Do you have toddlers or kids who often complain about their food? The answer would be yes and many mothers would vouch for this. For kids would love to have a variety of foods in their lunch. Kids generally think a lot about not just the taste of the food they eat, but also about how it looks like and smells like. In other words, kids love good presentation of their food. So, the food must be made interesting to look. At the same time it must also smell good.
This can be a real challenge for many moms, especially working moms. But nevertheless, your kids’ meals can be made interesting with little to medium level of hardship in the beginning. After you’ve tried few ideas, you’ll which ideas can work for your child and how effective they are.
25 lunch box ideas for preschoolers
Here’s a list of 25 of such lunch box ideas for preschoolers.
Fruit salad lunch box: For a fruit salad, you just need 1 or 2 of as many fruits as you can find. You could always include fruits such as apple, banana, cantaloupe, grapes, strawberries, blackberries, mango, pomegranate, apricot, avocados, etc and many more. Make sure that you cut these fruits into toddler edible chunks. Also, pack them in an air-tight container so that they not only remain fresh, but also the juices from the fruits would leak out.
Oatmeal porridge with dry fruits and nuts: Prepare oatmeal porridge with nuts and raisins along with some other fruits like apple, strawberry slices, etc. This can be an interesting lunch idea for your kid. Avoid adding any sugar to the oatmeal porridge. As there is already some sweetness coming in from raisins, nuts and fruit slices.
Fruit kebab: Fruit kebab is another idea that you could try every now and then. Just like in a fruit salad, add as many pieces of fruit to the kebab stick as possible. Include fruits such as apple, berries, cherries, kiwi fruit, orange, banana, grapes, etc. It’s up to your imagination to add in as many fruits as you can.
Nuts and raisins: If your kids are not allergic to tree-nuts, then you can happily implement this idea. Take a handful of nuts such as cashews, almonds, pistachios, brazil nuts, hazel nuts, dates and raisins that you can find at home and fill your kid’s lunch box with it. Make sure that you don’t give too many nuts. You could add some yogurt with fruits along with the nuts.
Dried fruits: Dried fruits such as raisins, dried apricot, dried cranberries, dried blueberries, dried strawberries, dried mango, etc can be included in your kid’s lunch box once in a while. But, you have to be extra careful while adding such dried fruits because before the drying process sugar syrup is added in some fruits. So, make sure that while buying such fruits read the ingredients carefully and avoid sugar added dried fruits.
Fruit sandwich: Fruit sandwich is a great idea for your toddler or kids going to preschool. All you need are brown bread, some slices of fruits like apple, strawberries, cranberries, etc and fruit sauces. You can buy various fruit sauces and apply a layer of sauce on the bread along with fruit slices and pack the lunch box with them. If you are too worried about high sugar intake, then you could totally avoid fruit sauces altogether. Instead, you could add cream or cheese slices.
Spicy sandwich: If you know that your kid can take a little bit of spice, then you could think of sandwich with spicy cheese or hummus along with some vegetables like lettuce, grated carrots, tomatoes, onion slice, etc.
Peanut butter sandwich with vegetables: To make peanut butter sandwich you’d need bread slices, peanut butter applied to the bread slices and slightly cooked vegetables such as grated carrots, lettuce, tomatoes, bell peppers, etc. You could add various other vegetables or herbs.
Rice balls: Preparing rice is perhaps one of the easiest. Prepare rice first and boil some chopped vegetables and precooked meat to be added to the rice. Also add some seasonings and few herbs and spices to the vegetables or the meat. Add rice to the cooked vegetables or meat and start making rice balls. While making rice balls, press them hard so that they stay that way. But, don’t squeeze them to their very limits.
Chicken rice: For making chicken rice, all you need is finely chopped chicken which needs to be cooked thoroughly. Add few spices, herbs and seasonings to the chicken. While the chicken is being done, steam cook rice. After the rice cools down, mix it with the chicken curry and pack it for lunch.
