Fun School Lunches For Picky Eaters


Fun school lunches for picky eaters, who can be the worst sometimes. The ones that complain and whine about their food no matter how yummy or fun you make it.

Are you looking for creative and fun school lunches? Sure, you can buy bagged lunches or pack some PB&J in a plastic container. But, come on. Kids don’t like eating the same thing every day — including adults. If your child is a picky eater, make their lunch an adventure with these tips .

Fun School Lunches For Picky Eaters

Is your kid a picky eater? Does their lunchbox come home full of food every day? Make that a thing of the past with these quick tips and healthy recipes for picky kids.

Tip #1: How to hide veggies in food

This is a tried and true technique for parents of picky eaters. How do you hide veggies in food that your child will take to school? Here are a few easy ways:

  • Chop or grate the vegetables: This tip is a no-brainer, small pieces of vegetables are easily hidden and difficult for fussy eaters to pick out. Veggies such as zucchini, carrot and creamed corn are barely detectable in savoury slices. Also try adding sweet potato or pumpkin puree to baked goods. A food processor can help save time on chopping vegetables.
  • Mix mild-flavoured vegetables with stronger flavours: Cheeses and sauces can disguise the taste of veggies so your kid still gets their nutrients without fussing about the taste.
  • Incorporate veggies into old favourites: Mix veggies into recipes you know they love. Try scattering chopped cauliflower into mac and cheese, try the Bacon Mac N’ Cheese Jaffles for a portable option. Or cook extra veg like mushrooms, carrots and zucchini into pizza and pasta sauce.
  • Try something new: Ever tried cooking veggies into a pancake? Try the Pie Maker Okonomiyaki recipe, these savoury pancake bites contain a surprising amount of coleslaw without tasting like veggies. Or what about turning a veggie-rich risotto dinner into arancini balls? Check out the recipes for these below.

Tip #2: How to put more vegetables in pizza

The word ‘pizza’ can win over almost any picky eater, so how do you make pizza healthier? Make healthy pizza toppings by choosing a colourful range of vegetables. Extra points if you let the kids choose their toppings – get them involved and they’ll be more likely to eat up. If they’re extra picky about veggies, try switching them up for some tropical pineapple. A controversial topping, but if it works…

Tip #3: Healthy vegetable dips

You can make dips healthier by sneaking vegetables into them and sending them off with carrot or celery sticks. That’s two hits of veg in one! If they’re really fussy, pita bread crisps or flatbread are a great substitute.

Tip #4: Healthy sweet snacks

If your child is still coming home with an untouched lunch, including an alternative sweet (but healthy) snack will help tide them over until dinner. Wondering how to make a healthier sweet snack? Try using your child’s favourite dried fruit or yoghurt chips in muesli bars, or bake snacks that are rich in naturally sweet vegetables like pumpkin or sweet potato to cut down on sugar. Remember to use nut-free recipes like the ones below to keep the snacks safe for school.

Check out the recipes below which use a few of these tricks. They’re also all bite-sized and delicious served at room temperature – but don’t forget to send an ice-pack with any recipes that need to be kept cool!

Whether you’re looking for weekend or school lunch ideas for picky eaters, Uncrustables has ideas to help make everyone happy.


Whether you’re looking for weekend or school lunch ideas for picky eaters, Uncrustables has ideas to help make everyone happy.

Packing delicious lunches for kids every day of the school year is hard—and it’s even harder when you’ve got a picky eater on your hands. How can you ensure that your child gets the fuel they need to rock their day and not bring home a still-full lunchbox? We have some school lunch ideas for picky eaters that should do the trick during the school year and beyond.

First Thing’s First: Figure Out What Your Kid Likes to Eat

Before the fun (but hectic) start of the school year, you should chat with your child about the foods they love to see in their lunch. Try creating a list of the foods you know they like and add some others to the list that are similar. Ask your child if they would be willing to try out the similar foods. With any luck, they’ll enjoy the new foods and help you create a better variety of lunches throughout their year.

But maybe your picky eater needs a little convincing to try the new things on your list. You could try creating a “new foods” chart for them to fill in: every time they try a new food, they can check it off the list, or perhaps cross it off if they didn’t like it. After they’ve tried a certain number of foods, give them a small reward for being brave and branching out!

To help, you can save a copy of this chart and print it out to use with your child. Simply write the new food your child tried in the box and have them color in the square. Use red if they didn’t like the food, green if they did, and yellow if they’re not sure, but would be willing to try again. You can also use stickers of the same color.

Pro Tip: Print this calendar once and laminate it. Color it in using dry erase markers to easily wipe it off and use it again next month!


Get the Right Supplies

To pack lunches with more variety, you’re going to need the right stuff to do it. An insulated lunchbox with a cold pack is key to keeping food cool while it’s sitting in your child’s desk or locker all day.

Rather than using a gazillion throw-away plastic baggies, get reusable containers that can easily be cleaned out at the end of each day. Sectioned off containers are particularly useful for keeping the different parts of their lunch separate, yet all in the same container. Just make sure your child can easily open the containers or packaged items you include. Even if your child loves what’s inside, they can’t enjoy it if they can’t open it!

A lunchbox-sized insulated mug can also be handy for storing hot foods, like soup, or foods that need to stay extra-cool, like yogurt. Make sure to put your child’s name on everything in case they’d accidentally leave a container at school!

