Whether you are sending them off to preschool with a packed lunch or just trying to find something they will eat at home, planning a delicious and nutritious lunch for your picky toddler can be a chore. Check out the list below for some fun lunch ideas that even the fussiest eaters are sure to gobble up!
1. Pancakes or Waffles
Because they are delicious both hot and cold, these breakfast treats also make fast and easy lunches. Just make some extras the next time you serve them for breakfast. Pancakes and waffles pair great with everything, so you can serve them with your kid’s favorite fruits, veggies, or cheese. Fruit filled pancakes and waffles balance the less healthy side of the meal, making it more nutritious but also providing a filling meal to cut down cravings for between meal snacks. You could even make a savory waffle sandwich with meat and cheese if your little one is into that. If you are serving them plain, be sure to pack a small container of a yummy spread like almond butter, Nutella, or jam.
2. Macaroni and Cheese
Every kid loves mac and cheese! You can pick up a kid-sized thermos to ensure the pasta stays warm until lunch time at school. Mixing in small bits of meat or kid-approved vegetables is a great way to turn mac and cheese into a more filling, nutritious meal.
3. Cheese and Crackers
This is a great lunch option for kids with small appetites. Pack slices of his favorite cheese and enough crackers to make fun little “sandwiches.” You could also include small pieces of lunch meat or pepperoni for added protein. Then round out the meal with whatever fruits and vegetables your little one likes.
4. Hard-Boiled Eggs
If your child likes hard-boiled eggs, they are an inexpensive and easy main for lunch. They are packed with protein to keep her fueled for the rest of the school day. You can even slice them up if you are worried about your kid choking. Pair with your little one’s favorite healthy sides and maybe some crackers or pretzels for crunch.
5. Hummus with Dippers
Hummus is a healthy and yummy way to fill your kid up at lunch time. Even a small amount contains lots of protein without any animal products. Carrots, celery, pretzel sticks, pita bread, crackers, and lots of other snacks make great dippers for this spread. And we all know kids love to dip! When served with yogurt, fruits, and veggies, this makes a no-fuss and healthy meal solution for fussy eaters.
Contributed by Jenny Holt
Jenny Holt is a freelance writer and mother of two. She loves nothing more than getting away from it and taking her pet Labrador Bruce for long walks, something she can do a lot more now she’s left the corporate world behind.