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Kids lunchbox filled with cute lunch ideas including fruits and sandwich in a form of a dog with a face

Creative Lunchbox Ideas for School-Aged Kids

With all the work that goes into making sure your child eats a variety of foods, packing lunches can feel like a chore. Do not worry; the care givers from our after school program in Silver Spring, MD are here to help! It’s very easy to get stuck in a rut and make the same old sandwiches every day.

This post will give you ideas if your kids are bored with their lunchboxes or if you want to get them to eat different things at lunch. We’ve come up with some tasty choices to help you change up their lunch menu. Because we know how busy family life can be, they’re all quick and easy to make.

How Do I Make My Kid’s Lunch Box Interesting?

Salad Sticks

Salad sticks are an excellent method for encouraging your children to consume all of their vegetables. Not only is it more enjoyable to consume than a typical salad, but you can also make a nutritious lunchbox option by chopping up chunky pieces of vegetables and piercing them into kebab sticks. Adding fruit or a combination of ingredients, such as apple slices and chunks of cheddar cheese, would also work incredibly well alongside this.

Last Night’s Leftovers

Putting together lunchboxes is easy if you use leftovers from dinner. Fried chicken drumsticks or fillets, rice or couscous with vegetables, sausages, eggs, or even pizza or pasta all taste great the next day when they’re cold. Plus, you can use the food you cook for two meals.

Consider putting an ice pack in your child’s lunchbox to keep veggies or meat cool. Freezing a bottle of water is a simple way to make your version, and it works as a cold afternoon drink.

PB & J Pockets

Put peanut butter on one slice of bread and jelly or jam on the other. Put the two pieces together and use a cookie cutter to make a fun shape. Do it again with the rest of the bread and ingredients. Put the sandwiches on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper to freeze them. Freeze for about an hour or until solid. Put it in a freezer bag and keep it there for up to three months.

School healthy lunch box with sandwich, cookies, nuts, fruits and avocado on a white background.

Lasagna Roll-Ups

Add the ricotta, Parmesan, sun-dried tomatoes, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt to a medium bowl and mix them all together. Place the noodles on the work surface and spread the ricotta mixture to cover them all. You can add three pepperoni slices and a few bits of basil to top each one. Eight rolls will be made by cutting each one in half. Put four pieces in each lunch box, ruffle side up, and put them in the fridge. Put 1/4 cup of marinara sauce in a different container and give each customer that.

Antipasto Pasta Salad

Making pasta salad for lunch is always a good idea, especially if you use up leftovers from the night before. You can change this recipe to suit your needs, so feel free to use a different type of spaghetti and add items your child likes.

Add the spaghetti to a medium bowl. Then, add the balsamic vinaigrette and use tongs to coat the pasta well. Toss the lettuce, salami, and giardiniera together well after adding them. Place on a serving platter and top with the provolone. Add pepper and salt.

Breadless Turkey Club

Cut the apple into round slices that are 1/4 inch thick. Start cutting from the middle to get even pieces. Put lemon juice on the apple slices. I put down an apple slice as the base of the sandwich. Then I put two turkey slices, one cheese slice crossed over, one bacon slice crossed over, and 1/4 cup of lettuce on top. Add another slice of apple on top, and continue with the rest of the ingredients. Add one more apple slice on top. To take the sandwich with you for lunch, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and put it in the fridge until you’re ready to eat.

Cream Cheese and Ham Stuffed Peppers

Cut the peppers’ tops off and take out the seeds. Using a plastic spatula, break up and stir the cream cheese in a medium-sized bowl until it is smooth. Add the corn, parsley, ham, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and a few grinds of black pepper. Put a lot of the cream cheese filling inside each pepper. Refrigerate for up to three days in a sealed container.

School Taco Bar

Put a slice of roast beef in the middle of each of two soft tortillas, then top them with cheese. Put things in the lunch box’s largest section. Fill the other sections with your favorite toppings, like guacamole, salsa, sour cream, and more. Put the seal on it and send it to school.

French Picnic Sandwich

Cover the apples with lemon juice in a small bowl to keep them from turning brown. Spread the herb and garlic cheese on the bottom of the bread after cutting it open. First, put the walnuts on top of the cheese. Then add the apple and greens. Put honey on top and cover with the top half of the bread.

Happy Family packing lunch together in the kitchen

Best Lunch Packing Tips

Silver Spring child care center workers say it’s important to find balance when packing your school-aged kids lunch. Each lunchbox doesn’t have to be perfect but try to include at least two things in the above method. Think about your kid. You should put in at least one safe food you know your child will like. If they want their bread, vegetables, or other food cut a certain way, do what they enjoy.

Talk to your kid. But remember that you don’t want to give them too many options. Pick TWO items from the same food group. For example, “Would you like pasta or bread? Pick a banana or cherries. They’re more likely to eat what they picked out.

How to Keep Lunch Cool

Take a sealed lunch box with soft sides and put at least two cold packs inside it, one on top and one on the bottom. Water bottles can also be frozen. Put in about ¼ of the way full and set it on its side to freeze. Put the frozen water in the lunch box with the rest of the items in the morning!

Put cold foods in the fridge until you’re ready to pack. Place the foods that go bad the fastest next to the ice pack. Things that need to stay cold can be frozen, like sandwiches, muffins, fruit, yogurt tubes, applesauce tubs, and so on.

Final Thoughts

Care givers in our school age programs in Silver Spring, MD emphasize it’s important to never give up! No matter what, some days, the lunch box you packed will not have been touched at all. Do not worry or get angry. Instead, it’s best to keep giving them a choice of foods while keeping their tastes in mind. Over the next few days and weeks, your child will get the food they need to grow and do well.

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