Make sending your kiddo off to school for the first time much easier with easy school lunch ideas for kindergarten (and every year after!) they’ll love to eat! These are easy to make, kid-friendly, and a perfect way to start off the school year…or break a rut when you can’t decide what to send.

4 kindergarten lunches in gridSchool Lunch Ideas for Kindergarten

Starting kindergarten is such a big milestone and it can bring up a lot of emotions for kids and parents alike. Lunchtime should be a source of comfort, so having a list of easy, yummy, and nutritious meals that the kids will love to eat can go a long way towards making the lunch packing (and eating) efforts much easier on everyone.

bento box with sandwich, clementine, crackers, cucumber

50 Kindergarten Lunches (for Even Picky Kids!)

Consider whether your child will have milk with their lunch when deciding whether to send a drink—and keep in mind that milk is food and a source of dairy when packing a lunch.

  1. Sunbutter and jam sandwich, applesauce pouch, cheese stick
  2. Turkey and cheese sandwich, snap pea crisps, raspberries
  3. Ham and cheese sandwich, snap peas, clementine
  4. Cheese sandwich, fruit, veggie of choice
  5. Hummus sandwich, banana, cookie
  6. Cream cheese and jam sandwich, apple slices, roasted chickpeas
  7. Pita pocket sandwich with hummus and cucumbers, veggie medley (in a thermos), fruit cup
  8. Pita pocket wedges with hummus or ranch, diced chicken, baked chips, and strawberries
  9. DIY lunchables with meat, cheese, crackers, and fruit in a lunchbox
  10. Crackers, cheese, fruit, and veggies (carrots, cucumber, snap peas)
  11. Crackers, hummus, fruit, and veggies (carrots, celery, mini cucumbers)
  12. Mac and cheese with peas and fruit (see below for the full recipe)
  13. Pesto pasta with fruit
  14. Bean and cheese burrito with fruit and dessert 
  15. Healthy Chocolate Muffin with cheese and fruit
  16. Blueberry Banana Muffin with yogurt pouch and cucumber
  17. Banana Zucchini Muffin with pepperoni and cheese
  18. Pretzels, cheese, fruit, and a veggie
  19. Pretzels, hummus, fruit, and a veggie
  20. Cheerios, raisins, nondairy yogurt, grapes
  21. Snap pea crisps, cheese, fruit and a veggie
  22. Granola bar, cheese, fruit, and a veggie
  23. Granola bar, cheese, salami, fruit, and a veggie
  24. Tortilla with Sunbutter and banana, sliced into rounds, with bell peppers
  25. Tortilla with hummus and cucumbers, with strawberries and cheese crackers
  26. Tortilla with refried beans and cheese, applesauce and peas
  27. Tortilla with turkey and cheese rolled up, side of baked chips and fruit
  28. Black Bean quesadillas, corn, apple
  29. Leftover pancakes with syrup and fruit
  30. Leftover pancakes as a sandwich with nut/seed butter, fruit
  31. Leftover French toast with syrup and fruit
  32. Hard-cooked eggs, crackers, grapes, carrots
  33. Hard-cooked egg, pretzels, berries, bell peppers
  34. Pesto Pizza Roll, fruit
  35. Mini Pizza Rolls with Spinach, applesauce pouch, carrot sticks
  36. Broccoli and Cheese Pizza Pocket, Strawberry Applesauce
  37. Mini bagel with cream cheese, celery sticks, small pear
  38. Mini bagel sandwich with turkey and cheese, applesauce
  39. Pasta and meatballs, clementine
  40. Meatball sandwich, blueberries
  41. Turkey wrapped around a cheese stick, pretzels, cucumbers, orange slices
  42. Ham wrapped around a cheese stick, roll, rainbow carrots, pineapple
  43. Apple slices with nut/seed butter, crackers, cookie
  44. Yogurt and granola, blackberries
  45. Greek yogurt, Banana Bread, sliced carrots
  46. Greek yogurt, crackers, banana, olives
  47. Cottage cheese with pineapple, whole grain crackers, bell peppers
  48. Cottage cheese with blueberries and granola
  49. Favorite pasta salad with watermelon cubes
  50. Baked tortilla chips, salsa, diced chicken or black beans, shredded cheese, and fruit

TIP: Adjust these school lunch ideas for kindergarten based on the normal appetite and preferences of your child. 

kids bento box for kindergarten with cereal, peas, cheeseKid-Friendly Lunch Ideas for School

The best advice I can offer about packing lunches is to work with your child to come up with a few options that they like. Write them out and hang the list on the fridge to have it to refer to each night!

mac-and-cheese-lunch

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What does/did your kiddo like to take to kindergarten? I’d love to hear in the comments!

4 kindergarten lunches in grid

50 Easy School Lunch Ideas for Kindergarten (and Beyond!)

Below is the recipe for the Mac and Cheese with Peas. The rest of the ideas are in the Notes section so you can have all of the inspiration in one easy to print place!
5 from 31 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 13 minutes
Cuisine American
Course lunch
Calories 431kcal
Servings 4

Ingredients

Mac and Cheese with Peas

  • 1 box mac and cheese
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoons milk

Instructions

  • Prepare the mac and cheese according to the package directions.
  • Drain over the peas placed in a colander. The peas will thaw almost immediately.
  • Prepare the cheese sauce with the butter and milk according to package directions. Stir in the pasta and peas.
  • Pack into a thermos for school with simple sides like fruit.
  • Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days. Reheat to serve or pack.

