Packed Lunch Ideas for Kids

A colourful packed lunch

If your kids take packed lunch to school, it’s probably tricky to think of new packed lunch ideas for kids that will have them looking forward to their lunch break. Maybe they’re getting bored of ham and cheese sandwiches, or cut vegetables…maybe even bored of the same crisps. Your kids need something filling and energy fueling to get them through the rest of their school day – so their packed lunches have to be packed with nutrients, protein and energy! You’re in need of some lunch inspiration and we’re here to help you along the way.

Have you ever seen people do a happy dance when they’re eating something yummy? Because with these packed lunch ideas for kids, your little ones will definitely be dancing while gobbling down their new and tasty food! Lunchtime will never be the same with these scrummy ideas.

Here are 10 Packed Lunch Ideas for Kids

Ham, Cheese and Potato Pasties

What kid doesn’t love a good pasty?! Add some veggies like carrots, peas or sweet potato into this classic lunchtime favourite (or better yet, add in leftover roast beef!). Pasties are easy to make as well as fun to eat, so if your kids haven’t tried one before, there’s no excuse not to give them a go! You can use puff pastry instead of shortcrust pastry, but make sure you roll very thin slices otherwise it won’t cook properly. A school lunch that will get all their friends asking their parents for!

Mini Chicken Tortilla Pizza

Who says pizza has to involve mozzarella and tomato sauce? Try making chicken pizzas instead! They’re much healthier than traditional pizza but taste just as amazing.

  1. Take two large flour tortillas and spread on 2 teaspoons of pesto
  2. Then add a handful of grated Parmesan cheese, sprinkle ½ teaspoon dried oregano and 32g of shredded cooked chicken breast.
  3. Close up by folding the sides inwards and pressing the edges firmly together.
  4. Cook on medium heat in the oven for 5–8 minutes or until warmed through. You can even add some pasta sauce to dip the slices in!

A tasty, yet interesting packed lunch idea for kids!

Turkey Lettuce Skewers

Tasty little bites that are easy to assemble and pack. Healthy and a perfect addition to your kid’s lunch!

  1. Thread thin slices of turkey onto toothpicks or skewers.
  2. Add fresh spinach leaves and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.
  3. Season with salt and pepper, and add pomegranate seeds, if desired.
  4. Accompany the turkey skewers with some zingy and refreshing yoghurt dips with garlic and herbs.
  5. To make their lunch even healthier, add some vegetable skewers too – like cucumber, cherry tomatoes, peppers and maybe some cheddar cheese balls too.

Fun to eat and a nice and healthy treat! The perfect addition to a lunch idea for kids.

Pesto Pasta Salad Bowl

Do your kids love pasta, but don’t want to wait till dinner? Include a cold, summer pasta to their lunch routine!

And the yummiest lunch idea for your kids is a pesto pasta salad! With a tasty herb-filled dish that is simple to prepare and quick to eat. Cook pasta per packet instructions, drain and rinse under cold water. Toss with pesto, sliced spring onions and halved cherry tomatoes. Top with parmesan shavings and let it refrigerate overnight to let flavours develop further. Add it to their packed lunch with some crispy onions too…

Vegetable Frittata

Make sure you have plenty of healthy vegetables in your child’s packed lunches and with these frittatas, your kids will get plenty! They’re filled with vitamins and minerals to help boost their diet too.

  1. Chop a handful of frozen or fresh veggies for each person, depending on how much there is in the fridge.
  2. Layer the veggie mixes inside each frittata with the following fillings: egg yolk, cheese, spinach, tomato paste, and seasonings such as thyme, garlic powder or rosemary.
  3. Fold the bottom and sides of the frittata up like a book and bake for 30 to 40 minutes.
  4. Flip right side up and continue baking for another 10 minutes until lightly golden.
  5. Cut into wedges so it’s easier for them to eat. Each frittata serves one person.

A healthy lunch idea that will have them licking their lips, but most importantly leaving them full, with plenty of energy and all the good stuff!

Roast Beef Wraps

A great option for packed lunches that are full of flavour and can be enjoyed hot or cold are wraps!

But your kids may be getting bored with chicken or even turkey wraps and you’re running out of ideas. Well, why don’t you try roast beef wraps? It’s slightly different and meat they may not have regularly. And super easy to prepare too!

  1. Slice thinly rolled roast beef into strips and coat lightly in seasoned flour using your hands.
  2. Heat some oil in a non-stick pan over high heat, then add beef and cook for about 2 minutes on each side until browned.
  3. Transfer to a chopping board and slice into strips.
  4. Wrap in flatbreads or rice paper sheets and top with avocado, cheddar cheese, lettuce and tomato – then serve up!

If your kids aren’t a big fan of beef, swap it out for another meat or if they’re vegetarian or like to have veggie meals, swap it out for some Quorn meat slices – they’re delicious and healthier for you. 

