50 Lunch Ideas For Kids Everyone Will Love

It's easy to slip into a pattern when prepping lunch for your kiddo to enjoy at home or school. Maybe your child tends to ask for the same foods again and again. Or you're just so busy that you reach for old favorites. Either way, mixing it up might be the last thing on your mind.

While breakfast might be the most important meal of the day, lunch is a close second. Getting a nutritious or filling meal in their school lunch or at home will help your little one feel full and keep up their energy for a day of play and learning. Feel like you're at a creative roadblock with your kids' lunches? Before you reach for a processed, sugar-filled packaged food like a Lunchable, Uncrustable, or fruit snacks, keep reading. We're bringing you 50 lunch ideas for kids that everyone will love.

1. Classic peanut butter and jelly

It's unclear when exactly the peanut butter and jelly sandwich hit the mainstream. But what is clear: This staple just might be the most classic lunch option for kids. While many schools are now banning peanut butter in lunch boxes because of an increase in peanut allergies, it's still an easy go-to at home for families without allergy-sufferers (via Very Well Family).

What's great about a peanut butter and jelly sandwich is that while it may seem simple enough, there are plenty of ways to dress it up or make it fun. Flatten your bread with a rolling pin, for instance, slather on your toppings, roll it up and slice it for tasty peanut butter and jelly sushi rolls. Another idea is to grill your finished sandwich or toss in a few potato chips in the middle for an extra bit of crunch. Or, mix and match different jellies and spreads. Whoa! The sky's the limit!

Even if you and/or your kid prefer a class 'wich, you can still take it to the next level by crafting the perfect peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Start with soft bread, opt for fresh peanut butter, and top it offer with not-too-sweet, natural jam. Don't forget a big glass of milk to wash it down!

2. Homemade fish sticks

Air-fried frozen fish sticks are already a quick and easy lunch that's just the right size for little fingers. But if you're looking for something a bit healthier — and friendlier on your wallet — why not whip up some homemade fish sticks?

Perfect for even the fussiest of eaters, homemade fish sticks are surprisingly easy to make, and can be prepared ahead of time and popped in the air fryer when you're ready to eat them. This is also a healthier and less messy alternative to frying your sticks.

It's not necessary to cut your fish into traditional strips before breading and frying, unless of course your little one wants them that way. Also, while many recipes, including this one, call for spices like Old Bay Seasoning to give the sticks more flavor, if you have a picky eater you can always skip the added spice for a more basic dish. Serve with fresh fruit, steamed veggies, or chips, and your child's favorites dips.

3. Mini grilled cheese

Much like a classic peanut butter and sandwich is many kid's lunch box staple, the basic grilled cheese is the perfect quick and hot lunch for at home. And just like the other popular sandwich, this one offers endless options to customize for your kiddo.

If your little one doesn't shy away from new flavors, mix and match different varieties of cheese and toppings like a sliced tomato. Need to add some protein? Simply slide a few slices of deli meat in the middle before it hits the grill. Make pizza grilled cheese sandwiches with mozzarella and pizza sauce — toppings like pepperoni optional!

Another great way to get your kid to dig in is to cut the grilled cheese into mini sandwiches — this makes them easier to hold and perfect for little mouths. These small triangles are also perfect for dipping into tomato soup and various dips, such as ranch salad dressing. In a hurry? Pop your grilled cheese in the air fryer for a quick, simple, mess-free lunch.

4. Peanut butter and apple sandwich

If you're worried that your kiddo is missing out on protein or not getting enough fruit when you whip up a quick grilled cheese sandwich, try this crunchy, tasty sandwich alternative. Start with a slather of peanut butter on your choice of sandwich bread — but you'll want sturdy bread, so it can hold more weight than your standard peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Next, add sliced green apples. Sprinkle with some cinnamon, and, if your kiddo likes them, raisins, too. You can either top it with a second slice of bread or eat it open face.

This simple, yet delicious sandwich is easy to make but is likely to be a hit with even the pickiest of eaters. Note: Since the apples will start to brown before too long, this sandwich is best eaten fresh rather than packed in a lunch box for school.

5. Crock Pot chicken noodle soup

Working from home is hard enough. Working from home with a kid or two running around is even harder. Whether you're logging in for work or simply logging time caring for one or more kids — along with housework — finding time to cook a healthy lunch your kids will want to eat can feel impossible. Enter the slow cooker.

Since its invention in the 1950s, the Crock Pot has been a staple at holiday parties and in households of busy parents (via Smithsonian Magazine). While your little one might not dig into pot roast or pork chops, there are plenty of other kid-friendly recipes you can use your slow cooker for — like this slow cooker chicken noodle soup. It's packed with simple ingredients and is a healthier alternative to canned soup. You can prep your soup the night before and put it in the Crock Pot first thing in the morning. If you have a large slow cooker, you can even make a big batch to heat up through the week for leftovers.

6. Tortilla pizzas

Have a kid who can't get enough pizza? This quick and easy take shrinks down your standard pie for an easy lunch or snack that you can make in minutes, and that's fresher and cooks faster than a frozen pizza. Plus, for the adults, this is a great low-carb alternative to traditional pizza crust!

Start with flour tortillas (via All Recipes). You can use any size, but smaller 8-inch tortillas are a great size for kids. Spread a small amount of olive oil on your tortilla crust, followed by a sprinkle of garlic powder. Top with your favorite tomato sauce and shredded cheese. You can stop there or add your favorite pizza toppings, like chopped veggies, sausage, or pepperoni. Pop it in the oven or a toaster oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for just 3 to 5 minutes, then slice, let cool, and serve!

