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Need some new and creative school lunch ideas for picky eaters this time of year? These school lunches are a great option for picky kids! Get out of the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches rut, and jump on in to these healthy lunch ideas that even the pickiest eater will love!
If you’re constantly struggling to get your younger children to try new foods, I can totally relate! Having a picky eater in the house (or multiple picky eaters for that matter) can definitely make it difficult to come up with different foods for your child’s lunchbox each day.
These easy school lunch ideas will have you confidently packing healthy foods for your fussy eaters, even if you can’t get your kids to touch lunch meat! There are a variety of foods that can be packed in bento boxes or cut into fun shapes, that will encourage your kids to try new things this school year.
Look no further than this huge list of school lunch ideas for picky eaters for inspiration and encouragement as the new school year approaches. You and your kids will love these healthy options for easy lunch ideas (that aren’t just sandwiches).
Kid’s Lunchbox Supplies for Packing School Lunch
If you’re like me, you’re probably no stranger to whipping up peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, throwing them in a ziploc baggy and calling it good. I’ve found that using bento style lunch boxes has helped increase my creativity when prepping lunches for my kids.
Bento boxes are great because they have several small compartments. My picky eaters are more likely to try new things in small portions, so I try to add a few food items that I know they’re going to love, with a couple new ones.
I’ve also found that packing my kids lunch with cute little animal shaped food picks or a cookie cutter, encourages them to have fun with their food and eat more.
Here are a few of our favorite lunch packing supplies for a back to school non sandwich lunch box:
Creating a deconstructed "kabob" is a fun and creative alternative to the traditional sandwich and a delicious lunch idea that even your older kids will love. Add your child's favorite fruit and a yogurt tube and you have a fun lunch that picky eating can't even conquer!
These fun spinach pizzadilla dippers are perfect for sneaking in a little bit of veggies without letting their taste buds in on the secret. Add some pepperoni for extra protein and a side of marinara sauce for dipping and you have the perfect lunch that even a high school student could get on board with for school.
If peanut butter and jelly is your child's vibe, but you want them to try something different for a change, give these no bake PB&J energy bites a chance! You can always substitute with sunflower seed butter if your child has food restrictions, or if your school doesn't allow traditional peanut butter.
If you're looking for a great source of protein, a fun protein snack pack with portion sizes of deli meat or hard-boiled eggs is a great way to offer healthy school lunch ideas when you don't have a lot of time. You can easily make these in different ways with whatever you have in the fridge or pantry, and you can make them ahead of time for the whole week.
Send your kid's to school with their very own taco bar! This is a fun idea for Taco Tuesday and allows your picky eater to add their favorite things to their lunch like sour cream, cheese, black beans, guacamole, and even leftover taco meat from last night's dinner. Serve with tortilla chips instead of traditional taco shells for the perfect bite sized lunch box friendly meal.
Spinach and ricotta cheese roll-ups are fun for big kids, but will also top the list of your favorite preschool lunch ideas. You can use this recipe and different add ins to keep things creative and fun for your picky eaters.
These cheddar and spinach muffins are perfect to pop in a lunch box for healthy lunches this year. If your kids are a fan of muffins these can be great choices to change up school lunch. Try making these muffins with different add ins and find out what your kids likes best.
Tuna might not be everyone's favorite, but when I was a kid I actually thought it was pretty tasty (even as a picky eater)! These tuna roll ups have lots of good stuff inside and are colorful and fun to eat.
Pasta salad is easy to bring in a lunch box or thermos container and there are so many different varieties! Add some whole grain bread and a few healthy snacks on the side for a complete and delicious lunch.
An alternative to traditional pizza is this delicious recipe for BBQ chicken flatbread. Grab the single serve sized Naan and send your kid's with the toppings individual containers for a DIY lunch they'll love!
If your child can't get enough of those "Little Bites", but you can't handle the price tag, give these a try! Pancake bites are a fun lunch box treat or can even be the main course depending on what you decide to add to the mix.
The struggle of what to pack for lunch every day can be very daunting, especially if you have a picky eater!
If you’re a mom, then there are days when it may seem impossible to think up new ideas altogether- which can be hard on your kids if they find themselves eating the same sandwich each day with no variations.
But no worries! It’s sometimes hard to strike that balance between healthy and appetizing choices. We have got you covered. Make sure to save this list of 32 creative non-sandwich school lunch ideas for picky eaters that will make packing lunches exciting again!
You’re going to make your kids happy and healthy with these awesome lunch ideas! Let us know which ones you tried in the comments below.
I’m a wife, mom of three, doctor, and blogger! In 2018, I decided to turn my mom blog, into a personal finance blog so others could follow along on our journey to pay off over HALF a MILLION dollars in student loan and practice start up debt. I hope you enjoy following along, and maybe even find some inspiration along the way.