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31 Outside-The-Box Lunch Ideas For Kids

It’s always fun to think of cool lunch ideas for kids to enjoy. The more entertaining you make the mid-day meal, the more willing children are to try new foods. The key is to make it an experience, from the way lunch is transported and presented to coming up with a delicious kid-friendly menu.

Pique their interest by exploring creative presentations while incorporating a few of their favorite things. Before you know it, your little ones will look forward to lunch time and happily munch on the delicious food you’ve prepared.

We’ve put together a list of 31 creative kids lunch ideas that will result in big smiles.

Easy Lunch Ideas | Lunch Box Printables

Easy Lunch Ideas

1. Enchanting Parfait

unicorn cup with berries

Source: Shutterfly

Make a treat even more special by serving it in the cutest container. Accompany a delicious berry parfait with fig cookies in a personalized unicorn cup. This is a tasty snack to enjoy while you take a break from making fun crafts with your little one.

2. Deliciously Easy Skewers

race car lunch box

Source: Shutterfly

Easy lunch ideas for kids will always include these yummy ham, cheese and tomato skewers. You can make several versions by mixing different types of deli meat, cheese and vegetables. Try a few with fruits like grapes and berries for dessert skewers. Make this lunch even more fun by packing it in a custom made race car lunch bag with your child’s name printed on it.

3. Handful of Snacks

donut pencil case

Source: Shutterfly

Pack their favorite dessert snacks like cookies and fruit along with a tea towel in a fun print to keep things tidy. Don’t forget to include utensils by packing them nicely in a personalized case, customized with a fun food themed print any mini-foodie will be proud to carry around.

4. Tomato Soup and Heart-Shaped Pita

map table mat with soup

Source: Shutterfly

Tomato soup with heart-shaped pita is a great school lunch idea, even tastier if you include your kid’s very own personalized table mat with a fun print that fits your child’s interests. Bring this along for the little one to use on travels.

5. Simple Fruit

polka dot backpack with pencils

Source: Shutterfly

Fresh fruit is always an ideal addition to all lunches for kids, especially when packed inside a very cool custom backpack. Use it to carry many other fun items like travel games for kids and school notebooks perfect for those on-the-go moments.

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6. Fun Mini-Pizza

Who doesn’t love pizza? Especially when it is miniature sized perfect for a child’s small hands. This lunch idea is uncomplicated to prepare by using biscuit dough, mini-pepperonis and cheese.

7. Spaghetti Pie Muffins

Spaghetti will be even more fun to eat when it is baked and shaped like a muffin. Just think of their surprised face when they see that one of their favorite meals comes in a ready to eat shape.

8. Sweet Fruit Wrap

Wraps are easy to prepare and easy to eat, but no one said wraps need to be savory to be a delicious lunch item or a quick snack for kids. Think of filling it with a bit of cream cheese and their favorite fresh fruits.

9. Tiny Chicken Meatballs

Tiny kids love tiny food, so these mini-sized meatballs made of chicken and packed with veggies will surely please your mini-food-critics. Serve with a delicious freshly made marinara sauce and they won’t even realize you’ve sneaked some nutritious vegetables in.

10. Unique Sandwiches

Sandwiches are always a perfect lunch option for kids but there is no need to stick to their square shape. Make things more appealing by preparing their favorite sandwiches by using cute animal cookie cutters.

11. Pizza Sticks

A pizza inspired lunch is made even easier with these pizza sticks. A fun way to enjoy the ooey gooey goodness of pizza by adding your favorite ingredients for a mouthwatering meal.

12. Bagel Melts

Bagels can make for an effortless kids lunch option. Just take bagel halves and pile on turkey and cheese, add some crunch with sliced apples and you’ve got a meal. Slide them into the toaster oven just long enough to melt that yummy cheese.

13. Flip Flop Sandwiches

flip flop sandwiches

Source: Cutefetti

Flip flop sandwiches make for another fun food shape the kids will enjoy. Fill with hummus and cucumber slices for a refreshing treat, plus you can use cheese strips and berries to decorate the top.

14. Star Sandwich Kabobs

Star shaped bread cutouts with ham, cheese and lettuce topped with fun cherry tomatoes on a kabob, is the cutest meal and a twist on the traditional beloved sandwich.

15. No-Bread Wrap

apple cheese wraps

Source: Weelicious

Skip the bread and simply wrap cheese and apple slices with ham or turkey cold cuts. Pack it up with grapes, olives or crackers. Change it up by mixing and matching other ingredients.

