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101 Lunch Ideas for Kids

Recipes and Tips for Fun Lunch Ideas


A girl eats dessert

Serve up smiles with easy lunch ideas for kids.

Photo © Fotoksa / Fotolia

Lunch Ideas for Kids: Side Items

51. Baked tortilla chips
Skip the fatty bags of chips! Low-fat tortilla chips taste better and cost less.

52. Potato chips
Make your own potato chips with a lighter cooking oil for a healthier option.

53. Baked sweet potato fries
Your kids will never eat fast food french fries again! Low fat sweet potatoes are baked and ready in 30 minutes.

54. Cheese crackers
Add cheese crackers as a side or use them with veggie dips.

55. Gluten-free heart crackers
Bake herb crackers for the kids. Serve them with cheese, dips or alone.

56. Soft pretzels
Make pretzels with a recipe so simple, the kids can help out.

57. Creamy cheese pretzel dip
Combine sour cream, dry ranch and cheddar cheese for an easy pretzel dip.

58. Tomato salsa for kids
Salsa and tortilla chips can be added to any lunch and salsa's good for the kids too.

59. Vegetable dip
This quick and easy recipe stirs up a veggie dip that goes well with breadsticks or crackers.

60. Ants on a log
Peanut butter, raisins and celery give this side a sweet, nutritious crunch in every bite.

61. Apple and nut salad
A salad with Granny Smith apples, Swiss cheese and hazelnuts blend flavors kids can't refuse.

62. Waldorf salad for kids
The kids won't know this salad is healthy unless you tell them.

63. Carrot salad
If your kids have rejected carrot salad in the past, sweeten the deal with pineapple, raisins and honey.

64. Kids salad with Goldfish crackers
This salad with Goldfish crackers may just turn your kids into leafy-green lovers.

65. Honeyed fruit salad
Combine pears, peaches, kiwifruit, cherries and more into a beautiful, sinfully-sweet fruit salad. Substitutes for white wine include water, white grape juice or apple juice.

66. Mustard potato salad
Pair this side with almost anything. For school lunches, add a cold pack to the lunchbox.

67. Banana macadamia nut bread
This addition to your kids' lunches gives them the grains they need and the sweet they crave.

68. Peanut butter banana bread
Preschoolers can eat this bread all by themselves. It's not too sweet, but the kids will feel like they're cheating by eating dessert first.

69. Cherry orange nut mix
Choose a nutty but sweet mix over salty chips. Switch out the fruits your kids don't like for the ones they do.

70. Trail mix
Chocolate chips, granola, peanuts, raisins, coconut ... whatever the kids eat will work well in trail mix.

71. Cheesy potato skins
Serve the kids a baked potato they'll actually eat with two cheeses on top of these potato skins.

72. Baked beans
Baked beans are an easy side. Kids can eat them hot or cold.

73. Hard-boiled eggs
A hard-boiled egg is great for lunches because it tastes good and it's packed with protein.

74. Yogurt dip for fruits
Toasted cumin gives the yogurt dip a unique flavor the kids will love.

75. Cheese plate
Little fingers can't resist a cheese plate. Serve alone or with crackers.

Lunch Ideas for Kids: Desserts

76. Blueberry cheesecake bites
Tiny blueberry cheesecakes go well on a preschooler's menu because they don't require a fork.

77. Doughnut muffins
Do the kids love doughnuts? This low-carb recipe doesn't have the high fat and calories of regular doughnuts.

78. Fruit and yogurt smoothie
Adapt this recipe to your child's favorite fruits. Blend with yogurt and milk and voila!

79. Fruit yogurt salad
If you've got a "me do it!" kid in your house, fruit yogurt salad lets them prepare their own dessert after you cut up all of the fruits.

80. Fried apples or pears
The best part about fried fruits is kids can eat them hot or cold.

81. Homemade applesauce
Stop paying for applesauce at the grocery store. Make your own with four ingredients ... and one of them is water.

82. Chocolate-dipped mango
Sweet and spicy flavors come together for a dessert that's part healthy, part naughty.

83. Copycat Twinkies
Generations of kids have opened their lunchboxes to find Twinkies inside. Homemade Twinkies give you 12 copycats to serve to the kids.

84. Candied pineapple
If a sugar rush doesn't scare you, give the kids sweet, candied pineapples.

85. Fortune cookies
Embarrass your kids with an "I love you" in the middle of the cafeteria. Say it in a fortune cookie!

86. Peanut butter chocolate chip cookies
Serve up smiles with a recipe that combines two of kids' favorite ingredients.

87. Chocolate-dipped crescent hearts
These crescent roll cookies are shaped into cinnamon-flavored hearts and dipped in semi-sweet chocolate.

88. Oatmeal cookies
Feed the kids a wholesome dessert you'll feel good about giving them.

89. Sugar cookies
This is the perfect cookie to bake with your kids because you can leave them plain or decorate your masterpiece.

90. Orange snowballs
Not a baker? No problem. Orange snowballs are no-bake cookies you and the kids can make together.

91. Apricot balls with chocolate
Chocolate hides the apricot inside for a sweet surprise. Try other fruits for a twist on the recipe.

92. Strawberries in puff pastry
This isn't your typical dessert for kids' lunches. But it will quickly top their most-requested list.

93. Strawberry cheesecake pie
Make the family a strawberry cheesecake pie and you've made tomorrow's lunch dessert.

94. Strawberry soup
Soup for dessert? Take a look and you'll see why this soup's best for your kids' dessert and not as a starter.

95. Carrot pudding
This combo of carrots, nuts and raisins is a rich twist on your ordinary pudding.

96. Peach bread pudding
Serve a warm dessert that's a treat all year long. Throw in a hot pack for school lunches.

97. Dark chocolate truffles
Try this decadent truffle that's fun to prepare with kids because they can get their hands in the recipe as they shape each one.

98. Coconut macaroon truffles
You'll have to stop yourself from scarfing down these truffles long enough to put them in your kids' lunches.

99. Watermelon pie
Get the kids ready for summer with a low-fat, no-bake pie. Chill before serving or keep cool in your kids' lunchboxes.

100. Ricotta chocolate cake
This rich cake will satisfy the sweet tooth without sending the kids into a sugar overload.

101. Easy lemon cake
Easy lemon cake is bursting with lemon flavor. But it's toned down enough that it won't make your kids' faces twist with sourness.

Numbers 1 - 50: Soups, Sandwiches, Wraps and Hearty Dishes

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