Veggie Burrito: A burrito is a good idea for lunch for your kid. It’s an easy to make dish which does not require much time to prepare. All you need is a tortilla prepared with wheat flour and for the filling, you can use peanut butter or cheese along with steamed or slightly cooked vegetables such as potato, carrots, onions, bell peppers, lettuce, cauliflower, broccoli, tomatoes, etc. If the bell peppers are hot and spicy, avoid them for your kids.
Sliced burrito: This is a slight improvement on the burrito. If your kid cannot eat one whole burrito, cut out small chunks of the burrito and pierce toothpicks to hold the burrito slice together. In this way, you can avoid wastage of food.
Chicken burrito: For Chicken burrito, all you need to do is to cook a slice of chicken and chopped vegetables. Spread them evenly on a tortilla, roll them and cut into several pieces. Also use a toothpick to hold the burrito, just like in the above mentioned item.
Instant ramen: Instant ramen can be another good alternative of lunch for your kid. All you need to do is to add your kid’s favorite vegetables such as grated carrots, potatoes, lettuce, green peas, etc along with some seasonings. You can also add some precooked white meat to the ramen.
Ramen in chicken broth: While making ramen, you can use chicken broth, if it is available at home. Boil the noodles, vegetables and your kids’ favorite seasonings and herbs in the chicken broth and pack it for lunch.
Egg sandwich: Egg sandwich is another idea that you can try for your kid’s lunch. First make an omelet out of the eggs. You can add your favorite finely chopped vegetables to the egg batter along with some seasonings. After the omelet is done cut it into sizeable pieces for the sandwich and pack the lunch box.
Another version of egg sandwich: The method of preparing this sandwich is almost similar to the above mentioned item. The only difference is that instead of making an omelet, just boil the egg and sauté the vegetables and add them to the sandwich.
Chicken burger: You can easily make a chicken burger at home easily. Take some minced chicken and cook it with sautéed onions and garlic. Make this into shapes of patties and put each in between buns along with onion slices, tomatoes and slices of butter.
Veggie burger: Alternatively, you can make a simple and healthy vegetarian burger for your kids’ lunch. All you need are sliced vegetables including lettuce, finely chopped carrots, sliced bell peppers, tomatoes and onions. For the patties, you could use potatoes, carrots, mushrooms, bell peppers, beans, sauces, bread crumbs, cheddar, etc. Boil the potato and mash it and mix it with all the other vegetables which are chopped finely and cook it. Use it as patties for your veggie burger.
Pizza with vegetarian toppings: If you have pizza dough or pizza base at home, then the best thing to do is to make a small pizza with vegetable toppings and cheese. First spread the tomato sauce on the pizza base and add grated mozzarella cheese on top of it along with sliced vegetables like bell peppers, tomatoes, onions, etc. Bake it in an oven for 20-30 minutes depending on the size of the pizza.
Bread pizza: If your kids are persistently asking pizza for lunch, you can make bread pizza at home. Bread pizza is an easy to make savory for your kids that only require bread slices along with the regular pizza toppings, cheese, pizza base sauce, etc. The process is similar to pizza-making and it doesn’t take much time to make them.
Doughnuts: Are your kids asking you for some sweet dishes for lunch lately? You can try some good old doughnuts. Make some doughnuts at home with your kids’ favorite fruits or caramel, chocolate or maple syrup and pack them in their lunch.
Pasta: Pasta can be really healthy and filling for your child. You could make some good pastas at home for your kids with lot of healthy vegetable salads. Just make sure that you add good seasonings and flavors to the salad to make it interesting in terms of taste and color.
Mac and cheese pasta: Mac and cheese pasta is perhaps one of the best known pasta dishes. For making Mac and cheese pasta, all you need are simple ingredients like creamed corn, cheese, macaroni and butter. You can pack a filling meal for your kids with Mac and cheese pasta.
Pasta soup: Pasta soup is perhaps one of the easiest pastas that you can make at home. All you need are a handful of macaroni, some vegetables including grated carrots, lettuce, celery, green peas, few beans, broccoli, etc. You could also add few small chunks of chicken as well. Make sure that you precook chicken for about 20 minutes before adding to the vegetable and macaroni soup for complete cooking.