Creative School Lunch Ideas for Kids Who Hate Sandwiches

Posted on by admin | in Nanny

When it comes to lunchtime, kids and sandwiches don’t always mix. When they do, it’s not unusual to find that peanut butter and jelly is the only acceptable option. But with the rise of peanut-free schools, brown bagging peanut butter and jelly simply isn’t an option, leaving parents scrambling for lunch ideas that their kids will like. If that’s you, chin up. Here are some sandwich-free lunch ideas your kids just might love.

Dinner Leftovers. Pour boiling water in a thermos and let it sit for five minutes. Empty the water out, dry the inside of the thermos and fill it up with last night’s dinner. It should stay hot, or at least warm, until lunchtime.

Cold Pizza. It doesn’t matter if you order out or make your own. Most kids will be crazy about having cold pizza for lunch. For a healthier option, choose whole wheat dough and top with veggies.

Salads. Some kids don’t eat salads because they simply aren’t served them. Toss your child’s favorite deli meats on a bed of greens and send with a side of dressing. Pack with a whole wheat pita pocket for stuffing, if you’d like.

Soups. Heat up the thermos with boiling water, dump it out, dry it off and add your child’s favorite hot soup. Pack a piece of bread or some crackers on the side. It should stay warm until lunch.

Quesadillas. Room temperature black bean, chicken or cheese quesadillas will satisfy your child’s hunger in a tasty way. Opt to serve with tortilla chips and salsa for a spicy treat.

Roll-Ups.  Fill and roll a tortilla with cheese, tuna, deli-meats, hummus or any of your child’s favorites. Slice it up in one inch segments for easy to eat pinwheels.

Sushi. If you kid loves sushi, don’t be shy about packing it for lunch. Make your own or pick some up from your local grocer.

Pasta Salad. Add veggies and chicken to your favorite cold pasta salad recipe and your kids will enjoy a cool, fresh lunch. Pack in a chilled thermos or include an icepack in your child’s lunch box to keep it cool.

Hard-boiled Eggs. Boil up some eggs and serve them with an assortment of fruits and veggies for a nutritious and filling lunch.

Greek Yogurt. Greek yogurt is a great source of protein, and when paired with fresh fruits and veggies it can create a well-rounded lunch option.

Serving your child’s lunch in a Bento Box is another sandwich free alternative. Bento Boxes are compartmentalized lunch boxes that allow you to fill each compartment with selections of food. Cubes of cheese, slices of fresh veggies, hummus for dipping, assortments of fresh fruit, as well as rolled deli meats or a scoop of tuna fish can be easily accommodated. For kids who tend to be grazers, Bento Boxes are an easy way to present a variety of nutritious food options.

Well-fed children tend to be able to focus easier and better manage their emotions. Ensuring your child has access to a nutritious lunch that he’ll actually eat will help him grow and develop on track and succeed in school academically and socially.

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6 Responses to Creative School Lunch Ideas for Kids Who Hate Sandwiches

  1. It’s worth it to invest in a good thermos to send in leftover pasta that remains hot. My kids’s school serves tortilla chips, shredded cheese, and beef on the side. I send this in with the beef in the thermos and several of their friends have gone home to tell their moms what a great lunch it is.

  2. Great ideas! We also like to pack yogurt with a nutrition-packed muffin on the side. Fruit or vegetable muffins that are loaded with whole grains, flaxseed, etc. can be a treat with staying power! I have several recipes on my site, http://www.welcomingkitchen.com.

  3. The idea about the thermos is genius. I will be excited to try and send hot lunches that way from now on!

  4. Jaye Alynn says:

    What a great recommendation to offer such simple, yet diverse options to your child’s lunch menu. The only suggestion I would add is to get your child involved and engaged in the preparation of their own lunch. That way, they become more connected and invested in what they are eating. It is a great skill (being connected) that they can take with them into adulthood as their eating habits expand. Plus, it gives you the opportunity to have quality time with your youngster :)

  5. You offer a lot of great ideas for lunches, many of which I have served to my children. It adds variety for even those who enjoy sandwiches and provides new ways to pack a lunch that still contains all five food groups. Another idea a dipping dish: hummus with vegetables or graham crackers to dip in yogurt mixed with sliced fruit.

    Find lots more suggestions for lunches and snacks on HealthyEating.org at: http://www.healthyeating.org/Healthy-Kids/Kid-Friendly-Recipes.aspx

  6. Emmy says:

    My kids both like sandwiches but barely – one only likes ham and cheese and the other only PB&J, so I am always trying to come up with other ideas. Which is what ended up leading to my easy school lunch idea post http://www.emmymom2.com/2012/01/easy-school-lunch-ideas.html


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