Lunch - Tampa,FL

Updated on March 24, 2011
J.S. asks from Minot AFB, ND
20 answers

I need ideas on what to feed my 5 year old for lunch. He does not like sandwiches and despises peanut butter and jelly. I have a 10 month old who is demanding and a busy schedule. I am looking for quick and easy ideas for lunch. He starts kindergarten next year and I am trying to get him used to eating a filling lunch. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks, J.

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So What Happened?

I would like to thank everyone for their help. You gave me lots of great ideas =) I am going to the grocery store today to pick up some of these things. Thanks again!!

Featured Answers



answers from Miami on

Leftovers from the night before? Soup? Tuna in a bowl with cut up cucumber and carrots? Rice and beans? Anything with protein is a great idea.


answers from Washington DC on

I used to send triscuits with small pieces of cheese and salami, a hotdog cut up in pieces, chicken nuggets cut up, left over spaghetti or fried rice in a squat thermos, hard boiled eggs, raisins, fruit salad...
My kids still prefer to take leftovers... I have short squat thermoses for them. I warm the thermoses with hot water while the food is heating in the microwave. I dump the water and put the food in the thermoses. It stays hot until lunch. My daughter loves pasta in the thermos because I put a lot in there and squeeze it down a bit -- it's like a never ending pasta bowl when she goes to lunch! As she eats, the pasta expands up...
They both love left over chicken in wine sauce. I put rice on the bottom of the thermos and the chicken on top.
You can keep chicken nuggets and fish sticks hot in the thermoses as well...
Good luck!

More Answers



answers from Norfolk on

We marinate and grill about 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts every week, slice it up and keep it in the fridge. The kids love it just plain (cold or warm); in a tortilla as a wrap; cut up and tossed with noodles, diced tomatoes, and cheese (we boil up pasta in one-pound batches and keep that in the fridge, too); as a chicken Caesar salad; there are many possibilities! With just the little bit of planning and effort to have it on hand, the grilled chicken can be a healthy, quick snack or meal for your son.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

plain whole wheat or smart noodles
string cheese
cottage cheese
hot dogs
healthy cereal with strawberries or bananas cut into it
cut up fresh fruit
whole wheat bagel with cream cheese
bagel pizza

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

leftover pasta and meatballs (works in a thermos)
lunchmeat or tuna fish not in sandwiches
cheese and crackers
mac n cheese (make a box and it makes 3 lunches)
slices of pepperoni, mozzarella cheese, breadsticks

good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I am not a big sandwich person and neither are my kids. I think it is because we are not really big bread eaters. However, they love quesadillas. I use mozzarella or other shredded cheese and sometimes add a slice of ham or they just have it with plain cheese. You can use corn or flour torillas and just put them in a pan to heat up or 30 seconds in the microwave. They are very quick to make and with a side of fruit or even some veggies, it makes a meal. When they were little we would also add some chicken nuggets. One thing they have always liked is hot dogs rolled in biscuit dough or crescent roll dough or even on a slice of bread with a slice of cheese baked in the oven.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Port St. Lucie on

My son does (finally) like peanut butter on either bread or cracker my first idea is crackers with cheese or cream cheese, little sandwiches, or separate. My son also eats NO meat at all, so his only other protein choice is cheddar cheese for school lunch. His typical lunch box looks like this (he is a rabbit): cheese or peanut butter, container of cucumber slices, container of another veggie (carrots, celery) and/or a fruit(an apple, cut up strawberries, grapes etc.) then a milk box, a water bottle and a 'treat' (usually organic fruit snacks or graham bunnies -not an actual treat but he thinks it is!). I feel between the milk and cheese/pb he gets enough protein.
But overall, I say little containers, or you could get some bento boxes. and just try to hit all the food groups - certainly does not need to be a 'sandwich' Occasionally peanuts or plain almonds is his protein for lunch.

Thermos makes great insulated containers that are good for mac-n-cheese or pasta for the 'main dish' also.

I have to send a snack too so that is usually a whole grain since that is the group he lacks at lunch- a healthy cereal or cheese or wheat bunnies or whole grain goldfish.

It took me along time to be ok with my son's meals not looking like typical meals, just trying ot be happy the things he does like are mostly healthy things. Good luck! chool lunch when they start kindrgarten is a big source of stress for many parents, you're not alone!! Also, Parents magazone online and some others have all kinds of lunch idea articles.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

some combination of yogurt, cheese, crackers, sliced veggies, fruit
thermos of soup
hummas and pita chips
salads with cheese and croutons and dressing or veggies and dressing
thermos of pasta and sauce or mac n cheese

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

you don't have to have sandwiches to get the filling stuff. a lunch should consist of the following
1 protein
2 fruit and or vegetables (can be one of each or 2 of one or the other)

give him rolled up pc of lunch meat and cheese with crackers or tortillas, some fruit and veggies can be canned or fresh (fresh is easier for me to get them to eat) and a glass of milk.

bowl of cereal and milk
fresh fruit

bagel w/ cream cheese
carrots and dip
apple slices

cold chicken cubes (they sell these ready made in salad section of the store)
veggies and dip

the possiblities are endless and don't start and finish with a cold sandwich

my granddaughter loves to take mac and cheese in her thermos

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Cincinnati on

though messy, I do whole grain chef boy R dee.
Otherwise she gets turkey hot dogs or Chicken nuggets, string cheese and fruit.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

In addition to what Lisa W. said we do mac and cheese, salisbery (sp?) steaks, rib sandwiches, mixed fruit, green beans.

Maybe look at the menu where your son will be going to school and try to pick some things off of it to see how he does.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Tampa on

Have you tried little quesadillas? Put cheese and some shredded chicken on one whole grain tortilla, fold over and melt on a pan for a minute or so. He gets his grains, calcium and protein then top it off with a piece of fruit and you are set. Also see if he likes Nutella......can substitute peanut butter and we sometimes add banana pieces into it. Another great thing that works for us is serving breakfast for lunch. When we make pancakes, we always have some left over and my son is super happy to have pancakes, yogurt or cottage cheese and fruit. Even cereal with nuts and raisins mixed and he can add his own milk. It helps at times!



answers from Tampa on

We use Nourshing Traditions cookbook for great ideas.
best, k



answers from Pittsburgh on

My 8 yo hates sandwiches but LOVES wraps!


answers from Bloomington on

My son loves pepperoni, cheese, and crackers; veggies with ranch, scoops chips with melted shredded cheese, macaroni and cheese with chopped hotdog.



answers from Boca Raton on

several people already said my favorite idea...quesadillas! Super easy and quick. You can put a little meat in there or just throw in some canned black beans! My daughter (3 1/2) loves clementine organges because there are no seed and she can peel them herself. They go great with almost any lunch when they are in season. Apples and cheese slices or apples and peanut butter are great too. Will he eat bagels? My girl loves a toasted bagel with either cream cheese or honey. Ham slices (the thick kind, not lunch meat) are pre-cooked and easy to reheat or even eat cold. Frozen peas and lima beans heat up well and easy in the microwave as side dishes or fresh fruit is our go-to when the veggies get a wrinkled nose. I like to keep grapes washed or cut up melon (cantalope!!) in the fridge for easy access. Leftovers are always great, especially if you plan ahead and make a little extra dinner at night.



answers from Tampa on

My 5 yo daughter just doesn't like bread. So I put cheese, turkey and ham on a tortilla shell with some ranch dressing and roll it up. She loves the tortilla shells.


answers from Boston on

Why don't they like sandwiches? Is it the crust? I bought cookie cutters and cut them into different shapes and the kids loved it. My son also loves to take vegis with dip. It is tough. I often struggle.


answers from Austin on

Our daughter liked steamed veggie Chinese dumplings. Or the chicken dumplings. ~ This was her traditional first day of school lunch EVERY K-12th year.. It started in kindergarten, because I asked her what did she want to take the first day of school..

Raw veggies with peanut butter. (you could make ranch dressing with yogurt and not too much of the mix)
Yogurt with fresh fruit.
Pretzels with peanut butter.
Bagel w cram cheese
Chicken sausage in a tortilla.
salad with grilled chicken.
homemade chicken soup.
Sometimes a non sugar cereal. She could purchase a carton of milk at school.
Raisin Toast with cream cheese

Raw veggies every day for our daughter..She is like a rabbit..



answers from Tampa on

The deli will cut turkey, ham, different cheeses into cubes. Pack some crackers, sugar snap peas & baby carrots, yogurt with graham crackers or pretzels to dip, apples & peanut butter - it doesn't have to be a sandwich. One of my sons wouldn't eat a sandwich & I would roll up turkey & stick it with a toothpick & put 5-6 of those into his lunch, with a string cheese or something. Make it easy finger foods & get individually-packed wipes to clean his hands afterwards.

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