53 School Lunch Ideas for Kids

Skip the same ol' sandwiches and upgrade to these healthy outside-the-lunch-box surprises. Your kids' faces will light up when they see that you've taken lunch to the next level, and you'll be happy knowing that they're getting a nutritious and delicious midday meal.

Zucchini & Corn Muffins

"Very moist and yummy muffins with a nice crunchy crust — YUM! I liked how easy these were to prepare and how quickly they came together."


No-Bake Granola Bars

"This gets a 'seriously yum' rating from me! They were easy to make and are pretty healthy too!"

-Chef #494084

Club Wraps

"What a wonderful lunch idea. These are just delicious."


Pizza Roll-Ups

"Really easy and tasty. I added mushrooms and onions to mine."

-Dienia B.

Yogurt Fruit Bars

"I made these to freeze and pack in the kids' lunches — they're so good! It was easy to sub in the ingredients I had on hand for a yummy treat."


Ham & Cream Cheese Roll-Ups

"These roll-ups taste great. They're super easy to make and just delicious."


Secret Sandwich

"These are so easy, yummy and a fun alternative to another boring sandwich. I used Hawaiian sweet rolls with turkey and Havarti, and they were delicious!"


Lunchbox Pizza Quesadillas

"The whole family loved these. I used pizza sauce and mozzarella cheese. I will try freezing them for quick snacks for the kids."


Peanut Butter & Jelly Sushi Rolls

"I made these for my 7-year-old's lunch. She was so excited! I put the whole rolls in the fridge overnight and sliced in the morning. They were much easier to slice cold."

-Megan's Mommy

Copycat Pizza Lunchable

"I've been making the cheese-and-cracker Lunchables at home, but I never thought to make the pizza ones. My kindergartener loved it."


BLT Pinwheels

"I made these for my grand kids and they loved them — as did their parents."


Kiddos Favorite Trail Mix

"We had a blast making this. My kids polished off the whole batch and asked to make more."

-Becky, Katie & Eddie's Mom

Banana & Oatmeal Sponge Cookies

"My kid love these cookies. They're a great, healthy snack on-the-go."


Apples & Peanut Butter

"This is a delicious and healthy way to start the day."


Ants on a Log

"I made up a batch of these for school lunchboxes. They are very good! We like these better than the ones with the peanut butter."


Two-Toned Sandwiches

"What a fun idea! I just used one cookie-cutter shape — a teddy bear — for my daughter's lunch yesterday. It worked great and she loved it!"


Ham & Cheese Muffins

"Easy to make and delicious! Great for a quick snack, but would also be great for breakfast, lunch, dinner, brunch or tea — or elevenses, anyone? Yum!"


Frozen Fruit Cups

"My kids loved these, and I love the fact that they don't have a lot of extra sugar. I put some in a large container for dinner and some into one-cup plastic freezer jars to use in lunchboxes."


School of Fish

Your kids will go gaga for these little swimmers. It's amazing what you can do with four simple ingredients!

Tortilla Stars

"This is a fantastic idea. They are everyone's favorite snack at my house."

-Sandi (From CA)

Cinnamon Apple Chips

"Fun and easy to make. Not very sweet at all, which I liked. Made a great snack alternative to potato chips."

-Mama's Kitchen (Hope)

Pizza Scrolls

"I love these. They are perfect for my kids' lunchboxes, as they don't love traditional sandwiches. I will be using this recipe forever!"

-Liza at Food.com

Cheesy Taco Pockets

"These are very family-friendly, and the cheese ties the ingredients together well. They are awesome with sour cream and salsa!"


Thermos Noodle Soup

"I'm giving this recipe five stars for sheer simplicity. It also happens to taste really great. Soup with no stove? Yes, please."


Lunchbox Muffins

"These are great! My 4-year-old is super picky, so her lunch-box gets a little boring — these are perfect. Next time I'm going to make a double batch!"

-Liza at Food.com

Lunchbox Fun-Due

"Wonderful! This is such a great idea. My daughter isn't a big sandwich fan, so this really was right up her alley."


Hummus Pizza

For a fun twist on a lunch-room favorite, try packing the veggies separately so your kiddo can build his or her own pizza at lunch.

Snack Stackers (Lunchbox Surprise)

"Great idea! My first-grader loved it. He's always begging for the ones already made up at the store, which I refuse to buy."


Taco Roll-Ups

"My daughter and her friend ate these and loved them. There are some more in the freezer that I am sure will be great!"

-quick meal

Angry Birds Bento Box

"My son loves rice balls (onigiri), so I decided to make him an Angry Birds lunch box! My hubby was more impressed and snatched it for his office lunch instead!"


California Rollwich

"I made this for my grandson. He loves avocados, so that made it easy to sneak in other veggies."

-Galley Wench

Ants on a Raft

"This is a yummy snack. I love that they're made with things that I always have around the house."


Yummy to the Tummy Clocks

"This is a very cute idea for snack time."


Cream Cheese & Cucumber Sailboats

"This is such a fun recipe for kids and adults alike. I love the cute look and the fresh taste."


Lady Grapefruit

"What a great idea. This motivated me to look for more recipes where I can decorate food for my kids."


Orange Julius Roll-Ups

"This is like a healthier way to make candy. It is a great recipe, I was very pleased."


Ultimate Lunchbox Muffins

"These are so tasty and also have a lovely texture — very moist and soft on the inside, with a great crunchy crust. Who knew that healthy muffins could be this easy and tasty?!"


Lunchbox Taco Chicken Soup

"Great recipe! My son always asks for me to make it to take in his school lunch."


Nemo Clownfish Snacks

"Easy and cute - who doesn't love Nemo?"


PB&J Apple Roll-Ups

"I made these for lunch and they were absolutely wonderful. I wouldn't change a thing."


Split Pea Soup

"It was delicious, and even the toddler and baby loved it. We sprinkled it with Parmesan to serve."


Baked Sweet Potato Chips

"A nice healthy and very flavorful snack! Using a mandolin made nice thin chips quickly."


Easy Granola Bars

"These came together really quick, and the kids loved them!"

-Marg CaymanDesigns

Strawberry Bruschetta

"Strawberries and cream cheese are always a perfect match and this recipe is a wonderful way to combine them."


Portobello Pizzas

This turned out fantastic! Both my 2 year old and my 1 year old gobbled these up. I will definitely make these again.


Healthy Egg Salad Sandwich

"A very nice sandwich!"


Banana Carrot Muffins

"These are so good! My kids just gobbled them up."

-Amanda Beth

BLT Pasta Salad

"If you find you don't have bacon, use salami or pepperoni cut into strips. The possibilities are endless!"


Crispy Baked Beet Chips

"This was easy, tasty, salty and sweet."

-Everything Sweet

Lemon Kale Chips

"So good! Adding spices such as curry or cayenne can make them tasty too."

-Texas Shorty

Cauliflower Tots

Swap out potatoes for healthier cauliflower for a crowd-pleasing side dish.

Muesli Sundaes

"Delicious! I added some frozen blueberries and a couple cut-up frozen strawberries."


Southwestern Rice Bowl

"Very satisfying! I enjoyed this Vegetarian style and omitted the chicken."