it flat, and layer with pizza toppings. Then roll it up, slice it into rounds, and bake. 

20. Chicken Noodle Soup

Winter days definitely call for simple chicken noodle soup to warm up.

21. Baked Ravioli 

Make baked ravioli for dinner, and then put some in your kiddo’s lunchbox the next day. Two meals, just one prep!

22. Ham and Cheese Pinwheels

On your next meal prep day, make a batch of ham and cheese pinwheels. They’re yummy for lunch or a snack.

pizza rolls, chicken soup, baked ravioli and pinwheels

23. Ham and Cheese Sandwich 

There’s nothing wrong with a classic ham and cheese sandwich for lunch! Toss it in a lunchbox with a clementine and a bag of chips and you’re done!

24. Cottage Cheese

If you can get your little one to eat it, cottage cheese is a healthy lunch option. Pair it with peanut butter crackers, baby carrots, and some fruit.

25. Chicken Sliders

Make a filling chicken slider, and pair it with a salad with ranch dressing, trail mix and a banana for a balanced, filling lunch. Yum!

chicken sliders with milk, salad and banana

26. Mini Taco Hand Pies

Looking for a taco Tuesday idea? How about some mini taco hand pies to put a smile on your kids’ faces at lunchtime?

27. DIY Taco Bar

Or perhaps a build your own taco bar would be more fun! Put all your child’s favorite taco toppings into individual containers and let them create their perfect lunch. 

taco lunch ideas for kids

28. Cheese Quesadillas

It’s hard to go wrong with a simple cheese quesadilla. You can easily microwave cheese in a tortilla, then serve it with guacamole, salsa, and sour cream.

29. Mac and Cheese Cups

Made in mini muffin tins, these mac and cheese cups are the perfect lunch for any kid!

30. Apple Cheese Wraps

Make yummy bread-free wraps out of deli ham (or turkey), cheese, and apple slices. Delicious combination!

apple cheese wraps

By the way, here’s how to keep your apples from turning brown by lunchtime!

34. Meatloaf Muffins

Make meatloaf fun again by baking it into meatloaf cupcakes. A mashed potato “icing” completes the look!

35. Lasagna Cups

These adorable lasagna cups will be the talk of the school! 

36. Pizza Muffins

Want a break from standard pizza? Bake these portable pizza muffins!

savory muffins for lunch

37. Corn Dog Muffins

Make corn dog muffins by following the instructions on the Jiffy Cornbread mix. Then, right before baking, press 1/3 of a hot dog on top and bake as usual.

38. Stir Fry

This is a great make-ahead lunch! This stir fry is filled with fiber and vegetables – just make a big batch and divide it out into individual containers!

39. Lo Mein

This is a simple recipe to make and customize to your child’s tastes. Make the noodles and add their favorite protein and veggies for a lo mein they’ll love!

savory stir fry and lo mein

40. Spaghetti Pie Muffins

Spaghetti pie muffins: You don’t need a specific recipe… just bake whatever leftover spaghetti you make into muffin tins and add some cheese on top. Yum!

41. Ham and Cheese Pinwheels

Ham and cheese pinwheels are delicious and EASY. Great for school lunches and party appetizers, too.

42. Turkey and Cheddar Roll-Ups

Not a fan of ham? No problem! Turkey and cheddar roll-ups are another great option!

two pinwheel options for kids

43. Mini Pizzas

Make freezer-ready mini pizzas to throw in your kids’ lunchboxes anytime you’re in a rush. They’re so easy!

44. Avocado Chicken Pita

Avocado chicken salad in a pita pocket is a filling, tasty choice.

45. Ceasar Pita

Or how about a skinny chicken Caesar pita instead?

46. Easy Snackbox

Is your kid a grazer? Try this snack lunchbox style meal.

47. Elevated Bento

This grown-up Bento is a great choice for teenagers.

School Lunches Moms Can Be Proud Of

48. Leftovers

It seems like a simple idea…because it is! Pack up leftovers from last night’s dinner for your child’s lunch. 

49. Nachos

Yup, nachos sure can be a school food! Pack your student chips in a baggie along with a container of toppings. When they get to school all they need to do is put it together and microwave it!

50. PB&J Sushi

PB&J Sushi will make for a fun lunchtime! Turn a classic into something more visually appealing.

Five Fun Ways to Make a PBJ | Cooking Classy

51. Make Lunchables

Here’s another easy school lunch idea. Put together some crackers with slices of cheese and meat. Don’t forget the Capri Sun (or beverage of your choice!)

52. Sweet Fruit Wraps 

Sweet fruit wraps can be the main course or a tasty little dessert. They’re healthy and yummy!

sweet fruit wraps with cream cheese

53. Savory Waffle Sticks

These savory waffle sticks are amazing dipped in a yummy marinara sauce!

54. Ham, Cheese & Spinach Muffins

Ham, cheese, and spinach muffins are a lunch you can feel good about. Serve with pretzels or trail mix and fresh fruit.

55. Chicken Quesadillas

You can’t go wrong with Chicken Quesadillas, of course.

