Here are 35 Easy and Kid-Friendly Lunch Ideas for School

This post is sponsored by Welch’s® Fruit Snacks. I am being compensated for this post. All comments and opinions are my own.
Here are 35 Easy and Kid-Friendly Lunch Ideas for School
This is the first time I have to pack my kids’ lunches for school. With a super picky eater on my hands, it can be challenging. Luckily, their preschool is willing to heat things up for them, so I’m not limited to sandwiches-only. Either way, it can still be hard to come up with kid-friendly lunch ideas for school.

A lot of the time, I end up throwing the same things in their lunch box. I definitely stick to the old standbys like applesauce in a pouch, yogurt in a tube, string cheese, fruit, and various kid-friendly crackers. I also always include Welch’s Fruit Snacks. My kids absolutely love them and I feel good about including them because they have 100% of the daily value of vitamin C and 25% of the daily value of vitamins A & E. Also, fruit is the first ingredient.

Despite the old standbys, I don’t want my kids to get bored with their choices so I’ve come up with a list of many other kid-friendly lunch ideas for school. This way, my kids will look forward to their lunch hour and I’ll feel good about what I pack. Having this list will also be a handy way to ensure I have other ideas at the last-minute when I run out of the usual choices.

Kid-Friendly Lunch Ideas for School

Meat Options

My kids aren’t huge meat fans, but I try to give them the option when I can. Here are some meat options you could consider. Most of the meat options would require a microwave, which my kids’ school offers.

  • Meatballs – the pre-cooked ones in a container with a little marinara – just heat and enjoy!
  • Lunch Meats – I often will include lunch meat rolled up on their own or inside of a tortilla.
  • Chicken – pre-cook a chicken breast or a breaded chicken patty, slice it, and let them reheat it.
  • Taco Meat – my kids love tacos. They don’t even need a tortilla, although they do like to eat it with lettuce. Pack a small container of taco meat and a spoon and let them eat it like that, or throw a tortilla in so they can make a little burrito.
  • Chili – if your kids like chili, throw a little in a soup container and let them take it to school. It’s a great source of protein and will stay warm in a thermos.
  • Eggs – if your kids like eggs, you could make little mini egg frittatas or even an egg wrap.
  • Rotisserie chicken – they can eat it cold. Include a little container of BBQ sauce or ranch and they’ll love it.

Here are 35 Easy and Kid-Friendly Lunch Ideas for School


Figure out which veggies your kids will eat and include them in their school lunches. My kids will eat most veggies if I include a small container of ranch dressing. Some of the veggies I often include are:

  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Cucumber Slices
  • Bell Pepper Slices
  • Snap Peas
  • Fresh Broccoli (I was shocked to find out my kids like this!)
  • Fresh Cauliflower

Don’t forget that container of ranch dressing!


My kids are pretty regular fruit eaters so this one isn’t too tough for me. Here are a few ideas if you’re not sure how to get fruit into your kids’ diets.

  • Melon Ball Salad – this is a recipe I’ve used before – feel free to leave out the nuts and the basil
  • Fruit Kabobs – kabobs just make fruit more fun – use whatever your kids like best – like apples, watermelon, strawberries, grapes, and banana
  • Whole fruit – apples, bananas, oranges, tangerines, grapes, you get my point
  • Canned fruit – I like to get those little plastic containers of fruit that are in light syrup. I always get the no-sugar-added ones. My kids usually like the peaches, and sometimes the pineapple.
  • Fruit Pouches – My kids like the applesauce, but there are other fruit/veggie mixes too.
  • Dried Fruit – whatever your kids like! I often include raisins. My daughter also likes apricots


I generally stick to the old standbys here.

  • Yogurt in tubes
  • String Cheese
  • Sliced Cheese
  • Shredded Cheese – my kids just love eating shredded cheese. I have no idea why, it’s the same as other kinds of cheese, but they just love it shredded.
  • Cottage Cheese – my daughter (surprisingly) loves cottage cheese
  • Smoothie – make a kid-friendly smoothie the night before, freeze it, stick it in their lunch box, and it will thaw just in time for lunch!

Here are 35 Easy and Kid-Friendly Lunch Ideas for School


I mentioned some leftovers in the meat section, but there are others that work great for school lunches.

  • Quesadillas – whatever your kids like
  • Spaghetti – my son loves spaghetti and I like to use the high-protein kind to add more protein into his diet
  • Soup – just like with chili, soup can be kept warm in a thermos
  • Pizza – you don’t even have to heat it up to enjoy it!
  • Quinoa Salad – this recipe is great for lunch and my kids happen to love quinoa

Any other meal that your family enjoys that can be easily stored in a plastic container and reheated at school (or eaten cold)

Other Snack Ideas

  • Pita and Hummus
  • Crackers – whatever kinds your kids like, graham, cheese, salt, you get it
  • Fruit Snacks – my kids love Welch’s Fruit Snacks and they make me happy since they have Vitamins A, C & E!
  • Homemade Cookies or Desserts – I don’t make this a regular thing, but every now and then I might throw a cookie in their bag. I try to teach my kids about ‘sometimes’ foods, like cookies.

I hope these ideas help you this year when you’re trying to come up with kid-friendly lunch ideas for school. If you have other ideas, I’d love to hear them. If you have a minute, drop me a comment so we can share tips and tricks!

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