16. Veggie Pinwheels

Pinwheel wraps are just as easy to make as they are to eat. Load with thinly sliced veggies over a layer of hummus, roll up and slice into small pieces. A great way to add veggies to your kid’s diet.

17. Mini Corn Dog Muffins

Bite size scrumptious mini corn dog muffins make an ideal after-school snack but can also make a great lunch when packed with a side of fruits and vegetables.

18. Candy Necklace

Get the kids to participate in making these fun and delicious snacks. Make these necklaces with gummies and add some pretzels or whatever your heart desires. A fun family activity everyone can enjoy.

19. Kale Salad

With all the different trends and access to organic produce, open their taste buds with a delicious kale salad prepared with carrots, apples, nuts and a lemony dressing.

20. Tofu “Egg” Salad Sandwich

A tofu ‘egg’ sandwich is ideal for kids that are not fond of real eggs. This idea can make for a complete lunch, especially when served with watermelon wedges and chips.

21. Crispy Chicken Strips

Chicken is a staple food for children so before you run to get nuggets, prepare these healthier strips of white chicken meat at home. Make sure to pack their favorite dipping sauce like ranch or barbeque.

22. Chicken & Pasta

Italian style chicken with tomatoes and capers can make a great lunch box meal when paired with pasta. Add some your favorite cheese and a side of roasted vegetables.

23. Savory Muffins

Packed with ingredients like ham, cheese and spinach, savory muffins are a practical lunch option. Kids will love the taste of these fun little muffins. Make sure to pack their lunch with a piece of fruit or easy-to-eat orange wedges.

24. Mini Pancake Kabobs

Pancakes for lunch? Sure, why not! Mini pancake kabobs can make for an excellent lunch on a special day, maybe on your kid’s first day of school or their birthday. Just alternate a mini-pancake with a piece of sliced bananas or strawberries and your kids will be delighted.

25. French Toast Bites

Breakfast for lunch is always a good idea, try French toast prepared it in bite sized pieces with powdered sugar sprinkled on top. Include maple or chocolate syrup to drizzle when they’re ready to eat. For added flavor, don’t forget the berries!

26. Owl Sandwich

Surprise your little one with this creative, yet appetizing owl-wich. Use round shaped pita bread with cheese triangles and circles to form the base of the owl. Finish it off with olives for eyes and pretzels for the claws. You’ll be an owl-wich expert in no time.

27. Dinosaur Lunch

Dinosaur shaped nuggets can be a great start to a stone-age themed lunch for your dinosaur loving kid. Add cheese pieces in prehistoric animal shapes and broccoli florets as foliage, what a great adventure it will be.

28. Hungry Caterpillar

hungry canterpillar lunch

Source: Eats Amazing

Start by shaping a sandwich in the shape of a leaf then form a lovely caterpillar with grapes or cherry tomatoes. Make sure to continue the theme by placing holes in the middle of the fruits and veggies you include in the lunch box.

29. Mediterranean Lunchbox

If you child likes nibbling and snacking this Mediterranean lunch box idea might just be what you need. Include hummus, baby carrots and celery sticks. For protein, add rolled up turkey cuts and cheese. Top this meal off with fruits such as seedless grapes to complete the meal.

30. Cheesy Ham Pockets

These flavorful and portable cheese and ham pockets will surely satisfy your little one’s tummy. Prepare at home with store bought pizza dough and play around with different ingredients, for a fun pizza adventure every week.

31. Baked Potato

A hearty and filling baked potato can satisfy any picky eater. With a limitless option of fillings you can pre-make the potatoes and assemble the day of. Try adding lots of green veggies and something creamy for a balanced hot meal.

Free Lunch Box Printables

As you prepare each lunch with love and carefully package it, consider including a loving note to be found when your kids are ready to enjoy the meal. Imagine the joy and delight your little one will experience as they discover it. Take a look at the lunch box printables we have put together for you, download for free below.

lunch printables for kids
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Remember to make each meal a fun experience for your kids. Start with flavors you know they enjoy and love but don’t shy away from introducing them to new foods. Add color to keep things visually appealing, this can easily be done with fruits and vegetables that complement each meal.

You can even take a picture of each lunch idea you prepare to create a menu photo book. Include the most successful lunch meals — a fun way to engage your kids in the lunch preparation process.