Roast Tomato Panini

This is a delicious sandwich that can be enjoyed hot or cold. Roasted tomatoes are perfect here! And you can mix it up with other flavours too…keep it fresh so your kiddies won’t get bored!

To make your roast tomatoes, evenly spread them over a lined baking tray and sprinkle with sea salt, cracked black pepper and drizzle with some oil. If using sun-dried tomatoes, soak them first for 10 mins. Bake at 200C for 15 mins, turning them over after 5 mins. Once they’ve cooled slightly, you can then chop them finely and set them aside.

To make the panini, take two slices of wholemeal bread and add your roasted tomatoes, and any other toppings such as mozzarella, parmesan, cheddar, feta, basil, oregano etc. Once you’ve made the panini, place it under the grill or sandwich press until heated. Then watch as the cheese oozes out as you slice the panini (if having it fresh)!

One of the absolutely delicious packed lunch ideas for kids that will leave them wanting this more and more!

Colourful Hummus Jars

If your kids are a little adventurous and love to try new things, then this might be for them! A brilliantly, colourful packed lunch idea for kids is something that will grab their attention, looks exciting and of course, looks fun to eat.

And with a hummus jar, this ticks all the boxes!

  1. Using mason jars, add some olive oil with some added seasoning into the jar and give it a shake (with the lid closed!) so the jar is coated with the liquid seasoning.
  2. Add some hummus to the jar as your base, then add chopped cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, carrots and peas as your veggie mix.
  3. Once that’s done, top with grated carrots, sweetcorn, feta cheese and a little honey and lemon juice to the top.

Ta-da! Your colourful, hummus jar is ready for your kids to munch on for their next packed lunch – don’t forget to add a spoon, so they can eat it!

Here’s a recipe for you to try from BBC Good Food

Cheese Quesadillas with a Rainbow Salad

So… quesadillas are traditionally served hot, but they also make a perfect cold packed lunch! They hold their shape well and let’s face it, the cheese makes it. 

You can add whatever cheesy cheese your kids love whether it’s cheddar, mozzarella, or even a spicy one!

When making your quesadilla, you can choose to add spring onions or finely chopped veg! And to accompany the yummy lunch, make a rainbow salad using 3 bean salads, yellow and red pepper, cherry tomatoes and a carrot! Cut the veg into cubes, drizzle some olive oil or some dressing on and add some seasoning to make your scrumptious salad.

Another one to add to your innovative, tasty and bright packed lunch ideas for kids! They may not have had it like this before and it may become their new favourite lunch!

Sandwich Stars

If your kids absolutely love sandwiches, then mix them up and create different shapes!

You can make any shapes with cookie cutters, whether it’s stars, dinosaurs, hearts or cartoon characters! Experiment with any meats (or Quorn slices), veg, cheese or cream cheese and create the most fun-looking sandwiches ever! But be warned…they may ask cookie-cutter foods for these for everything!

Another enticing addition to their packed lunch ideas. They’ll be coming home with all their lunch eaten with these meals!

Final words…

These packed lunches are perfect for fussy eaters – because if they only want the same lunch they have every day, you can still give that to them, but in different ways! Whether it’s cut out with cookie cutters, using wraps instead of bread, dressing with something a little different or just enticing them with colourful veggies! They’re all school-friendly, healthy food for kids that are perfect for weekday or weekend lunches, so no need to worry about that. Whether they’ll eat with spoons, forks or just their hands, it’s easy peasy for them to eat. Sure it can get a little messy, but that’s the best part of enjoying your food (just make sure to add some napkins to their lunchbox!). 

We hope you’re inspired by the above ideas, which are only just a starting point for all exciting and scrumptious lunchboxes that you can prepare to keep your kiddos happy, healthy and looking forward to their lunch! The key to school packed lunches is to keep it interesting – this necessarily doesn’t mean using lots of different ingredients or recipes, but just changing up how they are served and being creative with shapes and textures, can really help!

These packed lunches are perfect for fussy eaters – because if they only want the same lunch they have every day, you can still give that to them, but in different ways! Whether it’s cut out with cookie cutters, using wraps instead of bread, dressing with something a little different or just enticing them with colourful veggies! They’re all school-friendly, healthy food for kids that are perfect for weekday or weekend lunches, so no need to worry about that. Whether they’ll eat with spoons, forks or just their hands, it’s easy peasy for them to eat. Sure it can get a little messy, but that’s the best part of enjoying your food (just make sure to add some napkins to their lunchbox!). 

We hope you’re inspired by the above ideas, which are only just a starting point for all exciting and scrumptious lunchboxes that you can prepare to keep your kiddos happy, healthy and looking forward to their lunch! The key to school packed lunches is to keep it interesting – this necessarily doesn’t mean using lots of different ingredients or recipes, but just changing up how they are served and being creative with shapes and textures, can really help!

So, to keep things interesting for your kid’s meal times, we have a selection of tasty, interesting and innovative food ideas for you! From healthy snacks, toddler lunch box ideas, lunch for toddlers and dinner ideas too.

Take your pick!

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