Preparing lunch for kids can be really confusing at times. You have to take care of the nutritional value of the food so that kids have a healthy development and, simultaneously, keep the meal delicious and interesting.
Hence, you need recipes that taste good, provide all the essential nutritional elements to your diet and act as a change from regular lunch.
So if you are looking for some sumptuous yet healthy lunch ideas for kids at home, here are my top 12 lunch recipes that you can easily make for your little ones.
1. Avocado Toast With Hard-boiled Eggs
Avocado is one of the healthiest sources of good fats, vitamins, and minerals. When you add hard-boiled eggs with it, it becomes a powerhouse of protein as well.
The best part about this recipe is that you don’t have to invest extra time in preparations. Just mash the avocado, layer it on a piece of wholegrain toast, and garnish it with a squeeze of lemon juice. Now, you can add the hard-boiled eggs on top of it or serve them separately.
Sprinkle some salt and pepper, and you’re ready, with the healthiest and fastest lunch for your kids.
2. Pasta Salad
Pasta salad is a delicious meal that you can quickly prepare for lunch. On top of that, you can give it various textures like adding some Mediterranean flavor or an Italian touch. It is all up to you.
To make a pasta salad, first, cook a bowl of pasta. Then, add some healthy elements like baby spinach leaves (chopped), grape tomatoes, kalamata olives, feta cheese, and extra virgin olive oil.
Finally, season with salt and pepper to taste.
3. Rice And Beans
Rice and beans are another super nutritious combination that you can serve your kids for lunch. It contains the goodness of magnesium and potassium and acts as a great source of protein. On top of that, it is fairly easy to make, and you get to add flavors of your own choice.
Here is the simplest recipe –
Saute onion and garlic cloves in a pan or skillet. Keep stirring and add red bell pepper (diced) and saute for another five to six minutes.
Now add a can of black beans and your favorite tastemakers like salt, black pepper, cumin, and paprika. Keep stirring for a while until it’s cooked. You can also add chicken if your kids love non-veg, as it will level up the taste and the protein element in their diet.
Now cook until it’s dry and serve the delicious black beans with cooked brown rice and add some chopped cilantro leaves for garnish.
Another similar recipe that you can prepare with rice is Asian Rice Salad. You can add lots of veggies like carrots, green onions, snow peas, corn, and parsley to cooked rice and make a delicious and super healthy salad. It is rich in fibers, protein, vitamins, and other nutrients.
4. Meatloaf Muffins
Meatloaf muffins are among the simple and healthy lunch ideas for kids at home. Plus, they are a nice alternative to regular meatloaves.
You can make these muffins more wholesome by adding or “hiding” veggies inside them. Such as when you are making muffins, you can add some sauteed veggies to the meat and breadcrumbs. Adding an egg to the mixture also keeps them moist and gives a nice flavor to the dish.
On top of that, you can serve the crispy baked muffins with anything like veggies, ketchup, boiled potato, or just chips.
5. Whole Wheat (Pita Bread) Pizza
Everyone loves pizza. It is yummy, and if you replace its standard base with whole wheat or pita bread, it becomes full of nutrients like Vitamin B and fibers. So, if you were looking for cheap lunch ideas, here is the best one for you.
Just like you make a standard pizza, preheat your oven to 375F. Now spread natural marinara sauce over a whole-wheat dough base. Add mozzarella and your favorite veggies on the top and bake for 10 to 15 minutes.
It will not just taste great but also add a fair amount of nutrients to your child’s diet, depending upon your toppings.
Tostada is a simple Mexican recipe that is basically a crunchy fried tortilla. You can quickly prepare it at home, and the best part is, you can add toppings of your own favored taste.
To make tostadas, first of all, fry tortillas until they are golden brown. Let them dry for a while, and then start placing the toppings. You can add almost anything you prefer, like rice, chicken, meat, cream, cheese, beans, lettuce, shredded beef, tomatoes, sauce, cheese, or homemade salsa or fish.
Bake till the cheese melts. Then your meal is ready!