This is also a great recipe to use when your kids want to join in. You can prep the crusts and even spread the pizza sauce. Then, let the kiddos add their favorite toppings.

7. Pigs in a blanket

What kid doesn't love finger food? If your child's diet typically consists of hot dogs, chicken fingers, and other finger-food staples, try this pigs in a blanket recipe for a quick lunch that's certain to please.

All you'll need are two simple ingredients — your choice of hot dogs and a can of crescent rolls. Separate the crescent roll dough into individual triangles, and roll them out until the widest end is close in width to the length of the hot dog. Then, roll up your hot dogs and place them on a baking sheet. Pop them in the oven and heat until the crescent rolls are golden brown. Let them cool before serving!

For smaller hands, you can cut the hot dogs in half and skip rolling out your crescent dough. This easy dish also makes for a great after-school snack or party food!

8. Simple sandwich wraps

If you're tired of making the same sandwiches day after day for your kiddo, why not mix it up with an easy wrap instead? Using packaged wraps or tortillas, you can make a wide variety of wraps to fit every little one's taste buds.

Keep things basic with deli meat and sliced cheese. Add a swipe of a favorite condiment, and maybe a few veggies and avocado. Or, mix it up with some creative wraps. Using a plain tortilla as a base, spread on some peanut butter and add sliced bananas (via Yummy Toddler Foods). Top a wrap with some hummus and diced veggies like cucumber, celery, or carrots. Slather on cream cheese — plain or a sweet flavor — and top with diced strawberries and blueberries before rolling it up. These fruity wraps are also a great choice for a creative breakfast!

When whipping up wraps for kids, consider slicing your rolls wrapped into small circles to make them easier and more enticing to eat.

9. Mac-and-cheese with hidden veggies

Looking for a way to sneak some healthy veggies into your kiddo's lunch? Try hiding it in their favorite food. Mac and cheese is the perfect food for sneaking a few veggies into. The bright color and cheesy flavor can mask the taste and look of the veggies, so your little ones will be none-the-wiser.

Carrots, squash, and cauliflower are some of the easiest veggies to stash in cheesy pasta (via The Creative Bite). Cook your choice of pasta as you normally would. You can even use Kraft or a different easy mac favorite. Then, put your choice of cheese in a bowl. If you're making your own mac from scratch, heat the cheese first until it's melted and creamy. Then, add your choice of chopped veggies. Use an immersion blender to blend them into the cheese. You can add as many veggies as you'd like, but keep in mind that the more you add, the harder it will be to hide. When you're done, add the cheese to the noodles, stir, and serve!

10. Peanut butter hummus

Hummus is one of those foods that kids either love or hate — of course, if you have a picky eater, that's likely true of most foods. While the creamy texture and mild taste of chickpeas would seem to make this a kid-friendly snack, especially paired with baby carrots or pita, the addition of tahini is likely what has many kids saying, "Yuck!" But this kid-friendly alternative puts a spin on traditional hummus, by swapping out the strong spice and adding some tasty, protein-packed peanut butter (via Serious Eats).

Don't worry about scouring your grocery store's cold case for this snack; it's quick and easy to make at home. All you need is a can of chickpeas, olive oil, lemon, and garlic (though you can leave garlic out if your kids aren't a fan). Mix the ingredients in a food processor or blender, and serve with sliced peppers, baby carrots, pita chips, or other dip-ables for a healthy and simple lunch.

11. Kid-friendly energy bites

DIY no-bake energy bites have been a growing trend for those looking for a quick and healthy pre- or post-work out boost. With many recipes calling for dates and nuts, they're hardly kid-friendly. These ingredients might curb your sugar cravings or help keep you full when you're rushing from school pick up to soccer practice. But many kids won't see these as a tasty, enticing snack.

Luckily, this is one recipe that's simple to modify. These kid-friendly energy bites are packed with oatmeal, peanut butter, walnuts, dates, cocoa powder, chia seeds, chocolate chips, and almond milk or honey. No baking required — just mix and serve, and chill the leftovers to make them less messy to eat.

Your kids will love the sweet flavor. And you'll love that they're getting protein. This is a great food to make ahead of time and keep on hand (in the fridge) for those days when your kids won't touch their lunch.

12. Avocado toast

The booming avocado toast trend isn't just for grown ups. From the creamy texture to the wide variety of delicious toppings, avocado toast is a healthy, filling, and fun lunch or snack for kids of all ages, that can be easily adapted to fit each kiddo's taste buds.

There's a reason avocado is often referred to as a superfood. They're packed with a number of essential nutrients, antioxidants, and protein, but with a mild flavor and creamy texture that's likely to go over well even with picky kids — as long as they can get past the green color (via Healthline).

If your kids don't jump for joy at the idea of eating guacamole, you might need to get creative with your avocado toast renditions. Start with cookie cutters, and cut fun shapes out of your bread. Spread a thin layer of smashed avocado, and top with familiar veggies like chopped cucumber or peppers, and a sprinkle of feta cheese. For kiddos that already like avocado, simple toast combos such as avocado, lemon, and sea salt are likely to be a hit, and make the perfect quick lunch that you'll love to share with them.

