Are you tired of the same old boring lunches? When it comes to preparing a kid’s lunch box, it’s almost too easy to throw together a sandwich and send it off with your child each day. While we certainly aren’t against the sandwich on principle, it can be worth it to have a new school lunch idea every once in a while.
In this article, we’ll give you ideas to replace that same old sandwich each day. These are all quick and easy to make, and will give your child that much-needed variety. After all, anything gets boring after a while, even their favourite sandwich.
Why Ditch the Sandwich?
Let’s get this out of the way first, we aren’t against the sandwich! Sandwiches can be a nutritious, healthy lunch. This is especially true if you use whole-grain bread, non-processed meats, and load it up with veggies.
That being said, it’s the simple truth that anything gets boring after a while. If you’re sending your kid off to school each day with the same sandwich, then they might need a change. Here are 15 fun no-sandwich kid’s lunches that you can use to spice up your kid’s lunch box and have your child excited for lunch each day.
Sushi is an awesome alternative for any lunch box. It’s packed with fresh and healthy ingredients, making it a super easy lunch idea.If your child is a fan of sushi, then this one is a no-brainer. Learning to make sushi is a little complex, but once you get the hang of it you can make some delicious creations. Try a cucumber and cream cheese sushi roll for an easy cold lunch.
A simple pesto pasta is a great lunch. Pesto is a healthy and filling alternative to tomato sauce. Try throwing in some tomatoes, shredded cheese, spinach, or chicken breast to the pasta as well. The great thing about this lunch is that it can be leftovers from the night before, and can easily be eaten cold!
Pulled Pork on Rice
Try making some barbecue pulled pork in a slow cooker over the weekend, and you’ll have enough for lunches all week! Serve over rice and your kid can heat it up when they get to the lunchroom. Easy and healthy!
Hard Boiled Eggs and Ham
Whip up a hard-boiled egg or two and use them as sides for your kid’s packed lunch all week. Serve with some ham slices, and a side of veggies and hummus! It’s a well-rounded lunch that tastes great. For a nutritious snack, add some cucumber slices or cherry tomatoes for a veggie serving.
Chicken nuggets have an unhealthy stigma attached to them. However, if you make some homemade breaded chicken nuggets, they can actually be quite healthy. Pack them together with some sliced veggies or snap peas and it’s a healthy meal.
Tacos are a great lunch. You can pre-make them, or package a few ingredients and your child can throw a taco together themselves. Some sliced chicken breast, sour cream, salsa, lettuce, and tomatoes are all you need for a healthy taco lunch!
Quinoa salad is a great choice for lunches, and you can whip it up fast for an entire week. It is great as a side, or you can throw some chicken breast in a quinoa bowl to make it into a full meal. Most recipes are packed with veggies and with flavor!
Do wraps count as sandwiches? Maybe so, but we’ll avoid that debate and promise to only include one on our list. Some sliced chicken breast, tomatoes, lettuce, cheddar cheese, and mustard makes for a classic lunch wrap that most any kid will love!
Make Your Own Lunchables
Lunchables are the classic packaged lunch that kids love. However, they’re also quite full of preservatives and some ingredients you might not be so crazy about. You can make your own pretty easily! Just take some crackers, some healthy sliced meats, and some cheese, and your kid can have their very own Lunchables without all of the questionable ingredients.
Egg cups are quick and easy. Whisk some eggs, mix with veggies and ham (or chicken), put in a muffin tray, and bake. It’s fast, easy, and you can make a bunch of these at once. These are the perfect lunch because they’re so nutritious and tasty!
Mini Pizzas on Tortillas
You can bake some mini pizzas right on tortillas. It’s a simple lunch, and your kids will love it simply becauseit’s pizza! All you need are tortillas, tomato sauce, cheese, and toppings.
Meat and Vegetables
You can also just keep it simple with some classic meat and vegetables! A protein and some veggies makes for a great lunch. Try some chicken breast or pork chops, and pair it with broccoli or carrots. It can even be leftovers from the night before, it’s all good!
Burrito bowls are delicious and packed with tasty ingredients. It’s just as simple as taking the ingredients of a traditional burrito and throwing it in a bowl. Take some rice, pulled meats, lettuce, black beans, tomato, salsa, and sour cream, and mix it together.
Meatballs are beloved by most kids, and turkey meatballs put a healthy twist on the classic ground beef dish. Turkey meatballs and a side of veggies is a delicious lunch that is also full of good stuff. Once again, this is a meal that you can prep ahead for multiple lunches!
Try a chicken salad sandwich, only without the sandwich! Chicken salad is rightfully delicious all by itself. Throw in some celery and cucumber for that extra crunch. It becomes a well-rounded lunch that your kids are sure to enjoy.
Thanks very much for checking out or list of no-sandwich lunch ideas.
With this list, we’re focused on giving you maximum variety so that your lunch options never become stale and repetitive. We also focused on giving you options that are nutritious without sacrificing taste. We know that kids can be picky eaters, so if you can find a routine of lunches that are good for them and that they actually enjoy, then your lunch routine becomes a walk in the park!
About the Author
Alissa is a resilience coach, cartoonist, and advocate for ‘connection, not perfection’. She’s dedicated to helping others find a sense of safety and belonging inside themselves so they can heal, connect, and build authentic, joyful lives.