Round out any lunch—whether yours or the kids—with one of our top picks for lunch snacks. These ideas require minimal effort, can be added to a lunch at home or packed for on the go, and are a perfect way to add an extra dose of nutrition (and yumminess) to lunch.
The easiest way to ensure the kids have enough to eat at lunch is to add on a snack or two to the main meal. This can be as simple as tucking in a piece of fruit or a veggie pouch, or adding a snack bar on the side. This helps to hit more food groups and can be a nice safety net if you aren’t sure if the kids will eat the main part of the lunch.
Below you’ll find 50 ideas for what you include with a lunch and each works at home or packed for daycare, preschool, or school. Use this to help you come up with ideas for filling that lunch box and to limit the amount of minutes you spend staring into the fridge wondering what on earth to pack!
These are some of my go-to ideas for fruits for lunch.
- Canned fruit in 100% juice
- Freeze-dried fruit
- Avocado, diced (or as guacamole)
- Clementines (dice up as needed)
- Melon, diced
TIP: Check out my Master List of Fruits for Kids for all of my ideas.
TIP: Find all of my best vegetables recipes here.
If the main part of the lunch isn’t high in protein, one of these ideas can be a nice add-on.
- Drinkable yogurt
- Beans (such as chickpeas or edamame)
- Cheese stick or slice
- Chicken, shredded
- Cottage cheese
- Eggs (hard-cooked, in Egg Muffins, scrambled)
- Energy Bite
- Fruit-on-the-Bottom Yogurt
- Nut or seed butter (as a dip)
- Snack bar (such as Larabar)
- Turkey (low-sodium deli meat)
TIP: Learn more about kids and protein.
Whole grains and carbs are a helpful way to ensure we’re full enough after a meal. Here are some easy options to include in a lunch.
Add a dessert to the lunch with one of these yummy ideas (or insert your favorite store-bought option).
- Applesauce Cookies
- Apple Carrot Cookies
- Banana Cookies
- Chickpea Blondies
- Chocolate chips
- Graham Cracker Bites
- Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
- Sugar Cookies
- No-Bake Chocolate Cookies
- Zucchini Cookies
- Yogurt pretzels
- Fruit leather
Frequently Asked Questions
Fruit, vegetables, simple proteins like cheese, yogurt, shredded chicken, and beans, carbohydrates including whole grain crackers, muffins, and bread, and any foods that fill in food groups that may not be in the main dish.
We love doing snack meals, where you essentially build lunch from an assortment of snacks. It’s super kid-friendly and is a great way to use ingredients you have on hand.
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Comment below with feedback and find all of my favorite store-bought snacks here.