Choose one lunch and adjust the idea and sides according to the preferences of your kiddo. Use these portions as general guidelines and 100% adjust for the reality of your child’s appetite. (Nutrition info will vary based on the specific ingredients you use.)
- Hummus Sandwich (assembled or deconstructed): 1/2-1 slice bread, 2 tablespoons hummus, 1/4-1/2 cup each fruit and veggie, 1/4 cup animal crackers
- Spinach and Cheese Pizza Rolls: 1 pizza roll, 1/4-1/2 cup each fruit and veggie
- Hard-Cooked Egg Snack Box: 1 hard-cooked egg, sliced or cubed, 1/2 cup pita bread or crackers, 1/4-1/2 cup each fruit and veggie
- Toddler Taco Salad: 1/2 cup brown rice, 2 tablespoons-1/4 cup black or pinto beans, 1/4 cup diced veggies, 1 oz cubed cheese, and salsa or guacamole. Add a fruit if desired.
- Pesto Pasta Salad: 1-1 1/2 cup pasta salad, 1/4 cup puffs, fruit if desired.
- Egg and Cheese Mini Muffins: 1-2 muffins, 1/4-1/2 cup crackers or pita bread, small piece of fruit
- Veggie Muffins: 1 muffin, 1 tube or 1/2 cup yogurt, 1/4 cup cubed chicken, turkey, or ham, small piece of fruit
- Tortilla Rolls: 1 tortilla, 2 tablespoons Sunbutter or other favorite nut butter, 1 small banana or 1 tablespoon whole-fruit jam, 1/4-1/2 cup each fruit and veggie.
- Sandwich Spirals: 1 slice whole grain bread, 2 tablespoons cream cheese, 1 tablespoon jelly OR 2 tablespoons nut or butter and 1 tablespoon jam OR 2 tablespoons mashed roasted sweet potato OR 2 tablespoons hummus or 2 tablespoons mashed beans and salsa. Add 1/4-1/2 cup each fruit and veggie and a fun food.
- Ham and Cheese Snack Box: 1 oz each diced ham and shredded cheese, 1 slice whole grain bread or mini muffin, 1/4-1/2 cup each fruit and veggie.
- Pancake or Waffle Sandwich: 2 small leftover pancakes or waffles, 2 tablespoons nut or seed butter or cream cheese, 1 tablespoon jam. 1/4-1/2 cup each fruit and veggie.
- Yogurt and granola: 1/2 cup yogurt, 2 tablespoons-1/4 cup granola, 1/4-1/2 cup each fruit and veggie
- Overnight Oats : 1/2 cup overnight oats, 1/4-1/2 cup each fruit and veggie, fun food if desired
- Snack box: 1 oz each cheese and meat, 1/4-1/2 cup each fruit and veggie, and 1/4-1/2 cup crackers or dry cereal
- Cinnamon Chickpeas:1/4-1/2 cup chickpeas, 1 oz cheese, 1/4-1/2 cup each fruit and veggie, 1/4-1/2 cup crackers
- Hummus Sandwich: Spread hummus on bread or serve as a drip with bread cubes. Add sliced pepperoni, cut up fruit, animal crackers, and desired veggies.
- Spinach and Cheese Pizza Rolls: Prepare rolls ahead. Pack warm in a thermos or chilled in a lunchbox. Add beans and fruit on the side.
- Hard-Cooked Egg Snack Box: Add hard-cooked eggs, pita or crackers, fruit and veggies to a snack box.
- Toddler Taco Salad: Pack brown rice, black or pinto beans, diced veggies, cubed cheese, and salsa or guacamole in a lunchbox. (Sub pasta for the rice if that’s easier.)
- Pesto Pasta Salad: Prepare pasta salad ahead. Pair with fruit and a fun food like puffs.
- Egg and Cheese Mini Muffins: Prepare muffins ahead. Pack with crackers or pita bread, fruit, and a veggie.
- Veggie Muffins:Prepare muffins ahead. Pack with a yogurt tube, fruit, and cubed chicken, turkey, or ham.
- Tortilla Rolls: Spread Sunbutter or other favorite nut butter onto a tortilla. Add a banana or whole-fruit jam. Roll up and slice into spirals. Can also do this with turkey and cheese. Add simple sides to round out the meal.
- Sandwich Spirals: Roll soft whole grain sandwich bread flat and thin with a rolling pin. Spread on cream cheese and jelly, nut butter and jam, mashed sweet potato and nut butter, hummus, mashed beans and salsa, or herbed goat cheese. Slice and serve as spirals with simple sides to round things out.
- Ham and Cheese Snack Box: Pack diced ham, shredded cheese and a whole grain bread or muffin into a lunch box.
- Pancake or Waffle Sandwich: Spread leftover pancakes or waffles with nut or seed butter or cream cheese and jam. Add another pancake or waffle on top and pack as a sandwich. (Cut up if needed.) Add simple sides as needed.
- Yogurt and granola: Layer granola over yogurt and pack with simple fruit or veggies on the side
- Overnight Oats: Make overnight oats the night before. Pack with simple sides.
- Snack box: Add cheese (slices, cubes, or string cheese); meat (cut up deli meat, leftover shredded chicken or beef); thawed frozen peas or corn, cherry tomatoes, shredded carrots; cut grapes, berries, melon, or another favorite fruit, to a lunchbox. Put in a few crackers or a favorite dry cereal
- Cinnamon Chickpeas:Make chickpeas ahead. Pack with cheese, fruit, crackers, and veggies
Add water or milk as desired.
Add a fun food with the lunch if you’d like.
Add easy sides like fruit, an applesauce pouch, yogurt tube, a snack bar, cheese stick, crackers, or dry cereal as needed.
Communicate with the teacher if sending to daycare to know if you’re sending the right amount of food.
Try new foods at home before sending to daycare.
Make sure the food is easy for your child to eat.