Bigger Kids

8 easy non-sandwich lunch ideas your kid will love

If your kid refuses to eat anything between two slices of bread, these easy-to-execute ideas are the solution.

Crackers, apples, and grapes. Illustration: Corina Lo

1. Crunchy lunch

Fill a bento box with crackers, deli turkey and cheddar cheese—your kid can make mini sandwiches at lunchtime, or eat as is. Apple slices, grapes and snap peas will round out this crunchy lunch.

2. Mediterranean feast

Pair crackers or pita wedges with hummus and a Greek yogurt dip such as tzatziki. Add carrot sticks and sliced red peppers for extra dipping. This meal works best with a bento-style lunch box or a few small containers.

Banana sushi. Illustration: Corina Lo

3. Banana pinwheels

If you have pita or tortillas on hand, roll up this simple lunch idea. Spread the flat bread with a no-nut butter, such as sunflower, pea or soy butter. Add a banana, roll and slice into sushi-size rounds.

Fruit kebabs. Illustration: Corina Lo

4. Easy kebabs

Thread bite-sized items onto blunt-edged bamboo skewers or wooden ice-pop sticks. You can try things like cubed cheese, leftover chicken, deli turkey, cherry tomatoes or cucumber slices. Or, try fruit kebabs with cut up apple, banana, melon and grapes.

Mmm, pancakes. Illustration: Corina Lo

5. Breakfast for lunch

Use up leftover pancakes, French toast, waffles or scrambled eggs from weekend brunch. They can be served cold or heated and put in a food jar. Include a side of cut-up fruit and some vanilla Greek yogurt—just don’t forget the spoon.

Spaghetti in a canteen. Illustration: Corina Lo

6. Leftovers for the win

Kids are often thrilled to see last night’s chicken and rice in their lunch box. Other dinner ideas that can be reheated and served in a food jar include spaghetti and meatballs, chicken noodle soup, stir-fry, curry, rice and beans, and macaroni and cheese.

7. Pasta salad

Take leftover rotini or macaroni and toss it with cooked veggies like carrots and peas. Add some protein with chickpeas, edamame or cubed chicken breast. Season with olive oil, salt and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese (or nutritional yeast for a vegan version.)

8. Pizza lunch

Ordered pizza last night? Cut up leftovers to add to the lunch box. Or zap a few pizza pockets and add them to a food jar to keep warm until lunchtime. Round out the meal with veggies and fruit.
This article was originally published on Sep 30, 2019

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