10 Simple Kid-Friendly Lunch Ideas

Anyone else feel like they are cooking LOTS of meals right now?  Just me?  However, I will say that my kids don’t mind eating the same thing even though I feel the pressure to provide ample variety int their diet.  So, I thought I would share 10 simple kid-friendly lunch ideas that are on repeat around here in case you are on the hunt for new ideas like I am!

10 Simple Kid-Friendly Lunch Ideas


1.  BBQ Smokies or Meatballs

This simple and delicious recipe takes no time at all and is perfect paired with some raw fruits and vegetables for a quick and simple lunch at home.  I made these the other day and there were no leftovers.  You can either use little smokies or meatballs for this 3 ingredient recipe. check out all the details in this post.


2.  Peanut Butter 

Peanut butter on anything.  Peanut butter sandwiches, peanut butter toast, peanut butter crackers, peanut butter with celery.  You can even warm up a dollop in the microwave and drizzle over cut up bananas.  Cutting up the bread in various shapes and sizes make the meal new again.  One day you can do squares, the next triangles and then strips (as seen above).

3.  Snack Trays

Clean out your fridge and place all the little leftovers, fruits, vegetables, meats and cheeses on a tray and enjoy.  Check out these simple smoothie recipes!

4. Grilled or Baked Sandwiches

Elevate a plain old sandwich by grilling it and serving it warm.  Try the classic grilled cheese or add some pepperoni for a fun grilled “pizza” cheese.  You can add some meat to that as well for a little added variety.
Instead of grilling, try a baked sandwich like this baked pesto turkey sandwich.
Speaking of sandwiches, you should try this apple chicken salad recipe.  It’s so good!

5.  Quesadillas

There is no limit to creativity with quesadillas.  You can make simple cheese ones.  Try breakfast quesadillas filled with egg, cheese, and meat.  You can add some cheese and pepperoni and serve with a marinara sauce for an Italian twist.    You can even do peanut butter and banana quesadillas.  They are so simple but so tasty and fun!

6.  Crescent Roll Roll-ups

I keep a sleeve of these in my fridge at all times.  They make a great base to whatever you want to add inside.  From hot dogs to string cheese, breakfast sausage or pepperoni.  Bonus — your kids will love helping roll them up.  These are perfect for kids to help prepare.  I have found when you invite your children to help prepare the food, they are way more likely to eat it. 
To make pizza roll-ups, as seen above, grab a sleeve of crescent rolls, pepperoni, and 4 string cheese.  Cut the string cheese in half.  Unroll a crescent roll and layer on 4-6 pieces of pepperoni then place 1/2 string cheese on and roll-up.  Cook as the directions indicated on the wrapper.  Usually, that is 9-11 minutes at 375 degrees or until the crescent rolls are golden brown.  You can dip in marinara sauce!



7.  Breakfast for Lunch 

I mean everyone’s favorite meal of the day is breakfast so why not have it for lunch?  You can either make up some homemade pancakes and freeze them or buy pre-made frozen pancakes or waffles to microwave or toast!   Cut them up in strips, triangles, or bite-size for fun twists.  You can serve eggs, breakfast meats, and fruit smoothies too.  Check out these simple smoothie recipes!

8.  Homemade Lunchables

My kids love Lunchables but they can get expensive fast.  So, we will pull out a plate-like above or serve in a bento box like this and make our own Lunchables with a variety of meat, cheese, and crackers.
You can make a week’s worth of meals just with those 3 items.  Who doesn’t love a meat and cheese tray? It’s like your very own homemade Lunchable.  I do love the bought ones too especially when they are on sale for a $1 ;).

9.  Macaroni & Cheese

No matter what type of diet you follow, there is a box of macaroni and cheese that probably fits it.  It’s normally a kid favorite and easily made and stored for leftovers the next day.
My tip with macaroni and cheese leftovers is rather than just microwaving it, place the leftovers in a saucepan with a little bit of milk and stir as you rewarm.  It turns back into what looks like original macaroni and cheese.  My kids will not eat macaroni and cheese rewarmed in the microwave but I have found a way to trick them ;).

10. Don’t Forget Freezer Favorites

Don’t forget about all those things you can stock up in the freezer section.  Serve alongside some fruits and veggies to balance it all out!
  • Pizza rolls
  • Taquitos
  • Chicken nuggets
  • Mini corn dogs
  • Frozen Pizza

Don’t Forget About Leftovers…

Never underestimate the power of a good meal rewarmed.  I know not all meals are a hit but plan your dinner meals to include extras for leftovers.  Leftovers my kids especially love leftovers are pizza and taco/Mexican dishes.  I try to include both of these into our menu every week for this purpose.

These recipes make great leftovers – 

Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe

Baked Mexican Casserole

Slow Cooker Chicken Stuffing Bake


When All Else Fails…

Sometimes, you just need to go through the drive-thru or text a friend to meet at Chick Fil-a!  One friend used to always go out on Friday for lunch with her kids.  Remember variety isn’t as important to them as it is to us.   If all else fails, having some fun items to make eating more appealing never hurts.  Here are a few ideas to add to your wish list!


Mix up Your Meal  with Fun Utensils

We have these plates and I pull them out when we are going through a particularly rough phase with eating or I know dinner might not be a favorite ;).  My kids also love to eat with different utensils so those cute animal toothpicks are so fun.  We have the construction silverware and they are in high demand along with these spoon/fork combos.



Just remember this when it comes to kid-friendly lunch ideas…

Mealtime with littles can be downright crazy but hopefully, these kid-friendly lunch ideas will help you to get on the right track to smoother meal times so everyone enjoys eating.  If you have a picky eater, check out these 15 tips to get your picky eater to eat.  

As moms, we feel the need to serve a great variety because we like variety and we feel the pressure too!  I have come to find if I stick to these basic and simple kid-friendly lunch ideas and rotate, everyone is happy.  What kids lunch ideas do you have?


Need Some Family Meals Ideas? 



Want help with meal planning?  

I wrote down this recipe along with the rest of my meal ideas for the week in the Simple Purposeful Living 52-week meal planner.  Get yours here.   Join the Meal Plan Simple on Purpose group on Facebook for more meal planning ideas and support.  Join here.


Until next time keep on keeping on with a simple purposeful life!

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