Looking for school lunch inspiration? These are some of my kids’ favorite lunches that are all quick(ish) to assemble. They might not be “perfect,” but we do our best to add as many fruits, vegetables and whole grains as we can.

Packing Lunches Your Kids Will Love

My secret for packing lunches my kids love is to figure out, then follow, their “formula of favorites.” This means a healthy variety of favorites that your kiddo definitely likes and that you can easily pack each day. Then, just stick with that formula, but make small changes every day.

For example, if your kid eats a PBJ everyday, you can try a different bread, a different jam, a different sandwich cut, etc. Same goes for fruit: green apples one day, red apples the next, sliced, cubed…you get the point.

Sticking with a formula of lunchtime favorites makes your job easier and it shows your kid that you respect their likes/dislikes. Making small changes to the formula helps with nutrient variety and teaches your kid to be flexible about his or her food. It also makes them excited to see what exactly they’ll get each day.

Here are some of my kids’ favorite lunches.

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Formula 1: “Pasta Lover’s Lunch” (Pasta with Fruit, Veggies and Cheese)

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Whole grain cous cous with parmesan, yellow pepper, tomatoes, apple, candy

 

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whole grain penne, carrots with ranch, cucumber, yellow pepper, raspberries, M&Ms

 

WHOLE GRAIN NOODLES, PARMESAN CHEESE, TOMATOES AND YELLOW PEPPER, CANTALOUPE, RAISINS

WHOLE GRAIN NOODLES, PARMESAN CHEESE, TOMATOES AND YELLOW PEPPER, CANTALOUPE, RAISINS

Formula 2: “The Sandwich Reinvented” (Sandwich with Fruit, Veggies and Crackers)

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Turkey avocado roll ups, apples, cucumber, cheddar bunnies with raisins and pumpkin seeds

 

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MINI BAGEL sandwich, MINI SALAD, WATERMELON, CHIPS AND A COOKIE

 

Formula 3: “The Rabbit” (Salad with Fruit and Grain)

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chopped salad with dressing, apples, pumpkin seeds, crackers, brownie bites

Formula 4: “Breakfast for Lunch” (Yogurt with Fruit and Grain)

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plain greek yogurt with honey, sliced pita, strawberries, almonds, mini peanut butter cups

 

Formula 5: “Anything on a Stick Tastes Better” (Protein with Fruit and Veggies)

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Turkey, yellow pepper, cucumber, cheese, mixed berries

 

TURKEY CHEDDAR TOMATO SKEWERS, SIMPLE SALAD, WATERMELON, CRACKERS, CANDY

TURKEY CHEDDAR TOMATO SKEWERS, SIMPLE SALAD, WATERMELON, CRACKERS, CANDY

 

Formula 6: “The Snacker” (Grain, Fruit, Veggies, Dairy)

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MAKE YOUR OWN “PIZZA”: whole grain pita, cheese stick, black olives and green peppers, tomatoes and mushrooms, dried cranberries

 

SNACK ATTACK: PRETZELS WITH CHEESE, STRAWBERRIES, CARROTS, GRANOLA BAR, ALMONDS, DRIED CRANBERRIES

SNACK ATTACK: PRETZELS WITH CHEESE, STRAWBERRIES, CARROTS, GRANOLA BAR, ALMONDS, DRIED CRANBERRIES

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