It isn’t always easy finding snacks and lunch box ideas that kids will eat, so I’ve rounded up some ideas from a couple of my fave food bloggers to help inspire you!
When my daughter (now 3) was a baby, she ate everything. It was great! I felt like the best mom ever, smugly feeding her all kinds of foods and saying things like, “Oh, it’s just what she’s used to!”
Now, with a mind of her own and a beautifully stubborn attitude to match, she would be thrilled to live on a diet of goldfish crackers and air. I’m hoping this is all a phase and just trying to go with the flow. In the meantime, though, I’m on a constant search for healthy-ish, tasty, quick and easy meals and snacks I can make for her that won’t wind up cast aside by her, ah, discerning palate.
Want to see more ideas for lunch box ideas and after school snacks?
Click to follow my Pinterest board, Baby and Kid Approved! It’s full of quick and simple kid-friendly meal ideas, and I add new stuff to it all the time.
On to the meal ideas!
Peanut Butter, Banana, and Nutella Pastries by Percolate Kitchen
Apple Cookies by NaturBaker
Kid-Approved Snack Ideas from The Messy Little Kitchen
20 Freezer Friendly Lunchbox Items from Kidgredients
Super Creamy Macaroni and Cheese from Percolate Kitchen
Pick-and-Choose Kid’s Packed Lunch Chart from Percolate Kitchen
Chocolate Banana Cupcake Muffins from NaturBaker
Annnnnd, in case you missed it, I just featured Back to School Lunch Week on the Percolate Kitchen Facebook Page!
You can find all my lunch related posts on Facebook, including recipe videos, Facebook Live, even a gif of me and peanut butter (really!)
You might also like:
Picky Eaters? Here are 13 Kid-Approved Recipes from Percolate Kitchen
17 Easy Sheet Pan Dinners for Busy Nights
5-Minute Blender Green Goddess Dressing
I may be new to the ‘kid’s packed lunch scene’, but it doesn’t mean I’m full of fresh ideas as to what I’m supposed to pack!
“Will she eat this? Is this even healthy? Wait, am I including enough food groups?” Seriously, packing a kids’ lunch shouldn’t be this dang stressful. And yet it’s one of my most dreaded chores.
My kids aren’t school age yet (my son is 1 and my daughter is 3) but three days a week, they go to a babysitter/daycare situation from 9-5, and they bring a packed lunch with them on those days.
I do this so I can actually get, you know, work done.
I send them off (despite working from home) so that I can actually work, instead of, say, losing my mind or temper or plonking them in front of the T.V. for eight straight hours. It’s a win-win for everyone, and they absolutely adore their babysitter.
I make their packed lunches the night before, while I’m cleaning up after dinner but before I put leftovers away. I find that if I try to cram in packed lunch prep in the morning, I usually forget something – plus, it’s way too stressful! We have enough morning time battles to fight, such as trying to brush my daughter’s hair without her running away from me. Ain’t nobody got time to deal with lunch making, too.
(click the image to pin straight to Pinterest!)
I’ve picked up a few tips and tricks along the way regarding these packed lunches:
- Try to only have one food group item at a time (so, say- one piece of fruit, one vegetable, protein, etc)
- Cheese sticks are my very best friend
- Those reusable baby food pouches I bought too many of when my daughter was just getting into solids? Those are the perfect vehicle for applesauce.
- My daughter tends to try more things at the babysitter’s house, so this is prime time to add in things like green beans, roasted broccoli, dried apricots, etc. She lives by the credo, “If it’s from mom, it’s gross. If it’s from the babysitter, I should try it!” So, I totally take advantage of this.
- Leftovers are my other bff after cheese sticks. The nights before the kids go to the babysitter, I try to cook a dinner that is easily ‘leftover-able”. This saves me time and money, stretching a meal out this way!
Want some great ideas for a simple recipe you can make at home that works fabulously in kids’ packed lunches?
Check out this Facebook Live I did, where I made 15-Minute Peanut Satay Chicken Skewers and Broccoli Pesto Pasta.
( Plus, I share my faaaaavorite reusable food containers, from Kids Konserve. They’re leakproof and practically indestructible! )
But wait! I went one step further, and created this handy little ‘Pick and Choose Packed Lunch’ cheat sheet for you! 🙌
Guys, this takes SO MUCH of the thought process out of planning and packing kid’s lunches. Add in a few extra options that your kid’s like; make it personal to you and your family.
Then, when it’s time to take care of the kid’s packed lunch, just pick one item from each section on the chart. Add it to the lunchbox, zip that sucker up, and toss it in the fridge or backpack.
Well, easier if you had like, a maid to do this stuff for you. But you know what I mean.
Anyway, the download’s FREE!! No strings attached, no email to hand over. Just click and save and go about your merry little lunch-packing way.
Enjoy the school year!
Click here for the straight-up pdf version. Or, click the image below to download!
You might also like:
How To Cook ‘Family Meal; Just Like a Chef
3 Reasons Why You Need Better Kitchen Organization
The 5 Minute Meal Plan (Quick Cooking Tips #1)