13. Chocolate chip banana bread

If you have a picky eater who'd rather eat a chocolate chip cookie for lunch than a healthy nutritious meal, this next recipe is for you. Sugar-free chocolate chip banana bread is a drool-worthy treat that tastes like dessert but is packed with some healthier ingredients you'll feel good about giving your kids.

While they may all contain bananas, not all banana bread recipes are created equal. Some have enough added sugar to all but negate the benefits of the fruity additives. But this sugar-free recipe uses unsweetened Greek yogurt, unsweetened applesauce, and no sugar added chocolate chips to keep things a little healthier while still guaranteeing the loaf dissapears from your kitchen counter shortly after it's pulled from the oven.

This recipe is perfect for making a healthier after-lunch treat, or for serving alongside other simple lunch foods for kids that prefer some variety.

14. Homemade chicken strips

Do you find yourself grabbing a bag of frozen chicken tenders or nuggets every time you're at the grocery store? If you've got a little one who's constantly requesting this kid-food staple at every meal, whipping up your own homemade variety is a great way to make lunch time a little healthier — and save a little money on your weekly grocery bill.

Whipping up homemade chicken strips from cut chicken breast, Panko breadcrumbs, and a homemade batter will certainly take more time than grabbing that bag of frozen strips and popping a few in the microwave (via 5 Minutes for Mom). But one big benefit of making them from scratch is that the result is crispy, delicious tenders that you'll want to share with your kids.

Looking for an even easier recipe for homemade tenders? This crispy air fryer pretzel chicken fries recipe only requires chicken breasts, Dijon mustard, honey, olive oil, orange marmalade, and pretzels. These extra crunch tenders are super fast and inexpensive to make, and will no doubt be a hit for chicken tender-loving kids.

15. Quesadillas

Quesadillas are another popular request among picky kids. And why wouldn't they be — who doesn't love tasty melted cheese in a soft, warm tortilla? While a plain cheese quesadilla might not be the most nutritious lunch meal, these simple and quick foods are perfect for little hands, take no time to prepare, and are easy to mix up depending on what you have in the fridge — or what you can convince your kids to try!

Some kid-friendly ingredients perfect for quesadillas include shredded rotisserie chicken, ground beef, chopped veggies, black beans, and corn (via My Mini Chefs). If your little one isn't super adventurous, try adding small amounts of each ingredient to your quesadillas, and plenty of cheese. Quesadillas are also perfect for using up small amounts of leftover ingredients, like meat or veggies, before they go bad. For easy clean up, pop your quesadillas in your toaster oven, panini press, or air fryer to melt the cheese and crisp the tortilla.

16. Peanut butter and jelly dippers

An even more unique take on the classic lunch box staple, these peanut butter and jelly dippers are perfect for eating on-the-go or for packing for a school or day-care lunch. Instead of spreading peanut butter and jelly on bread, you'll be scooping both ingredients into little cups, ramekins, or even cupcake liners, if you're packing them for a lunch box. Then, add your little one's favorite type of crackers. You can use any kind of crackers you'd like, from Ritz or Club Crackers to wheat crackers to pita chips. Depending on your child's preference, you can even mix in some veggies, like baby carrots or celery sticks, or even sliced apples.

One great thing about this creative take on a peanut butter and jelly sandwich is that you won't have to worry about the bread getting soggy if it can't be enjoyed right away. The downside is that younger eaters may find it messy to dip their crackers in sticky ingredients.

17. Homemade Lunchables

Ever since the mid-1980s, Lunchables have been the lunch box dream of every school age kid. While they do make packing kid lunches a breeze, they aren't exactly the perfect lunch food. For example, the prices are high — at least compared to buying individual ingredients like deli ham, crackers, or slices of cheese. And the overly processed ingredients, which are also high in sodium, sugar, and preservatives, may also be a concern to health-conscious parents.

Lucky for your kids, homemade Lunchables are easy and inexpensive to make. No matter which Lunchable your kid begs for, there's no doubt a simple homemade alternative you can whip up. Plus, because many of the ingredients come in bulk packages, these are easy to meal prep at the start of the week for your little one to enjoy all week long.

For most homemade Lunchables, you'll simply need sliced deli meats and cheeses, which you'll want to cut into squares to fit your cracker of choice (via Eating on a Dime). Add a serving of fruit or chopped veggies and maybe a sweet side, and pop them in a Bento box or on a lunch tray for a lookalike Lunchable you and your kids will love.

18. Mini burgers

Grilled burgers are a tasty summer staple that make for quick and easy lunches. But for your little eaters, they can be tough to hold and difficult to get a bite of. If your child struggles with not wanting to eat, plopping a full-sized burger on their plate might be enough to scare them out of taking a single bite. But these mini alternatives not only make burgers easier to eat, but also a lot more fun.

Start by rolling out your ground beef into 1-inch patties (via Taste of Home). If you're cooking pre-made burgers, you can even cut small circles after your burgers are cooked. Cut 1-inch circles from slices of toasted sandwich bread — or use small buns — then top with miniature portions of your choice of toppings, like American cheese, tomato, lettuce, and pickles. You can use a toothpick to keep them stacked until you're ready for lunch.

Whether you choose to eat your burgers in bite-size form or cook larger ones for yourself, this is a great way to make just one lunch food instead of having to make a separate lunch for your kiddo.

19. Pizza sliders

This next lunch idea combines two popular kid foods into one: Hamburger buns and pizza! These pepperoni (you can also use other meat) pizza sliders make for a quick, hot lunch that will feed the whole family. Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and line a baking sheet or pan with foil and cooking spray (via Modern Honey).

