Need some preschool lunch ideas for picky eaters that don’t take a lot of time to prepare? Whether you need to bring them to daycare, leave with a sitter, or to school, check out this video for fun and healthy ideas to create awesome preschool lunches. Even though I originally made these for preschoolers, if I’m honest, my older kids and I still enjoy all of these healthy lunches today. When you see all the tasty recipes in this video, you’ll understand why.
Every back-to-school, and year-round, parents come to our website to get ideas of what to pack for their picky eaters. Parents from all walks of life can unite with the idea that they want their child to eat nutritious food, at all meals.
But what do you do when your child only wants to eat chicken nuggets, peanut butter, and jelly sandwiches, or macaroni and cheese? The real question is, what do you put inside a lunchbox that can add some nutrition and your child will eat a lunch to be eaten away from home?
Which in that case, you might find these tips helpful; because the last thing you want to see is an uneaten lunch after a full day at school. They’ve got to be hungry, right? Your goal is to provide a lunch that is healthy, filling, and of course, yummy!
You probably landed on this post because you want your kids to try new foods but don’t know how. And you keep wondering, how do other parents get their kids to take a bite?
How to Pack Lunches for Picky Eaters
Finding nutritious lunch ideas your picky eater will want to eat can seem impossible, but these ideas prove it’s not.
You’ll notice each lunch idea included below is a version of kid-friendly meals that include a variety of foods, from whole grains to lean proteins and veggies, all of which help fuel growing kids.
The mini quiches include chopped spinach, the quesadilla has black beans, the tomato soup- veggies. See where I’m going with this? It’s healthy options served in a way that kid’s can relate, a concept that has proven to work time after time when it comes to feeding picky eaters.
As a mom to three picky eaters, I tried every trick in the book and failed- a lot. It wasn’t until I discovered the reasons for this dinner epidemic that I found the solution which I share in my online course dedicated to parents with picky eaters.
Not only will you be able to get your kids to try and like new foods, but you’ll know how to pack lunches for picky eaters and enjoy mealtime together as a family.
Preschool lunch ideas
Here are some of our community favorite, kid-approved recipes and personal tips that will help keep you add a little variety to you toddler’s lunch box.
Pizza Pasta Salad:
This is a great make-ahead recipe for busy mom’s and requires no heating. It’s a great way to incorporate protein from cheese and turkey pepperoni. Pack it with fresh fruit for a complete meal. Veggies definitely optional but if your child eats any veggie, throw it in there.
These are by far, are a lunch favorite for my kids. Eggs and cheese hide just about anything and they hold up really well at room temperature. Otherwise, you can place them warm inside your favorite thermos.
Mini quiches can be customized with anything your child likes and they are a great source of protein for kids. Plus, they are bite-sized and kids love that too!
Black Bean Quesadillas:
These easy quesadillas are protein and fiber-rich from the black beans and a great way to use up any leftover tortillas from taco night. Kids don’t like black beans? Substitute for mashed white beans or, refried beans instead.
The Original MOMable:
This is the lunch that started it all since my picky eater wanted the store-bought version. I wanted to up the nutrition and ingredient quality so I made my own. To date, is one of my kids’ favorites.
I keep the main lunch staples the same; either with turkey or ham and cheese, crackers and then add fruit (fresh or things like fruit leather or banana chips!), veggies. This is the perfect lunch to add in a new thing or two and it’s easy to customize.
Proteins like hard-boiled eggs and rolled up deli cuts and snacks like hummus and crackers, string cheese, or pretzels with peanut butter are all great options that will keep your child satisfied throughout the day.
Grilled Cheese Dippers:
This one requires a thermos if you plan to pack Tomato Soup, but it’s worth it! I’ll make a batch of the soup for dinner and use the leftovers to pack into this lunch, it’s fun and so yummy.
Need to know how to pack a grilled sandwich inside a school lunch? Watch this video.
These are a fun way to use up more taco night leftovers and customize it for your kids’ lunch! That small serving of rice or beans can easily be repurposed into a single serve burrito bowl.
This lunch was so popular, I got to go on Good Morning America and share it!
As you can see lunchtime is a big deal for me as a mom and I love helping all the other parents in the MOMables community feed their preschoolers and picky eaters.
Preschool Lunch Ideas
- 6 eggs
- 3 tablespoons milk
- ¼ cup pepperoni slices, chopped
- 1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
- 2 apples, sliced
- 2 cups baby carrots
- Preheat the oven to 350F, and grease a 24-count mini muffin pan.
- In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and milk. Add the pizza toppings and shredded cheese.
- Mix to combine all ingredients.
- Distribute the egg mixture evenly into the muffin pan cups.
- Bake in the preheated oven 15 to 18 minutes, until the tops are puffy and the egg mixture has cooked through. Remove from oven and allow the quiches to cool in the pan before removing them with a small knife or spatula.
- Place 4 to 6 mini quiches into 2 separate lunch containers. Pack with the fruit and veggies.
- Refrigerate extras in an airtight container for future lunches.