The lunchtime sandwich may be as American as the flag itself, but let’s face it: Slapping the same smears onto bread — day after day, week after week — can leave kids and parents a little bored. Here are 10 ideas for sandwich-free lunches that take cues lunch ideas for school home and abroad. To pick which one you should start with, play our video recipe roulette.
Simply hit pause whenever you like and let the universe choose for you. Because I don’t know anyone who, deep down, doesn’t want food on a stick at some point. All 10 ideas are nut-free, to correspond to many schools’ preferences that school lunches omit potentially allergenic foods. Because everything is more fun on a stick. For young kids, use flat, blunt-edged bamboo sticks, not the stabby toothpick-like kind.
Get a recipe: Yellow Chicken with Broccoli and Peanut Sauce at Hogwash, my blog. Obviously, leave the peanut sauce off if packing a nut-free lunch or if your kid is in a peanut-free classroom. Pack with: Cubed meat or cheese, sliced red bell peppers, blueberries, chocolate square. Rolling sliced deli turkey, ham, or roast beef around cheese sticks, cream cheese, and even greens can change the way your kiddos think about lunch meat. Summer Project: Make Vegetable Maki Sushi with Kids! Pack with: Sushi condiments, edamame, raspberries, snickerdoodle cookie.
Pack with: Cubed chicken or tinned fish, snap peas, clementines, chocolate raisins. Why not make it the star of the show? Pack with: Salami, olives, carrots, baby tomatoes, and grapes. Note that dipping is easier and less messy if you pack the hummus in a separate container. Pack with: Sliced strawberries, squeezable yogurt.
Frozen yogurt tubes also make great small ice packs, and typically thaw by lunch. Because nothing beats a cold chicken leg on a Monday. Kitchn supports our readers with carefully chosen product recommendations to improve life at home. You support us through our independently chosen links, many of which earn us a commission. Boring kids’ lunches are criticized more than a professional chef’s cooking. Whether you’re eating at home or packing the kids’ lunches for school, these 101 lunch ideas for kids at home or school offer tasty options to please the pickiest palettes.