School Lunch Ideas Kids Will Actually Eat

Pack great meals that nobody will want to trade

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School Lunch Ideas Kids Will Actually Eat

Shutterstock / joannawnuk

Consider your kid’s food preferences with an added healthy twist for lunch ideas he or she will actually eat.

BBQ Chicken Mac and Cheese

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The protein in this mac and cheese will keep your kid full throughout the day. You can also make this recipe gluten-free with quinoa pasta.

Click here for the bbq chicken mac and cheese recipe.

Brainy Brownies

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These chocolatey brownie delights have a dark secret. Hiding inside those batter beauties are blueberries, spinach, and oat bran.

Click here for the brainey brownies recipe.

Cheesy Chicken Lunchbox Muffins

Shutterstock / Valerio Pardi

These muffins are an entrée in themselves. Bake in the cheese of your choice and you have a portable lunchtime snack that will rule in the cafeteria.

Click here for the cheesy chicken lunchbox muffins recipe.

Cold Sneaky Sesame Noodles

 Shutterstock / Lukas Hejtman

These noodles are best cold, which makes them easy and packable for your kid’s lunchbox. Add grilled chicken for an added boost of protein.

Click here for the cold sneaky sesame noodles.

Gone Fishin’ Trail Mix

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This trail mix is the perfect combination of treats and nutrition that will your kids will love.

Click here for the gone fishin' trail mix recipe.

Grab ‘n’ Go Crispy Granola Bars

Shutterstock / Luis Echeverri Urrea

Make these nutritious granola bars ahead of time so when you run into a time pinch you can throw them into the bag and go.

Click here for the grab 'n' go granola bars.

Ham and Cheese Ravioli

Shutterstock / Elena Shashinka

Turn this classic sandwich combination into adorable ravioli. These simple-to-make ravioli just require ham, cheese, and wonton wrappers, plus a microwave at school.

Click here for the ham and cheese ravioli recipe.

Mac and Cheese Lunchbox Muffins

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Never has mac and cheese been so portable. This zany recipe combines everything kids love with some sneaky veggies to keep parents feeling good about what they packed in the lunchbox.

Click here for the mac and cheese lunchbox muffins recipe.

No-Bake Peanut Butter Bars

Peanut butter is always a hit with kids, but the no-bake aspect makes these a quick and easy lunch box filler. You can substitute almond or cashew butter if you’d prefer.

Click here for the no bake peanut butter bars recipe.

Portable Pizza Muffins

Shutterstock / joannawnuk

The portability makes these ideal. Even baked into muffin form, pizza is delicious cold.

Click here for the portable pizza muffins recipe.


Shutterstock / GBM

These no-crust hits will be a favorite lunchtime treat. Even better, these sandwiches can be made ahead and frozen for those mornings when everyone is slow to go. Fill them with your favorite fillings, like PB&J, pimento cheese, or avocado and cucumber.

Click here for the sneak-wiches recipe.

Mango Tango Tortilla

Slice this mango provolone quesadilla up into strips about one inch wide and serve with a side of strawberries. It will dance right across your kid's taste buds. — Laura Cipullo

For the Mango Tango recipe, click here.

Turkey Meatballs on a Stick

Who doesn't love meatballs? Why not change it up a bit and serve turkey meatball and mozzarella kebobs with tomato sauce for dipping? Serve a side of carrots for crunch, color, and, of course, nutrition. — Laura Cipullo

For the Turkey Meatballs on a Stick recipe, click here.

Sweet Potato Tater Tots

Here's a healthy alternative to the classic frozen potato snack. Sweet potatoes have more fiber than their starchier counterparts and a simple batter gets them just as crunchy and satisfying as "the real thing." See if you can eat just one. — Heather Steele

For the Sweet Potato Tater Tots recipe, click here.

Cranberry Strawberry Breakfast Bars

These bars are filling and easy to make. They pack easily in a lunchbox, and your kids will love their fruity flavor.

For the Cranberry Strawberry Breakfast Bars recipe, click here.

Apple Wedge Dessert

No roundup is complete without dessert at the end! Amy Roskelley, author of the blog Super Healthy Kids, offers up this satisfying dessert that won't bog you down.

For the Apple Wedge Dessert recipe, click here.