If you have a kid who is picky about food choices, tostadas are going to be really helpful. You can make them in any way, and thus, there is no possibility that your kids won’t like it. Add their favorite topping, and it will soon become their preferred lunch or snack.
7. Honeyed Fruit Salad
If you already had something heavy for breakfast and need a light lunch, there’s nothing better than a sweet fruit salad. It is one of the super quick and easy lunch ideas that you can instantly make at home.
To create a delicious fruit salad, make a smooth blend of honey, lemon juice, zest, and granulated sugar. You can refrigerate it for a while till you cut your fruits.
Now cut your favorite fruits like strawberries, pears, kiwis, apples, peaches and serve them with the smooth dressing. Or you can mix all of them in a bowl. It is tasty, rich in vitamins, and light for digestion as well.
8. Stuffed Baked Potatoes
If you haven’t tried stuffed potatoes yet, then it is the right time.
Stuffed potato with cheese and bacon is one mouth-watering recipe that you should give a try. Plus, I’m sure your kids are going to love it.
For making it, you have to scoop out the baked potatoes and fill them with a mixture of mashed potatoes, cream, bacon, onion. You can add items of your choice as well, such as chopped veggies.
Now, stuff the potatoes like before, put some toppings and cheese on them and bake them again until the cheese melts.
Serve with sprinkled bacon.
9. Delicious Quesadillas
Mexican quesadillas topped with cheese, bell peppers, and your favorite toppings can be one great option for lunch that you can enjoy with your kids.
To make delicious crispy quesadillas, start with sauteing the green, red and yellow bell peppers in a pan. Add salt and cumin, black pepper, and lime juice for taste and saute them until they become soft.
Now, put the tortillas on your baking pan, add these cooked peppers and lots of cheese to them, and finally, cover with another flour tortilla. Bake at 375 F for about ten minutes, cut them into decent slices, and have a crispy, cheesy lunch.
You can add other toppings of your kid’s choice and enjoy this instant recipe according to your preferred flavors.
10. Macaroni And Cheese Casserole
Macaroni and cheese casserole loaded with the nutrition of meat and freshness of tomatoes is one of the most delicious lunch ideas for kids at home.
The first step to make it is to cook the macaroni pasta and drain the excess water. Now, fry onion, green pepper, garlic, ground beef, or any other ingredient that you use in your pasta in a separate pan. Add some tomatoes and bay leaf and keep it on low heat for about 20 minutes. Now, add your cheddar cheese, and let it fully melt.
Next, butter your casserole, add half of your cooked macaroni, layer it with the cooked meat mixture, and finally, add the remaining macaroni.
Bake it for 30 minutes, and your cheesy macaroni is ready.
11. Grilled Chicken And Grains
Grilled chicken with grains or rice is a wholesome combo of all the essential nutrients, proteins, carbs, fibers, and richness of grains.
In this simple recipe, all you have to do is cook dice-sized roasted chicken pieces, steamed broccoli, cooked quinoa, or any other favorite veggies like zucchini, potato, or sweet potato. Then, add all these items to a plate with some olive oil on the top.
Serve warm and enjoy the simple, healthy nutrition of nature.
12. Chicken Or Tomato Soup
A bowl of healthy soup can also act as a light lunch after a heavy breakfast. The best part about soup is that it is fulfilling, loaded with various nutrients, and is absolutely simple to make. Plus, when it also contains the goodness of ginger, garlic, and onion, it becomes a powerful immunity booster.
To make a tasty soup, start by adding some oil to a pan. Then, drop some cinnamon, cloves & cumin seeds and wait till they start making sounds. Now, use some chopped onion, chopped ginger & garlic and fry them until they get a good brownish color.
Next, add the small chicken pieces with salt and pepper for taste and saute them for a while. Finally, add cups of water according to your preference, and it will be ready in a few minutes.
You can make chicken, vegetable, or just tomato soup with your favorite dressings and flavors. Soup is one of the healthiest and easy-to-consume recipes for kids or adults, and you should definitely prepare it once in a while at home.
Founder and a 36-year old mother of one who has gone through the usual problems of parenting herself and shares her own experiences through this blog. Ruby is a great writer who researches well before putting forth facts in the articles.