When you think about packed school lunches, what comes to mind? PB&J or ham and cheese sandwiches probably. My daughter more often than not will ask for a PB&J when given a choice. If I’m feeling lazy or need to pack an extra lunch for the week, I’m guaranteed a win with peanut butter and jelly.
While sandwiches certainly make for an easy school lunch, they are not your only options. And, eventually, your kids are likely to get tired of the same things. Mix it up by whipping up something different for your kids as they head back to school. But, don’t forget to include your kid in some of the decision making to ensure you pack school lunches kids will actually eat!
Sandwich Alternative Lunch Ideas for Kid’s School Lunches
Make It A Wrap
A quick and easy sandwich alternative lunch idea is a wrap. Replace your bread with tortillas and turn your child’s favorite sandwich into a wrap! If it happens to be a ham and cheese or turkey and cheese, boost the nutritional value by adding lettuce and shredded veggies.
Wanting something vegetarian? Hummus and cucumbers or salad ingredients make for a fun lunch option.
When you’re finished adding your toppings, roll it up like a burrito. If desired, cut the wrap in half or into pinwheels for smaller hands. The wrap is good as is, or you can pack a small serving of salad dressing to dip.
If you don’t include condiments in the wrap, pack a small serving of salad dressing for dipping. Just make sure you pack any dipping sauces or dressing in a small airtight container to prevent leaks.
Who Doesn’t Love Snack Food And Lunchables?
What kid doesn’t love Lunchables? This, in my opinion, is one of the easiest sandwich alternative lunch ideas there are.
Okay, truth be told, my child will ask for Lunchables but won’t actually eat anything but the meat out of them. Have you seen the prices of Lunchables in the store? Especially the healthier ones? Guys, there’s no way I’m paying for those so my kid can eat highly processed meat and nothing else!
Instead, make your own version with healthier ingredients. Of course, you’ll have an advantage because you know what foods your kids will eat.
Start with sandwich meat and cheese. Meat options include, but are not limited to, ham, turkey, salami, pepperoni, and chicken.
You can cut these into bite sized pieces. Although, if you’re lazy, like me, simply slap a piece of cheese and a couple slices of meat into one of the containers in a bento box. Add fresh, raw vegetables. Our favorites are cucumbers and carrots. Add fresh or dried fruits and berries for some extra healthy sides.
In the morning, you could add a few crackers before sending the kids off to school.
Of course, you could make an extra fun snack food packed lunch too. Many of the foods your child likes to snack on can make great lunch additions. Having a mix of crackers, popcorn, trail mix, cheese, fruits, and veggies would make a delicious and healthy lunch. Simply grab a container with lots of little dividers (bento boxes are perfect). My favorites are made my Yumbox which have small dividers and are leak proof.
Healthy Salads For Lunch
A.K.A. sandwich in a bowl. Well, sort of, right? I mean if your kiddo likes really loaded sandwiches, this may be a really awesome sandwich alternative lunch idea for them. It’s a lot of sandwich fillings in a bowl, plus maybe others they wouldn’t normally eat on a sandwich.
While salads probably aren’t for everyone, they’re a great lunch option for older children. Get a container with a tight-fitting lid and throw in your child’s favorite salad topping. Save the dressing for a small air-tight container so as not to make the salad soggy before lunchtime.
Start with a bed of lettuce greens, add raw veggies, croutons, bacon bits, nuts, and seeds or whatever your child likes. Top the salad with plenty of protein like cheese, hard-boiled egg, ham or turkey, or even some grilled chicken.
Pack dressing in a separate container along with a fork and napkin and lunch is done. Assemble the salad the night before and store in the fridge, but make sure all the ingredients are very dry. You can assemble the salad the night before and store it in the fridge. The key is to make sure all your ingredients are very dry. If you’re washing your lettuce, use a salad spinner, or dry it on some paper towels before starting to pack it. Cutting everything into small bite-sized pieces will ensure that the lunch time salad is easy to eat.
If you wash your lettuce, use a salad spinner or dry on paper towels before starting to pack the lunch. Pre-cutting everything into small bite-sized pieces ensures your child doesn’t encounter difficulty eating at lunchtime.
Are you thinking about cool Fall days?
Check out more ideas on how to pack hot school lunches for the first cool days of Fall!
Want more school lunch ideas?
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