Hey Mom — yes, you, the one who’s packing a PB&J for the 3rd time this week. We’re right there with you! Need some fresh, easy (key word here) healthy lunch ideas for your kids? We did the research and compiled some of our favorite Pinterest-worthy lunch ideas for you!
We have 3 goals in mind when coming up with lunch ideas for your kids:
Simple Guidelines for Creating a Healthy Lunch
The Pinning Mama has 4 categories to keep in mind when you’re trying to create the perfect lunch box:
- A main dish with a protein (egg, chicken, etc.)
- Something crunchy (pretzels, tortilla chips, etc.)
- Sweet (fruit snacks, etc.)
Remember these categories as a shortcut when you haven’t had time to go shopping and are raiding the fridge for your kids’ next lunch!
As you can see, these categories produce a lot of great combinations. The bento-style presentation makes the less desirable foods a lot more fun for your kids — and of course you can always mix it up now and then with fun themes like dinosaurs or Frozen (we love the idea of calling baby carrots “Olaf noses” and pretzels “Sven’s antlers”)!
Our Favorite Lunch Ideas for Kids
- Protein: Hummus
- Veggies: Carrots (can also add snap peas and cucumbers)
- Crunchy: Pita chips or pretzels, veggie straws
- Sweet: Blueberries
2. Fruit & Cheese
- Protein: Cheese, Nuts
- Veggies: Green Beans (Asparagus might also be fun to try if your child likes it!)
- Crunchy: Nuts
- Sweet: Strawberries, Blueberries, Dried Fruit
3. Pretzel Stick Kabobs
- Protein: Salami
- Veggies: Tomato, Lettuce, Green Beans, Blueberries
- Crunchy: Pretzel Sticks
- Sweet: Blueberries
4. Turkey Apple Cheese Pockets
- Protein: Turkey and Cheese
- Veggies: None, but we think sugar snap peas would go great with this!
- Crunchy: Sweet Potato Chips and Apple Cinnamon Crunchies
- Sweet: Blueberries and Apple Cinnamon Crunchies
5. Sausage & Rice
- Protein: Sausage
- Veggie: Cucumbers
- Crunchy: Yogurt-Covered Pretzels
- Sweet: Mango
6. Mexican Food
- Protein: Cheese and/or Chicken in Quesadilla
- Veggies: Guacamole & Jicama
- Crunchy: Tortilla Chips
- Sweet: Pineapple
- Protein: Cheese and Meat toppings
- Veggies: Lima beans (Or substitute Italian-seasoned zucchini sticks!)
- Crunchy: English muffin (for a gluten-free option, try bell pepper or gluten-free crackers)
- Sweet: Grapes
Do you have some of your own Pinterest-perfect lunch ideas? Share them in the comments below!
Want More Back-to-School Lunch Ideas?
2 Weeks of No-Sandwich Lunch Box Ideas
Easy Toddler Lunch Ideas for Daycare
10 Sandwich-Free Lunch Ideas for Kids and Grownups Alike
Good compilation of lunch substitutes for kids. One thing is important for kids, they want their taste buds pleased. Thanks a lot for putting these options.
Great post! I will definitely have to use these ideas for my sons lunch. He has super sensitive teeth so I found a dentist through Insurance Line One. They gave me a super affordable monthly premium. My dentist told to completley lay off any junk food and processed food so I’ve been searching for some good alternatives to make a creative lunch. Thank you for the ideas!!