To make sure that you don’t put the same old things into your kids lunches for back to school, I’ve got three easy, delicious and fun lunch ideas.
For most parents, it’s so easy to get into a school lunch rut. We find ourself sending kids to school with the same thing day after day. And that fact that most kids are picky eaters doesn’t make it any easier. With these 3 easy lunches for back to school, you can switch things up, rotate out of the sandwich line and get creative.
While doing my research on what to create for kids lunches this year, I wanted small, bite size things that would be fun for the kids to eat. I went to my local Fred Meyer, part of the Kroger Family of Stores and wondered every isle to find fun ideas for you. There is everything from treats, snacks and lunches themselves. Can’t wait to hear which one youer kids loved most.
These 3 ideas are versatile, quick and some pretty healthy too. Involve your kids to help you make their lunches. If you do the prep for a lot of this stuff ahead of time, they can assemble in the morning or the night before. Sounds like fun right? These all take less than 10 minutes to put together, so you can kick your feet up and sip on your coffee some mornings without a worry.
My kids are reasonably good with whatever options I give them for food, especially lunches. I tend to give them two main choices to choose from and let them decide that morning or the evening before. If you are low on time, you can prep these the night before and be ready to go in the morning.
For my kids lunch boxes this year, we’ll be using these Bento style lunch boxes. The kids love the different compartments they get to fill – it will make it easier to try and encourage them to eat different foods and it will save on plastic waste as we can put everything straight in without the need to wrap separately. That’s the best.
I’ve made a routine with the kids this year, the night before I set out their lunch boxes. They go into the snack drawer, choose a few treats/crackers/applesauce or whatever we have on hand to fill their bento boxes. One section has to be real fruit or berries. Rotating them out a couple of times a week is great so they don’t get bored and I ensure that the fruits are nice and fresh. In the fridge, I keep small yogurt drinks or yogurts for easy access if they feel like extra dairy that day.
Great thing with these recipes…they are can be interchanged with your kids preferences. Because no kid is alike. Let’s get packing.
1. LUNCH KABOBS
Simple and easy way to satisfy any picky eater with their favorite cheese, meat and or veggies.
- cubed cheese, or cut up cheese stick
- salami or cold cuts meat
- veggies of choice
This one is easy and so fun too. You can opt in for using a toothpick or just have the meat, cheese, veggies in small bite sizes to go with the hummus.
Make them fun by interchanging the sticks with different variety of veggies, meats and cheeses. I add one square of cheese, salami and veggies on one stick. Another one can have just veggies. My kids love baby tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers so I stick with those for them, plus they last longer. You can also buy their favorite lunch meat and cut them into strips and roll them up and pierce them on the stick or have little roll ups hanging out without the sticks.
Grab a small container and add hummus or try the hummus cups for convenience. Perfect for dipping veggies or crackers into.
Here are my kids favorites:
- Cheese – Mild Cheddar Cheese Cubes
- Salami – Genoa Salami
- Hummus – Original Hummus Cups
- Crackers or Pretzels – Trois Petits Couchons Petits Toasts
2. MINI QUESADILLAS
These mini quesadillas are the perfect few bites of cheesy goodness, add meat for protein or veggies.
- soft shell street tacos
- mozzarella or your preference of cheese
- deli meat, optional
- veggies, optional
- veggies on the side as a snack
Toast the quesadilla in a pan on medium-low heat, flip over, add cheese and fold over. cook until both sides have slightly browned and the cheese is melting.
If adding meat or veggies, add a small amount after the cheese has melted, I just open it quickly and add it in and close it back up. So easy.
Add in the veggies to snack on and you're golden.
My favorites to buy :
- Cheese – Finely Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
- Street Taco size flour tortillas
- Meat – optional, I add in a slice or two of ham or roast beef sometimes as a different option. You can add it inside or on the side so they are getting protein.
- Veggies of choice, I like tomatoes because they are easy to pop in your mouth and nothing leaks
- Snack / Treat of choice
- Fruit / Berries
3. CREAM CHEESE WRAPS WITH MEAT, CHEESE & VEGGIES
Turn your usual sandwich into a wrap. turns into bite size rolls that any kid will enjoy.
- low calorie wrap or tortilla
- cream cheese or hummus as a spread
- lunch meat of choice
- cheese of choice
- cucumber, peeled with peeler or veggie of choice
- arugula or salad leaves of choice
Spread a thin layer of cream cheese all over to the edges (or your child's favorite spread, hummus works great too.)
Place a few slices of lunch meat, then a few slices of cheese, making sure everything goes to the edges. Add in thinly shaved cucumbers or bell peppers work great too, cut those into thin strips. Add lettuce and wrap tightly.
Cut into equal small bite size pieces. You can secure with toothpicks or arrange in the lunch box as is.
Some of my favorites to add to these lunch wraps :
- Cheese – Colby Jack Cheese Slices or your favorite sliced cheese
- Wraps – Flour Tortillas or Low calorie wraps
- Lunch meat – Wildflower Honey Ham
- Veggies – English cucumber, shaved with peeler, bell peppers cut into thin strips or your child’s favorite veggie
- Lettuce – I use Organic Baby Arugula, but you can use your favorite instead
When I make my grocery list, I look at what I have first, ask the kids what two options they would like to have for that week and then go to the store. This was they get ot be a part of the decision process too. I think it’s important to involve them. But they get a few options only, I don’t like to buy huge quantities of things, this way if I run out of meat or cheese in the middle of the week, I can go grab something different.
Here are some of my kids favorite treats/bars to switch out each week:
- Pack Bar Sea Salt Nut Bars
- Strawberry Fruit and Grain Bars
- Protein Chewy Peanut Butter & Dark Chocolate Bars
- Cheese Peanut Butter Sandwich Crackers
- Cheese on Cheese Sandwich Crackers
- Unsweetened Applesauce Pouches
Add in some fresh apples, bananas, grapes, tangerines, berries or whatever other fruits that are in season that your kids love and make it a colorful box to open up for lunch. I bet even some adults wouldn’t mind this as their lunch too. So share if you want or let kids be kids.
Let’s make those mornings more pleasant together. Because a good lunch is something each kid deserves.
Thank you for supporting the brands that I enjoy working with. This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Fred Meyer. The opinions and text are all mine.
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?
If you give my LUNCHES FOR BACK TO SCHOOL a try? Let me know what you think, rate this recipe in comments below, share it on Pinterest, Facebook or Instagram. Leave a comment and don’t forget to take a picture, tag it with #lenaskitchenblog on Instagram or tag me on my Facebook page! I love seeing what you come up with! Happy cooking.