55. Pizza Grilled Cheese

How have I never thought of this combo before? Two classics combined into yummy goodness that’s impossible to resist.

56. Pizza Crackers

An interesting twist on pizza, and it doesn’t get any easier than this!

57. Baked Corn Tortilla Cheese Dogs

Baked corn tortilla cheese dogs are so quick to make, and they’re a hit with kids of all ages.

58. Quinoa Pizza Bites

Get lots of pizza flavor in tiny little bites with quinoa pizza bites. Yummy and good for you, too.

lunch ideas for kids - pizza bites, and hot dog rolls

Salad Lunch Ideas for Kids

You may think your child would never eat a salad, but that may be because you haven’t found the right one yet. These salads are both veggie-packed and kid-approved. 

59. Broccoli Slaw Salad

Rather than a typical lettuce-based salad, this broccoli slaw salad has extra crunch! You can experiment with toppings too – try bacon bits, raisins, shredded cabbage, and carrots.

60. Strawberry Spinach Salad

This delicious spinach salad has so much flavor thanks to juicy strawberries, tangy feta, and sweet candied pecans.

61. Cobb Salad

This protein-packed salad is a lunchtime staple in our home! We all love a good cobb salad

kid-friendly salad lunch ideas

62. Cesar Salad

Need a quick lunch option? Make a bagged Cesar salad and slice some rotisserie chicken onto it. 

63. Potato Salad

This can be a filling lunch when paired with hardboiled eggs or chicken. Choose mustard or mayo-based dressing depending on your child’s preferences. 

64. Chickpea Salad

Change it up a bit and make this chickpea salad! There’s no lettuce in this one. Simply mix chickpeas, cubed avocados, cherry tomatoes, sliced cucumbers and feta cheese with the dressing of your choice. 

65. Taco Salad

This fiesta chicken taco salad would be a winner with teens. Filling, healthy, and super delicious!

Fiesta Chicken Taco Salad

66. Broccoli Bacon Salad

If you have a child who likes sweets, this is one of the best lunch ideas for kids! Mix chopped broccoli with bacon crumbles, diced red onions, and golden raisins in a mayo dressing. This one tastes best when it has been refrigerated for a best, so it’s a great make-ahead option!

67. Fruit Salad

Dice and mix your child’s favorite fruit into a yummy fruit salad. I pack mine with a squeeze of lemon and a dash of sugar so the fruit doesn’t brown. 

Sandwich Lunch Ideas for Kids

Sandwiches are a lunch box staple – and for good reason! They are filling and universally loved by kids! Here are some sandwich lunch ideas for your children to try. 

68. Turkey & Ham Sub Sandwich

If your kids are struggling to finish their usual sandwich, try this sub sandwich with an Italian sub roll in place of sliced bread. Easily customizable to your kid’s preference, and extra fun!

69. Grilled Cheese Sandwich

You wouldn’t think of grilled cheese as a good option for school lunch, but it totally can be! Here’s a tip: Cut up your grilled cheese and pack it into a thermos, and it’ll stay warm until lunchtime.  

70. Chicken, Hummus & Veggie Club Sandwich

Filled with thin strips of colorful veggies, creamy hummus, and chicken, this club sandwich is a great way to change it up and offer a rainbow of nutrition to your child’s lunchbox. 

71. Ham & Cheese “Taco” Sandwich

Try a simple ham and cheese sandwich with a twist! To make this taco sandwich, just cut your slices of bread into circles, fold them over and add a little shredded lettuce and tomatoes to mimic the look of a taco shell. 

kids sandwich ideas

72. Tuna Salad with Sliced Cucumber Sandwich

Add the fresh, crisp crunch of cucumber slices to a creamy tuna salad. The combination is one your kid might just love!

73. Sunbutter and Jelly Sandwich

Perfect for schools that are nut-free, sunbutter is said to be a great alternative for the yummy taste of classic peanut butter spread. 

74. Veggie Sandwich

If your child is one who does eat their veggies, try a veggie sandwich for their lunch! Fill with cucumbers, avocados, tomatoes, anything they like, and add some hummus or pesto as a spread. Delish!

75. Egg Salad Sandwiches

Made with just a handful of ingredients and packs a big protein punch for your kids! Egg salad sandwiches are a simple solution for lunchtime meals. 

veggie sandwich and egg salad sandwich for kids

76. Turkey & Apple Sandwich

Add some mayo and a slice of cheese and you’ve got a deliciously crisp sandwich that is a nice change of pace for your kid’s lunchbox. 

77. Bacon Lettuce and Tomato Sandwich

Who said this classic can’t also be a favorite for kids? Full of sweet and crisp veggies and salty bacon, you can’t go wrong with a BLT. 

78. Pulled Pork Sandwich

Try adding a little barbecue sauce to shredded pork (or chicken) and making a delicious sandwich for your kid’s lunch. Great with sliced bread or even a bun!

pulled pork sandwich sliders

79. Pepperoni & Cheese Panini

Fulfill the wish of pizza for lunch with a pizza-inspired panini sandwich. You can easily change or add ingredients according to your kid’s taste. 