Notes

Here are the rest of my easy kindergarten ideas:
  • Sunbutter and jam sandwich, applesauce pouch, cheese stick
  • Turkey and cheese sandwich, snap pea crisps, raspberries
  • Ham and cheese sandwich, snap peas, clementine
  • Cheese sandwich, fruit, veggie of choice
  • Hummus sandwich, banana, cookie
  • Cream cheese and jam sandwich, apple slices, roasted chickpeas
  • Pita pocket sandwich with hummus and cucumbers, veggie medley (in a thermos), fruit cup
  • Pita pocket wedges with hummus or ranch, diced chicken, baked chips, and strawberries
  • DIY lunchables with meat, cheese, crackers, and fruit in a lunchbox
  • Crackers, cheese, fruit, and veggies (carrots, cucumber, snap peas)
  • Crackers, hummus, fruit, and veggies (carrots, celery, mini cucumbers)
  • Mac and cheese with peas and fruit (see below for the full recipe)
  • Pesto pasta with fruit
  • Bean and cheese burrito with fruit and dessert 
  • Healthy Chocolate Muffin with cheese and fruit
  • Blueberry Banana Muffin with yogurt pouch and cucumber
  • Banana Zucchini Muffin with pepperoni and cheese
  • Pretzels, cheese, fruit, and a veggie
  • Pretzels, hummus, fruit, and a veggie
  • Cheerios, raisins, nondairy yogurt, grapes
  • Snap pea crisps, cheese, fruit and a veggie
  • Granola bar, cheese, fruit, and a veggie
  • Granola bar, cheese, salami, fruit, and a veggie
  • Tortilla with Sunbutter and banana, sliced into rounds, with bell peppers
  • Tortilla with hummus and cucumbers, with strawberries and cheese crackers
  • Tortilla with refried beans and cheese, applesauce and peas
  • Tortilla with turkey and cheese rolled up, side of baked chips and fruit
  • Black Bean quesadillas, corn, apple
  • Leftover pancakes with syrup and fruit
  • Leftover pancakes as a sandwich with nut/seed butter, fruit
  • Leftover French toast with syrup and fruit
  • Hard-cooked eggs, crackers, grapes, carrots
  • Hard-cooked egg, pretzels, berries, bell peppers
  • Pesto Pizza Roll, fruit
  • Mini Pizza Rolls with Spinach, applesauce pouch, carrot sticks
  • Broccoli and Cheese Pizza Pocket, Strawberry Applesauce
  • Mini bagel with cream cheese, celery sticks, small pear
  • Mini bagel sandwich with turkey and cheese, applesauce
  • Pasta and meatballs, clementine
  • Meatball sandwich, blueberries
  • Turkey wrapped around a cheese stick, pretzels, cucumbers, orange slices
  • Ham wrapped around a cheese stick, roll, rainbow carrots, pineapple
  • Apple slices with nut/seed butter, crackers, cookie
  • Yogurt and granola, blackberries
  • Greek yogurt, Banana Bread, sliced carrots
  • Greek yogurt, crackers, banana, olives
  • Cottage cheese with pineapple, whole grain crackers, bell peppers
  • Cottage cheese with blueberries and granola
  • Favorite pasta salad with watermelon cubes
  • Baked tortilla chips, salsa, diced chicken or black beans, shredded cheese, and fruit

Nutrition

Calories: 431kcal, Carbohydrates: 61g, Protein: 17g, Fat: 13g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 1mg, Sodium: 915mg, Potassium: 336mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 296IU, Vitamin C: 15mg, Calcium: 193mg, Iron: 3mg
Tried this recipe?Rate in the comments and tag @yummytoddlerfood on IG!

 

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This is so helpful! We do pb&j every day for lunch and I was starting to worry about what to send to school when my oldest starts kindergarten in a few weeks. She is going to love helping me pick her lunch from this list!

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  4. 5 stars
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  5. 5 stars
    Thanks for these great ideas! I’m new to packing a thermos with hot foods. Do you have food safety tips? I’ve read saucy foods stay hot better, but my kiddo is not a fan of sauce on pasta yet. Any advice? Thanks!

  6. 5 stars
    First time school mom and I’m fre4aking out lol

    How do you keep the food hot???

    do you pack extra in case they are still hungry???

    What if they don’t like what you pack then what do they eat???

    sorry for all the questions

    1. For keeping food hot, I recommend a thermos. At the start, you can pack a little extra and see what comes home to get a sense of whether it’s too much or just enough. I try to pack mostly foods I know they like—you can pack it together if that helps with this issue. Also, afternoon snack is never too far away, so they will always have another chance to eat if needed!

  7. 5 stars
    I used to make tuna macheese casserole
    I would make macaroni and cheese according to the box directions and I would just drain a can of tuna and a can of peas to the pan and some times I would even add a can of cream of mushroom soup to it my kids loved it

  8. 5 stars
    Total school lunch newbie here…this list is a huge help, thank you! It would be great to know which are served warm vs cold. Are the quesadillas and chopped chicken stored in a thermos to keep warm or served cold? Thanks!

    1. The ones that I’d pack in a thermos include: mac and cheese, pesto pasta, bean and cheese burrito, quesadillas, leftover pancakes (not the sandwich, but if sending cut up with syrup), French toast, Pizza Rolls…I use a Lunchbots thermos and also the Omie bento box to send all of these regularly for my oldest. They work really well!

  9. 5 stars
    Its funny that I picked this site that I found on google search (lunch ideas for kindergarten) and I also follow you on Instagram! Thank you for the great ideas.