Place the bottom half of one pack of buns on the pan — Hawaiian Rolls are also popular with this recipe! Whip up a homemade garlic butter spread, made from ½-cup butter, 3 garlic cloves, ½-teaspoon of Red Chili Flakes, and 1-teaspoon fresh oregano. Spread the garlic butter on the bottom half of the bun. Then, top with a generous helping of provolone cheese and pepperoni, with mozzarella cheese sprinkled on top. Place the top half of the buns (or rolls) on top of the sandwiches, and spread more garlic butter on top, covering the bread. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for around 20 minutes. Remove the top layer of foil and bake for another three to five minutes to brown the buns.

These sliders are a simple way to feed a whole family at lunch time!

20. Bento box lunch ideas

Bento box lunches have been all the rage for kids and adults alike on TikTok for a couple of years now. While traditional bento boxes contain one part protein, and two half portions of veggies and fruits, modern renditions often feature an entree with a variety of fun sides. Parents have gotten increasingly creative, dreaming up character themed lunches and fancy meals in tiny portioned sizes to send to school in adorable Bento boxes.

Of course, packing complicated Bento boxes or elaborate lunch box meals of any kind takes time. Just take it from popular TikTok star Jessica Woo, who spends upwards of 40 minutes in the morning creating decadent meals for her kids' lunch boxes.

Don't have time to dream up and prepare elaborate bento boxes for your kids? The beauty of this grab-and-go mini-portioned lunch box style is that you can add any number of ingredients to each of the little trays. For a quick and easy version, try tossing grapes or cut fruits like apple or strawberry slices, some slices of deli meat, crackers, cubed cheese, and a sweet treat in instead!

21. Fairy bread

This colorful kid food has long been a hit in New Zealand and Australia. While it hasn't quite caught on in the same way elsewhere in the world, this fun and simple snack is one that your kids will love to eat. Though it may not be the healthiest lunch idea, it's great for special occasions, and for introducing young kids to preparing food.

Kids can help to butter slices of plain, un-toasted white bread (using a kid-friendly knife). Then, they can choose their colors of sprinkles, and use them to create letters, shapes, and other designs on top.

The "official" recipe for fairy bread calls for white bread, but you can also opt for gluten-free, wheat, or your choice of bread. You can even make it with banana bread or zucchini bread! To help your kiddos make fun shapes with their sprinkles, try using cookie cutters, or make your own stencils using wax or parchment paper. Fairy bread is often enjoyed at birthday parties Down Under — while you might not want to make it a daily habit for your kiddo, it's the perfect treat for celebrating special occasions like birthdays or the start of summer.

22. Cheesy broccoli casserole

Casseroles are the ultimate multi-purpose dish. They're often inexpensive and simple to make with panty staples like canned or frozen veggies. You can prep them the night before in no time, pop them in the oven the next day when you're in a rush to make dinner, and enjoy the leftovers for the rest of the week. And when it comes to getting your kids to eat more veggies, casseroles make it easy to sneak in healthy ingredients by disguising them with some cheesy goodness.

A cheesy broccoli casserole calls for an entire bag of frozen broccoli florets. But when they're mixed with cheese and topped with crunchy crushed Ritz crackers, that broccoli your kids tend to push around their plates suddenly becomes quite tasty. You can even add chicken to the recipe for protein. Make this as a side dish or the main course for a lunch you and your kids will love.

23. Chopped veggies with various dips

Getting your children to eat more veggies can often feel like an uphill battle. But most experts agree that exposing kids to fresh fruits and veggies as snacks and alongside meals is a great way to get them noshing on their greens (via Health Children). If your little ones are hesitant to finish their veggies, try pairing them with a few different dips and spreads. Hummus, fruit or veggie dips, and dressings can help to make veggies more tasty and fun for picky eaters. Try mixing and matching different veggie and dip combos to see what your little ones like.

Another great way to get your kids not just eating but enjoying their veggies is to offer them at times when they're likely to be hungry, like after school or a trip to the park. They'll be less likely to refuse to at least try their veggies, and more likely to find that they actually enjoy them!

24. Taco wraps

Tacos might be in the running for the messiest kid foods. Every time your kiddo picks one up, half the toppings are likely to fall out the other end. And burritos can be tough for little hands to hold. These easy taco wraps bridge the gap between the two for a quick and easy, kid-friendly lunch that your little ones will love.

Start with 10-inch flour tortillas. Beat a half cup of cream cheese until it's smooth, and then stir in 2 tablespoons of taco seasoning, ¼-cup green chiles, and ¼-cup of sour cream. Spread it on your tortillas. Then, add your choice of toppings. Bean dip or guacamole are great choices for adding healthy fats, protein, and nutrients to your little one's lunch. Chopped tomatoes, shredded lettuce, olives, and red peppers are also great toppings. Roll your tortillas up tightly, and serve!

Because they are served cold, these are great for prepping ahead of time and serving the next day, or for packing in your kids' lunch boxes.

25. Mac and cheese bites

You don't always have to get crazy and inventive to whip up tasty lunches that your kids will love. Sometimes, all you need to do is get a little creative with classic recipes that they already know and love. That's exactly the case with these mac and cheese bites.

Start with you and your kids' favorite recipe for macaroni and cheese. This creamy and delicious recipe might take a little longer to make than a box of Kraft, but it's worth the extra work. Make the mac and cheese as you normally would, but don't place it in a dish to bake. Instead, spoon the macaroni and cheese into unlined mini muffin tins. You'll want to add about 2 tablespoons of cheese and pasta for every one muffin slot.

Pop it in the oven and bake for around 15 minutes, or until the top of the mac and cheese is golden brown. The result are crispy and perfect individual portions of mac and cheese easy to grab and eat as a side with lunch or as a tasty appetizer. You can even scoop the mac and cheese into mini crusts.

26. Pizza hot dogs

This next simple recipe is a cross between pigs in a blanket and pizza rolls. Easy to grab and eat on-the-go, they're the perfect lunch or after-school snack for kids and kids-at-heart.

Start with refrigerated pizza dough, ready at room temperature (via Food Network). Roll it out into long, skinny strips of dough roughly four times the length of your hot dogs. Cut a slice lengthwise in each of the hot dogs. In that slice, insert half of a piece of string cheese. Wrap the hot dog and cheese in the strips of dough. Place on a baking pan, and bake for 15 to 18 minutes, or until the dough begins to brown.

While these are a tasty lunch for picky eaters any time of year, they also make for a great themed food around Halloween. Add sliced olives to make eyes for your cheesy hot dog "mummies" — it's a ghoulishly-fun lunch idea!

27. Savory waffles

Have a kiddo who loves breakfast foods, but tends to turn their nose up at vegetables? This is another sneaky recipe perfect for adding some vegetables to your child's lunch — and yours!

While these might look like your standard breakfast waffles, they're actually a savory lunch packed with all the good stuff! You'll start by grating your choice of vegetables. Carrots and sweet potatoes work well with this recipe, but you could also add grated zucchini, bell peppers, squash, peas, or corn. Then, mix your grated veggies with cheese, flour, and eggs. Spray your waffle iron with oil and pour in some of your waffle batter. Cook until browned, crisped, and cooked through the center.

You can serve these savory waffles plain, or top them with cream cheese, Greek yogurt, or hummus. They can even be used in place of bread to make a tasty, and healthier sandwich.

28. Buttered pasta

It doesn't get much simpler than buttered pasta. Whether you're in a rush and in-between grocery runs or you're struggling to get your little one to eat, this is a quick and easy dish that only requires a couple ingredients and is almost certain to please even the pickiest eater.

Simply make your choice of pasta — spaghetti is a classic, but this recipe will work just as well with penne, elbow, or any other type of pasta. Top with melted butter and serve! This is also an easy recipe to dress up, depending on your child's taste buds. Add a cup or two of cooked broccoli or peas. Sprinkle on some grated parmesan. Swirl in some cooked spinach.

Want to elevate this dish without adding to your prep time? Top with browned butter instead. This tasty ingredient takes as little as five minutes to make, but has a caramel scent and a rich flavor the whole family will love. Give yourself a break come lunch time with this easy crowd pleaser!

29. Apple sauce muffins

If you've ever found yourself trying to get your kids to eat lunch while you're rushing out the door to soccer practice, you know that having a snack or two on hand (that they can eat on-the-go) is a must. Packaged muffins are a convenient option. But while they might seem like a healthier alternative to other baked goods like brownies or cupcakes, store-bought muffins often have just as much sugar, sodium, saturated fats, and calories.

Before you write off this tasty baked good, though, give this healthier recipe a try. While these apple sauce muffins do call for sugar, they also utilize unsweetened applesauce for their tasty flavor, as well as whole wheat flour and rolled oats for some healthy carbs for your kiddo (via Yummy Toddler Food).

Make a batch early in the week, and use them as a last-minute lunch or grab and go snack when you're running short on time.

30. Baked apple chips

You may notice that apples have made their way onto our list of lunch ideas your kids will love a few times. From their crunchy texture to their tasty flavor, they're easy to incorporate into all kinds of healthy recipes that kids of all ages will love. This next lunch idea keeps things super simple, using apples in all their glory with just a few added ingredients.

Apple chips are a crunchy, satisfying snack that kids and adults will love to dig into. Start by choosing your apples — really, any kind will work! Try using several different types for a mix of flavors and textures. Cut them into thin slices, lay them flat on a baking sheet, and sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake them until dry and crisp, but not burnt. These baked chips are a great alternative for serving alongside sandwiches and other lunch foods in place of potato chips.

31. Turkey and cheese crescent rolls

A tin of crescent rolls offers endless possibilities for fun lunches everyone will love. We've already covered pizza hot dogs and pigs in a blanket. This next lunch item takes a simple, classic turkey and cheese sandwich and turns it into a fun, bite-sized lunch great for munching on-the-go.

Start by separating a roll of crescent dough into individual triangles. Then, layer a slice or two of deli turkey onto each triangle. Follow it up with a slice of cheese. Cheddar is a good choice, as is provolone, or even simple American for picky little ones. Then, roll your crescent dough, starting with the widest side. Place your sandwich rolls on a non-stick or lined baking sheet, and pop them into the oven. Bake them until the dough is cooked, and the tops of each roll are browned. These simple sandwich rolls are best served warm. Planning to feed the whole family? Be sure to make a few rolls, as these tasty little sandwiches are certain to go quickly!

32. Homemade Uncrustables

Nothing can beat a classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich at lunch time — but a peanut butter and jelly sandwich without the crust (and that's easier to eat on-the-go without dribbling jelly everywhere) comes pretty close. Whether you're short on time prepping a lunch for your kiddos or are sick of painstakingly cutting off every piece of crust, Uncrustables are a simple, convenient solution.

While some of the brand's pre-packaged, crustless sandwich flavors are more popular — and tastier than others — they share some common traits. To start, they're often much more expensive than making a sandwich from scratch. Luckily, they're also easy to copy at home. Start by crafting your sandwich of choice. Feel free to get creative with ingredients your kids like, such as peanut butter and honey or unique jelly flavors. Once you've made your sandwich, grab a glass cup. Press the opening of the cup onto your sandwich, centering it. Press firmly, then use a knife to cut away everything outside of the cup's circle.

Want to freeze these to enjoy throughout the week? Place them flat on a cookie sheet and pop in the freezer for a few hours until frozen. Then, package them in individual baggies for storage in the freezer.

33. Fruit and yogurt parfaits

Yogurt is a kid-friendly, yet tasty food that adds a one-two punch of protein, as well as healthy nutrients. On its own, it's a yummy snack. But add some fiber-packed ingredients like fruit, nuts, and granola, and you've got a healthy lunch that you and your kids will love to enjoy together.

Fruit and yogurt parfaits are a great way to introduce your kids to new flavors, and to get them to up their fruit intake. While strawberries and blueberries, as well as crunchy granola, are popular additions, there are tons of other ingredients you can add to your parfait. Try swapping out regular yogurt for Greek, add in a swirl of peanut butter, or get creative with different fruit combinations, such as mango and pineapple, or banana and blueberry. You can even make themed parfaits your kids will love, like this Candy Corn Parfait.

34. Lunch box taco bar

Taco bars aren't just for at home. This next recipe will turn your child's school or day care lunch box — maybe even your own work lunchbox — into a fun and festive taco bar that's certain to put a big smile on their face. All you'll need is a small thermos that can keep food hot until lunch time, and an assortment of taco toppings.

Start by placing your choice of ground beef or grilled chicken (hot) into your thermos first thing in the morning. Next, using a bento box-style lunch box or individual containers, add an assortment of chopped and shredded toppings, like cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, and Pico de Gallo. Finish it off with soft or crunchy tortilla shells, and maybe a side of rice. You can even add a side of chips and salsa in another small container. Keeping everything separate will help prevent ingredients from getting soggy — your little one can quickly and easily assemble their lunch when they're ready to eat.

35. Hawaiian turkey and cheese sliders

Hawaiian rolls are so much more than just the perfect dinner rolls for your Thanksgiving meal. They're also great for making batches of sliders that you and your kids will love. We already introduced pizza sliders — this next recipe is just as delicious, but features two popular lunch sandwich ingredients instead.

For these Hawaiian roll ham (or turkey) and cheese sliders, start by slicing your rolls in half (via The Cookie Rookie). Place the bottom half of the pack on a casserole dish lined with foil and spray with cooking oil. Layer on slices of ham or turkey, making sure to line the slices up on each roll. Next, add thinly sliced Swiss cheese, or swap this for your choice of cheese. Place the top half of the pack of rolls on top. Next, you'll use butter and a small amount of Dijon mustard and Worcestershire sauce, as well as a sprinkle of everything bagel seasoning, to make a sauce. Spread this over the top of your rolls, and allow it to soak in. Finally, pop the dish in the oven and cook until the rolls are browned.

36. Pizza pasta salad

Delicious noodles, Italian dressing, and your favorite pizza toppings — what's not to love about this pizza pasta salad? The recipe is another one that's easy to make ahead of time and enjoy as leftovers for the next couple days. Because it's already served cold, it's also perfect for packing in a lunchbox, or even for a picnic in the park for a mid-day trip to the playground. It's also an inexpensive option for feeding your whole family a quick and filling lunch.

The base of this pasta salad is similar to most other recipes. You'll use your choice of cooked pasta and Italian dressing, or even olive oil if you prefer (via Momables). While the recipe then calls for broccoli, pepperoni, black olives, cherry tomatoes, and mozzarella cheese, you can easily swap out some of these ingredients for ones that you know your child will love. Chopped green or red peppers, mushrooms, onions, cucumber, or carrots all work well.

37. Turkey and cheese roll ups

Short on time? Out of bread? Or maybe you're tired of trimming the crust off your picky eater's sandwiches? This next lunch staple is for you. Turkey and cheese roll ups are perhaps the simplest meal on this list, and the fastest to make. Yet, they're a great lunch or snack for picky kids and busy adults, or anyone who is looking to cut their carb intake.

All you need to do is lay out slices of turkey deli meat, layer with your choice of cheese, and roll. Make them the night before and pop them in a lunch box, or roll them up one-handed while you're juggling a million other things in the middle of a busy day. Either way, your kiddo will love that they can nosh while still playing with one hand free, and you'll love knowing that they're getting some healthy protein that won't lead to a big mess in the kitchen.

38. Homemade granola bars

If you find yourself tossing a box or two of granola bars into your cart every week as a grab-and-go snack for you and your kids, this next recipe is for you. With less sugar and processed ingredients, and more wholesome and nutritious add-ins, these homemade granola bars are surprisingly easy to make, and just as delicious — or even better — than grocery store varieties.

There are tons of recipes for homemade granola bars. If your kids love simple chocolate chip granola bars, you can make your own copycat recipe at home (via Once Upon a Chef). Other recipes produce softer bars that call for nuts, dried fruits, and other healthy ingredients (via Inspired Taste).

While it may not be the most filling lunch on its own, it's a great addition to your kid's lunch that can help them get whole grains and some protein. It's also perfect for when your little one doesn't want to stop playing for too long in order to eat. Plus, with bulk ingredients like granola and nuts, these homemade granola bars can help you save on your grocery bill compared to store-bought varieties.

39. Banana cereal snacks

Got a little one who can't get enough bananas? This crunchy snack makes a great addition to a lunch plate that your kids will love. And even better, you likely have all or most of the ingredients already in your kitchen. All you'll need are bananas, peanut butter, and cereal — crunchy rice cereal like Rice Krispies work best, but you can use other types of cereal, too (via The Gracious Wife).

Start by peeling your bananas, and slicing them into halves or thirds. You'll be able to slice your banana snacks into smaller pieces later if you prefer, but you'll want them a bit bigger for the next step. Smear your bananas in peanut butter, trying to coat a thin layer all the way around each banana slice. Then, pour your cereal on a plate, and roll the bananas in the cereal to coat them.

While things may get a little messy, this is also a great recipe for kids who like to help out in the kitchen.

40. Fruit salad

Trying to get your kiddo to eat more fruit? Or have a child who can't get enough? Either way, this simple, kid-firendly fruit salad makes a perfect side dish for a healthy, tasty lunch.

Start by chopping your child's favorite fruits. Pineapple, Mandarin orange slices, kiwi, strawberries, apples, grapes, and blueberries all work well in this recipe (via All Recipes). You can also add sliced bananas, mango, or whatever else you have in your kitchen. If you don't want to chop and dice fruit or are short on fresh varieties, you can mix in some canned fruit. Simply drain your fruits and toss them together into your salad.

The secret to this kid-friendly salad is to top it with a cup or two of vanilla or strawberry yogurt. For hesitant fruit eaters, the yogurt adds a sweet touch to off-set the tart fruit. This side dish isn't just for kids — adults will love this perfect summer treat, too!

41. Peanut butter and banana on toast

Is there such a thing as too many recipes that call for peanut butter and banana? If your kiddo loves this combo, the answer is definitely no! For this recipe, you'll want to start by toasting your choice of bread or an English muffin. Then, spread with peanut butter — both crunchy or smooth peanut butter work! You can also swap out the peanut butter for your choice of other nut or seed butters. Try it with sunflower butter, almond butter, or soy butter. For an extra sweet, but not necessarily healthy alternative, you can even use Nutella.

Next, slice your bananas into bite-sized pieces. Place them on top of the peanut butter. Finally, a dab of honey or sprinkle your creation with some cinnamon for a sweet finish. You can even add shaved almonds! This meal is a great way to get picky kiddos to eat a little protein, potassium, vitamins, and fiber in at lunch time. It's also a healthy breakfast or lunch for adults, too.

42. Banana and peanut butter pinwheels

An alternative to the peanut butter and banana on toast or an English muffin recipe is this lunchbox-friendly variety. Instead of spreading those classic toppings on a toasted pastry or bread, you'll be spreading them in a wrap or tortilla, and rolling them up for an easy, on-the-go meal you and your kids will love.

Instead of slicing your banana, keep them whole, or cut them in half, depending on the size of your wrap or tortilla. Spread peanut butter on your wrap, then place your banana near one edge. Roll the wrap and peanut butter around your banana.

Depending on the type of wrap you use, you may need a toothpick to hold them together and keep them from unrolling. Another great option is to turn your peanut butter and banana wrap into pinwheels. Simply make your wrap as you usually would. Then, slice them into circles, around 1-inch thick. These pinwheels are a great addition to a bento box or lunch box, or as a quick snack at home.

43. Snacking bento box

Got a little one who loves to snack? If you struggle to get them to eat larger lunch items like sandwiches or pizza, this recipe is a great way to make sure they're still getting variety in their diet. Grab a bento box, and fill each of the compartments with a variety of healthy snacks. The goal should be to make sure that you're covering different food groups, while also ensuring your little one is getting some healthy protein, fiber, and vitamins at lunch time.

In one compartment, include a fruit or two. Small fruits like blueberries, grapes, or Mandarin orange slices are a great choice, as are those that you can chop up. Next, try to add a veggie or two. If your child likes dips and spreads like hummus or veggie dip, include this in one compartment, and then add a compartment or two of cut veggies, such as green peppers, baby carrots, or celery. Protein options include slices of deli meat, boiled eggs, nuts, or peanut butter — try the peanut butter and banana pinwheels or the banana cereal treats from earlier on this list!

Other great bento-box additions include sliced cheese, trail mix, pretzels, crackers, pasta salad, and mini sandwiches or quesadillas. You can get as creative or simple as you'd like! Snack bento boxes are also a great way to introduce picky eaters to new ingredients, or for the whole family to snack on together.

44. Pizza pockets

Whether you're looking for an easy lunch or great snack food for your next party, these mini calzone pizza pockets are certain to be a hit. They're also a great option for little hands — especially for your pizza-loving kids.

The "crust" of these pizza pockets is actually biscuit dough (via Dancing Through The Rain). A roll of refrigerated dough works best. Separate out the biscuits, and roll the dough slightly so that it's flat and thin. Top with a spread of pizza sauce — you can make your own or use a store-bought variety — then add your choice of toppings. Shredded cheese and pepperoni are classics, but you can also add other pizza toppings like chopped veggies, cooked sausage, and more.

Add toppings to one side of the dough. Then, roll the other half over. Use a little water to press the edges of your pizza pocket closed. Prick each pocket with a fork to allow steam to escape, then place on a baking sheet and bake until browned. These might be a less processed version of your favorite pizza rolls, but keep in mind that they'll be just as hot when they're fresh from the oven!

45. Corn dog muffins

Mini muffin tins are perfect for making bite-sized foods for toddlers and fun finger foods for older kids and adults. This next kid-friendly lunch recipe calls for a tray of mini muffins, filled with corn bread and sliced hot dogs to make a simple treat that your kids will love.

This quick and easy take on corn dogs takes just a few simple ingredients, and are great for making ahead of time and popping in the microwave. You can make the corn bread dough from scratch, or use a boxed mix to make things faster and easier. After making your dough, pour it into each muffin tin about half way. Then, insert a slice of hot dog. Bake until browned, let cool, and enjoy!

Serve them on their own, or with a side of ketchup, mustard, or other condiments. Besides being a great main dish for lunch, these mini corn dog muffins are also a great kid-friendly food for parties.

46. Sweet potato noodle ham and cheese cups

This next mini muffin recipe sounds more complicated than it is. You'll need a veggie spiralizer to create these sweet potato noodle ham and cheese cups — and only a few simple ingredients to recreate this delicious lunch item that you and your kids will enjoy.

Start by spiralizing one medium sweet potato. Place your sweet potato "noodles" in a skillet, and season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Cook until the noodles are al dente, but still a little soft. Let the noodles cool, then transfer to a bowl and add 1 large egg, chopped ham, and shredded cheddar cheese. Mix it all together, then scoop into mini muffin tins. You can also use full-sized muffin tins to make larger cups.

Bake until browned. You'll want the edges to be slightly crunchy. These tasty bite-sized cups are a healthy addition to lunch.

47. Ham and cheese baked muffins

Similar to mac and cheese bites or egg muffins, these ham and cheese baked muffins make use of a mini muffin dish to create delicious, bite-size snacks that you and your kiddos will love to nosh on. With a base of eggs, a splash of milk, and sprinkle of chopped ham and shredded cheese, these muffins are tasty and nutritious. Rest assured that your child is getting a protein-rich lunch, and they'll love that they won't have to stop playing to eat these delicious, handheld bites.

This recipe begins much the same as the egg bites we mentioned earlier. But in addition to beaten eggs, you'll also add a splash of milk and Dijon mustard for flavor. Once you've filled your muffin tins half way, you can sprinkle in diced ham, shredded cheddar cheese, and chopped green onions. Also like the other egg muffin recipe, you can swap the regular eggs out for egg beaters or egg whites for this recipe.

48. Banana pancakes

While pancakes might be a crowd pleaser at breakfast time, they're not exactly a healthy way to start the day. But these super simple, 4-ingredient banana pancakes are a different story (via Ambitious Kitchen). They're grain free, gluten free, and can be dairy free, making them a great choice for households with allergies or food restrictions. They're also high in protein and fiber to help the littles feel full and energized for their day, but with a hint of natural sweetness and flavor that they'll love.

All you'll need is one banana, medium ripe, two eggs, coconut flour, and a splash of your choice of milk. If you're making them dairy free, skip the eggs, and opt for a dairy free milk alternative. Otherwise, add in regular milk and eggs for a boost of protein to your kiddo's meal. While these are excellent for breakfast, they're also a quick and easy lunch that's perfect for serving to picky eaters. You can even add a side of fruit.

Prefer something a little closer to a traditional pancake? This recipe for banana pancakes is a delicious alternative.

49. Egg muffins

Nothing beats a simple, healthy meal that you can prep ahead of time and heat up for lunch the next day, or even the next couple of days — except maybe one that's easy to eat on-the-go and the perfect size for little hands. These easy egg muffins taste just like the variety you'll find in the frozen breakfast section at the grocery store or at your local Starbucks.

All you need are eggs, cooking spray, a mini muffin tray, and your choice of ingredients. Try your favorite omelet toppings, such as spinach, cheese, tomatoes, and mushrooms. You can even add crumbled bacon, chopped ham, or cooked sausage. Spray your muffin tins, then fill them about halfway with eggs, beaten. Sprinkle a small amount of each ingredient in every cup, and bake for around five minutes on the middle rack. Move to the top rack for a few minutes until the tops turn brown. You can easily swap out the regular eggs for egg whites or egg beaters, too.

50. Homemade SpaghettiOs

Since 1965, Campbell's Soup Company has been churning out cans of pre-prepared, ultra simple spaghetti designed with kids and their moms in mind. SpaghettiOs have been a kid-favorite for decades. They take just minutes to heat up in the microwave. Plus, they come in all kinds of fun shapes, like Star Wars, Mickey Mouse, and Disney Princesses. While they aren't quite as popular as they once were, if you're feeling nostalgic, you can still buy SpaghettiOs with sliced Franks!

But like most canned and packaged foods, SpaghettiOs have at least a few ingredients that might leave you questioning just how wholesome they are for your kids. Luckily, copycat recipes allow you to make a healthier verision of this pantry staple — and your kids won't be able to tell they aren't the real thing. These homemade noodles have no preservatives or additives but are just as delicious as you remember them!