80. Chicken Salad Sandwich

These are great for growing kids because you can add so many veggies to your chicken salad recipe. Throw it on some whole grain bread and your kids (and you) will love it!

Kabob Lunch Ideas for Kids

Lunch on a stick is just a fun way to eat! These are great for older kids – they’ll love pulling out their cool kabob lunch in front of their friends. 

81. Veggie Kabobs

You don’t have to have meat for a filling lunch. Try these vegetarian kabobs with chunks of mozzarella and hearty bread for a great lunch on a stick!

82. Bagel Kabobs

Who would ever even think of putting a bagel on a stick? Alternate nut butter and jam on pieces of bagel for a fun twist on PB&J with these kabobs. 

83. Caprese On A Stick

Take a classic Italian dish to a fun new level with these caprese kabobs. The drizzle of balsamic glaze is the icing on the cake. 

84. Chef Salad On A Stick

To make these salad kabobs, skewer up big chunks of iceberg lettuce along with all of your favorite elements of a chef salad. Way more exciting than a salad in a bowl!

lunch kabobs for kids

85. Cheeseburger Kabobs 

This take on an American lunchtime classic is exactly like what it sounds like; cheeseburgers on a stick include all of your favorite burger elements (bun included) on a skewer!

86. Fruit & Cheese Kabobs 

Try fruit and cheese on a stick, like cantaloupe, grapes, and mozzarella balls. Add some pieces of ham for a little dash of protein!

87. Antipasto Kabobs

Tortellini, olives, and Italian meats make up this wonderful lunch kabob. Who doesn’t love pasta? (Especially when it’s on a cute little stick!)

88. BLT Kabobs

Seriously why didn’t I think of making a BLT on a stick sooner? Pieces of bacon, lettuce and tomato along with cubes of italian bread go perfect on a skewer!

89. Meatball Sub On A Stick

Breadsticks, mozzarella, marinara sauce and yummy meatballs are definitely a lunch time win in these meatball kabobsmeatball kabobs!

Meatball Sub on a Stick

90. Chicken and Waffle Skewers

Mini waffles and chicken nuggets go great on a stick! Serve with some maple syrup and you’ve got an instant classic. 

91. Club Sandwich Kabobs

Cubes of white bread, deli turkey, bacon, cheese, lettuce and tomatoes make just as good of a club sandwich when they’re on a stick!

Breakfast Lunch Ideas for Kids

Finally, why not serve your child breakfast for lunch? My kids always love when I do this – it makes their lunch extra special!

92. Yogurt Parfait Lunch

Who says parfaits are just for breakfast? This yogurt lunch idea for kids is filled with protein thanks to plain Greek yogurt drizzled with some maple syrup.

93. Breakfast Quesadillas

This ham, egg, and cheese breakfast quesadilla is delicious hot or cold. Serve it alongside your child’s favorite fruit.

breakfast for lunch - yogurt parfait and breakfast quesadillas

94. Oatmeal 

Oatmeal is a fantastic lunch option if your kid has access to a microwave! Pack your child dry oats along with their favorite oatmeal toppings.

95. Mini Pancake Kabobs | I Heart Naptime

Mini pancake kabobs work for lunch, as well as a snack or breakfast. These will satisfy your kiddo’s sweet tooth and keep them full. 

mini pancake kabobs

96. Breakfast Sandwich

Grab an English muffin or bread and load it up with eggs, bacon, and mayo. One of the easiest lunch ideas for kids ever!

97. Breakfast Burrito

There are few things my kids love more than breakfast burritos! The possibilities are endless – eggs, black beans, sweet potato, sausage, bacon…you name it! 

98. Cinnamon French Toast Bites

Who wouldn’t love cinnamon french toast bites for lunch? I know my kids would!

Cinnamon French Toast Bites

 

99. French Toast Waffle Sticks

Have a french toast fan in your home? Make them easily portable by turning them into french toast waffle sticks!

100. Deconstructed Parfait

This bento box-style meal is sure to be a favorite! Keeping the fruit and granola separate from the yogurt gives your child the joy of mixing it all up!

101. Mini Pumpkin Pancakes

Make a triple batch of mini-sized pumpkin pancakes and store them in your freezer. Make it a special weekly lunch tradition for your child to bring them to school along with a hardboiled egg or two for protein. 

breakfast for lunch ideas for kids

102. Leftover Breakfast for Lunch

Leftover breakfasts make terrific lunches. Cereal, muffins, fruit, hardboiled eggs… anything goes, really!

103. Baked Pancake Muffins

Easy baked pancake muffins are not only a great go-to for breakfast, but they make fantastic lunches, too.

Easy Baked Pancake Muffins - FamilyFreshMeals.com ---

 

There you go! More than 100 school lunch ideas for kids to inspire you to make lunch more than just another meal. 

Use these easy lunch options to make lunchtime an experience they look forward to every day because they know their lunch is packed with the foods they love. Which ideas will your kids will like best?

Looking for Even More Lunch Ideas for Kids?

Grab this free mix and match lunch ideas checklist! You’ll be making lunches like a pro in no time!


lunch checklist

More Kids’ Lunch Ideas: