Seeking New and Exciting Ideas for School Lunches

Updated on July 30, 2007
K.J. asks from Keller, TX
18 answers

Well, it's that time again to start packing a lunch for my two kiddos. THey are 3 and 4 years old and go to pre School all day. I feel like they get bored with the same old lunch all the time. (sandwich,chips,fruit,drink,etc)
Does anyone have some fun and exciting new ideas for lunch?
Anything would help.
Thank you.

6 moms found this helpful

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A.N.

answers from Austin on

Have you been to veganlunchbox.blogspot.com ? Even if you aren't vegetarian, she has some amazing ideas for creative lunches!
A.

2 moms found this helpful

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D.Y.

answers from Houston on

Try verybestkids.com or kraftfoods.com for some great lunch box ideas.

4 moms found this helpful
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L.M.

answers from San Antonio on

in Rachel Ray's magazine (edition that is on news stands now) she does a little article on kids lunches, and provides recipies and pictures for a kid's "benito box". it was really cute! i can't wait to try it out on my kiddo.
her website, www.rachelraymag.com has lots of recipes for cooking with and for kids. she is awsome!

3 moms found this helpful
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C.K.

answers from Dallas on

Instead of sandwiches on sandwich bread, I sometimes make roll-ups using flour tortillas. My kids are 4 and 8 and they especially like deli-style turkey with cream cheese & chives. I just spread the cream cheese with chives on the tortilla and then add the sliced turkey meat and roll. Then I cut it in half because they like to look at the swirl on the inside. I usually hold it together with a toothpick.

Another tip: instead of sandwiches, my girls sometimes enjoy a hard boiled egg, some fruit (mandarin orange sections, strawberries, or their favorite...clementines). Then I pack pretzels or chex mix instead of regular chips.

Hope this helps.

2 moms found this helpful
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A.D.

answers from Dallas on

I have a word document that I created a couple of years ago from all the resources I could find off the internet....e-mail me and I'll send it to you.

A. D.

[email protected]____.com

2 moms found this helpful
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M.

answers from Houston on

I'm a vegetarian and we try to eat healthy foods and snacks, so I'm always having to come up with new ideas. There are wonderful tiny tupperware dishes that are perfect for servings of peanut butter, hummus, or other dips for veggies and crackers. And fun to eat. If you've never eaten hummus, it's wonderful with pieces of pita bread, pita chips, or carrots esp. We eat snap peas a lot in lunches, b/c they stay crunchy and are a great finger food. I also love wrap sandwiches (the best thing about TX is you can get fresh tortillas), and you can put lunch meat and cheese in them, but we love hummus and veggies in ours. My kids are not total vegetarians, so I put beef jerky in my son's lunches once in awhile (that might be too tough for your young ones?). Also nuts and dried fruits. There are also some wonderful granola and breakfast bars that are healthy. Plus, cereal (preferably one with reduced sugar) is a fantastic finger food for lunches. Sorry if this was too much. I get excited about food! :)

1 mom found this helpful
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L.F.

answers from San Antonio on

I am also the mother of a three and four year old that go to preschool all day. My girls love pizza rolls for lunch. The option of heating them at school is not available. I use cream cheese conatiners. I line the container with a paper towel and let heat them in the morning. I cover the container with foil before placing the lid on it. They are room temp. by the time they eat them. They love it for something different.

1 mom found this helpful
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A.D.

answers from Dallas on

Rachel Ray's magazine latest magazine had some ideas (my 10 year old like the idea of bacon and peanut butter sandwich on banana bread..her staple items haha...my 8 year old has requested california sushi roll in his lunch..I also have a food thermos that they take soup (like chicken noodle) in on cold days..one of the faves!...also, they like it when I make sandwiches on wraps (you can buy these cheap at walmart near the deli area)...trail mix, homeade cookies, a surprise note with their favorite stickers..go to familyfun.com or parenting. com or foodnetwork.com for some more great ideas.. :)

1 mom found this helpful
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P.M.

answers from Dallas on

K.,
I always feel the same way. I too am always looking for something "different" and fun. Just a few ideas are cutting the sandwich in different shapes. Also, using fajita bread instead of bread. Sometimes I put in carrots with peanut butter for my 4 year old or ants on a log (celery with peanut butter and raisens). Sometimes I make my own trail mix with popcorn, gold fish, raisens, or anything else that I have). I have cubed cheese before and stuck a pretzel stick in each cube. My oldest one likes cold macaroni and cheese at times. Sometimes I make cheese crackers instead of a sandwich. I hope this helps a little.