Back-to-School Lunchbox Checklist:

‘      Insulated lunchbox

‘      Ice pack

‘      Sectioned containers

‘      Small thermos

‘      Small reusable forks and spoons

‘      Small reusable bottle for water, milk or juice


Even if your kiddo only likes a few kinds of food in their lunches, there are all sorts of ways to mix and match their options and give them just what they need to make it through the day.

When coming up with toddler lunch ideas for picky eaters, it’s also good to consider how long certain foods will take to eat. Lunch periods don’t last forever, and if your child is a chatterbox, they might not have time to eat all the great things you packed for them. The easier to chew, the better!

The PB&J

This lunchbox staple is sure to please any picky eater! To change up this classic, try adding different nut butters like almond butter or granola butter. If it’s the jelly they aren’t crazy about, try adding a little honey instead. Or, just go for plain ol’ peanut butter.

You can also play with different kinds of bread. For example, you could test out whole grain bread, a bagel or putting their favorite fillings inside a pita pocket. Add some bananas and apples and you have a real pita party!

The easiest, tastiest option of all would be adding an Uncrustables® sandwich to their lunchbox. Simply toss it in with their other favorite sides, like carrot sticks and string cheese, and you have another easy, yummy lunch in the books. Try our Peanut Butter & Strawberry Jam Sandwich for a thaw and eat lunchtime favorite.

The Smorgasbord

Give your kid a little bit of everything they love for lunch! Choose salami, turkey or ham; strawberries, blueberries or apple slices; snap peas or baby carrots; and a slice of flatbread or some crackers. You can also add a few slices or cubes of cheese, or a container of yogurt.

The Wrap

It’s hard to go wrong with a wrap! Choose your child’s favorite deli meat and cheese, wrap it in a soft tortilla, and you’re golden. You can even roll up peanut butter and sliced fruit like apples or bananas, or pack a breakfast burrito filled with scrambled eggs, cheese and bacon.

To save on prep time, pack Uncrustables Roll-Ups for your kiddo! Our Turkey and Colby Jack Cheese Sandwich Roll-Ups are made with 100% real cheese and have ten (10) grams of protein per serving. Just like our original Uncrustables sandwiches, they thaw inside your child’s lunchbox and are ready to eat by lunchtime. Pack them alongside a cup of yogurt and strawberries or hummus and celery sticks for a lunch that rocks.

The Soup ‘n’ Side

If your child loves your simple homemade tomato or chicken noodle soup, let them take it with them for lunch! Just pack it in a small insulated mug to keep it warm and pack a slice of flatbread or whole grain crackers for dipping. An orange or other fruit could be a sweet way to finish out the meal.

The Breakfast Club

Who says breakfast foods can only be for breakfast? Eggs, bacon and cheese are excellent (or should we say, “eggs”-ellent) in wraps as breakfast burritos. There are plenty of healthy muffin and quiche recipes that could even help you sneak in some extra vegetables, too. Add an orange, strawberries or a sliced banana as a side, or a hard-boiled egg.

10 School Lunch Ideas For Picky Eaters

Rainbow Vegetable Tortilla Wrap


Create a rainbow-themed lunch box with these rainbow vegetable tortilla wraps!

Just add some colorful berries and veggies to complete your child’s lunchbox.

Blueberry Cornbread


Blueberry cornbread is an easy and delicious snack to pack in your child’s lunch box that they’re sure to enjoy!

Red White & Blue Fruit Salad


Not just for the 4th of July, this colorful fruit salad is perfect for school lunches!

You May Also Like: Healthy Homemade Gummies With Fruit & Honey
school lunch ideas for back to school -

What’s cuter for your child’s packed lunch than some adorable pencil-shaped treats?!

These are a bit on the not-as-healthy side considering the amount of icing involved, but are a cute idea!

DIY fruit leather is sure to be a hit with your child and is super easy to make at home (and doesn’t have all those preservatives stuffed in them).

This paleo banana bread not only looks amazing, but it’s also filling!

Your child should be able to focus better with a full stomach – which means more productive learning and development ;).

Vegan Potato Cakes With Carrots & Rice


Mix things up for your child’s lunchbox by skipping the traditional sandwich and whip up these incredible potato cakes with carrot and rice!

No-Cook Taco Salad Bento Box


Have some bento boxes handy?

Easily make taco salad for a healthy lunch idea your child will love (without having to cook!).

school lunch ideas for back to school -

If your child is a fan of sushi (like my 9-year-old is), try making these sushi cups with edamame for their lunch.

This ice cube tasting tray is such a cute idea! Grab a small enough ice cube (like this one here) tray to fit in your child’s lunchbox, and fill it with different fruits, veggies, meats, and cheeses!

Perfect for your dinosaur-loving littles, this fun dinosaur lunch idea will get them excited for lunch at school!

Pack some healthy fruits into your child’s lunch with this strawberry salad with cherries and blueberries!

Cheese & Turkey Kabobs


It’s okay to skip the bread and just go for the meats and cheeses to mix things up!

Try these cheese and turkey kabobs paired with some fresh veggies!

Broccoli Cheddar Quinoa Bars

Nut-Free School Lunch Ideas

Quinoa, broccoli, and cheese?

Yes, please!

These bars will be a hit with any child’s lunch ;).

Avocado & Tomato Sandwiches

avocado & tomato sandwiches

If your child loves tomatoes and avocado, then this sandwich is a delicious idea to pack for them.

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