1 mom found this helpful
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L.

answers from Corpus Christi on

wow, lots of good ideas and websites here.. thanks for asking the question though, i think alot of us moms struggle w/ healthy and fun, its not always easy!

we've found a few ideas that really work and arent too unhealthy, atleast not compared to school lunch :)

i would invest in a small container for dip: peanut butter, ranch dressing, sour cream, yogurt, etc..

instead of a sandwhich you could send pretzel sticks w/ peanut butter, or crackers and a spreadable cheese..
for veggies: carrots w/ ranch, cherry tomatoes w/ dressing, and you can get low fat/low calorie dressings, etc..any veggies are good w/ alittle dressing, you'd be surprised what they'll eat :)
fruit: apples/ peanut butter, apples/ yogurt, etc..

also spaghettios for a time was selling a lided bowl that you heat up w/ hot water in the morning, put in your warm spaghettios off the stove and put the lid on, they stay warm til lunch and offer some variety for kids that dont have access to the microwave..

good luck!

1 mom found this helpful
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D.M.

answers from Dallas on

Hi, my kids love it when I cut their sandwiches into shapes with large cookie cutters. I use teddy bears, hearts, and whatever else I have on hand. Also, they love it when I put personal notes in their lunch boxes to surprise them. Your children may be too young for that, but you could put in a picture you think they'd like instead.

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R.N.

answers from Dallas on

What about wraps? Also, have you ever tried cooking more dinner and saving it to send for lunch?? I used to teach and those were ideas I used. It's hard for the kids that they can't heat stuff though. That kinda limits you. Have you tried some new exotic sandwiches like peanut butter and banana with honey?? Good luck and keep them away from school lunches (sounds like you are)-I was always appalled at them-even in private school! : )
R.

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I.L.

answers from Austin on

My daughter will be starting kindergarten this year and I was starting to get concerned about what she was going to eat as well. I ordered a book called Brown Bag Success and it has some very good ideas. It recommends baking muffins and changing up the drinks and sides. Mini meat loaf sandwiches, chili in a thermos with corn bread muffins, meat, cheese and veggie cabobs, breakfast for lunch... You should check it out. Good luck!

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T.L.

answers from Dallas on

I used to go thru the same thing for my now 12 year old. If the school has a microwave it gives you many options. I bought my daughter a special container for the microwave and sent ravioli, favorite meals and just about anything as the teachers would heat the meals. If this is not an option, I would cut squares of ham or salami or turkey + cheese and some of her favorite crackers, along with fruit cocktail, nuts and usually a cookie. Sandwiches are great because I would cut them into a variety of shapes, making a sandwich like a puzzle and she could fit it together.

She would love popcorn (I go to a popcorn store and buy a variety of flavors. On special days I would include rollups. Lunchables were often a treat and at times she liked a little salad with ham in it.

Good luck,

T.

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B.

answers from Houston on

My daughter really likes when I use cookie cutters and make her sandwich heart, butterfly or star shapes.

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D.W.

answers from Dallas on

Hi Kimberly,
My kids like it when I roll up ham and cheese in a tortilla or I amke peanut butter tortillas- Just PB between two tortillas and cut into wedges.
We also do carrot sticks w/ ranch dressing, celery filled w/ peanut butter, small jello cups or yogurt cups. I change the chips up with different pretzels, gold-fish, crackers etc....
Big Lots has a ton of stuff for lunches- really inspries me!
D.

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J.

answers from Dallas on

I dont have a ton of new ideas for you, but here are a couple things my almost 4 yr old liks when I try:

Cut her sandwich with a cookie cutter. Sometimes the same old sandwich will be fun again if I make inot a large heart of something.

Make her a roll up with a tortilla. I usually put some cheese and ham in there and cut it into sections for her, she thinks it's fun.

Ask them for new ideas. Sometimes her ideas are better than anything I can come up with. I usually let her choose one snack type of thing at the store each time we go- a new fruit snack or cracker or something. Helps take the boredom out of it for her.

Good luck!

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