Healthy Lunch Ideas For Picky Eaters


Discovering healthy lunch ideas for picky eaters can be tough. Every parent wants their child to enjoy their food, after all you are what you eat. It is important that we encourage our children to try new foods, but sometimes it just isn’t happening – no matter what you do.

Even if you do not have a picky eater at home, you may still have a bunch of leftover fruits, vegetables and meat in your fridge. If you have an idea what to cook with these leftovers, there’s no reason why they should go to waste. Here are healthy lunch ideas for picky eaters that allow you to reuse commonly found ingredients.

Healthy Lunch Ideas For Picky Eaters

It happens to every mother to wonder what to cook and to feel exhausted by ideas for the children’s menu, especially when it comes to picky eaters.

As a toddler mom, I know very well that cooking is one of the main superpowers of every cool mom. Cooking for kids is always more special. You need to prepare everything more diligently and with more thought, because on the one hand – you should not let them eat anything, and on the other hand, the kids are much more capricious when it comes to food.

Besides the healthy and simple lunch ideas for picky eaters, in today’s article, you will find some useful tricks on how to deal with picky eaters and make your meal planner shorter.

  • Stop force them– no matter how picky eater is your kid is, no one loves to be forced to eat something he doesn’t like. You need to be more patienced, and flexible in your methods. Try to offer them food served in a funny way, with decoration, and elements your kid love.
  • Plan and shop together– do your weekly meal plan together. Children are happy to participate in this process. You’ve heard that it’s not good to shop when you’re hungry, but for picky kids, it actually works well. After school or after kindergarten, children are more likely to eat foods they would not otherwise want, precisely because they are hungry. It is a nice idea to have a shopping list attached to your fridge where everyone from the family can add the food they want to shop.
  • Eat with friends– having lunch or dinner with other people is great, especially if they have kids too. You know how kids influenced on each other. This is a fantastic way to try something new, and start liking a food they have refused to eat before.
  • Kids “eat” with theyr eyes– kids perceive the world firstly through their eyes, before the other senses. It’s the same with food. The child judges the food by its appearance first, then by its smell, and finally by its taste. This is how important aesthetics and decorations are when ot comes for food for picky eaters.
  • Be careful with spices– yes, spices are the inner heart of the food, but when it comes to kids you must be careful what kind of spices you are using and how much you add on your meal. If possible redcue or do not add any on the portion for your kids. For certain spices most of the kids need time till they start liking them.
  • Meal planing– If you want to teach your child on a culture of nutrition, create the culture yourself! This is a basic duty of the mother. Determine the number of meals according to your child’s daily schedule and do not go beyond these limits. If breakfast is at 8, let the lunch be at 12 o’clock. Eating at 4 o’clock is optimal and highly recommended by nutritionists, nutritionists and psychologists. Rhythmic eating gives the child a sense of security and order.

 Healthy and Simple Lunch Ideas for Picky Eaters

1. Veggie Quesadilla

One of the best ways to make your picky eater have more veggies for lunch is in this easy recipe.

Healthy and Simple Lunch Ideas for Picky Eaters

2. Vegetarian Zucchini Lasagna

Low-carb, gluten-free, and super delicious zucchini lasagna for lunch is a great option for everyone, even for picky eaters.

Healthy and Simple Lunch Ideas for Picky Eaters

3. Veggie Pizza

Who doesn’t like pizza?

Healthy and Simple Lunch Ideas for Picky Eaters

4. Italian Casserole with Cannellini Beans

This meal is full of Italian flavors and it can be offered as a side dish or main course.

Healthy and Simple Lunch Ideas for Picky Eaters

5. Loaded Nachos with Refried Beans

If you are looking for a healthy, delicious, and fast lunch, you need to add this recipe to your next week’s meal planning.

Healthy and Simple Lunch Ideas for Picky Eaters

6. Black Bean Quesadillas

Quesadillas are ideal for a family lunch. Simply because everyone loves them. They are crispy, tasty, and cheesy.

Healthy and Simple Lunch Ideas for Picky Eaters

7. Southwestern Pinto Bean Burgers

Once you tried this veggie burger you will never ask for a beef.

Healthy and Simple Lunch Ideas for Picky Eaters

8. Pasta Rolls with Pomodoro Sauce

So yummy, and tasty, covered with Pomodoro sauce.

Healthy and Simple Lunch Ideas for Picky Eaters

9. Garlic Bread Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

The best and super quick lunch sandwich you can have.

Healthy and Simple Lunch Ideas for Picky Eaters

10. BBQ Jackfruit Burrito Bowl

A tender jackfruit, hearty beans, rice, fresh vegetables, and comforting spices, this recipe is a perfectly healthy option for meatless lunch or dinner.

Healthy and Simple Lunch Ideas for Picky Eaters

11. Easy Pita Pizzas 8 Different Ways

Your lunch can be ready in less than 15 minutes with this recipe. Plus you can make it according to your family member’s tastes.

Healthy and Simple Lunch Ideas for Picky Eaters

12. Healthy Copycat Taco Bell Mexican Pizza

A very light meal for the whole family.

Healthy and Simple Lunch Ideas for Picky Eaters

13. Sweet Potato Tacos

Gluten-free, healthy, but delicious these tacos are a great choice for a lunch for your picky eaters at home.

Healthy and Simple Lunch Ideas for Picky Eaters

14. Baked Sweet Potato Chicken Nuggets

Kids are crazy about chicken nuggets, and they would love these with potatoes as much as the traditional ones.

Healthy and Simple Lunch Ideas for Picky Eaters

15. Spinach Muffins

You will agree that all kids are “terrified” by spinach. But these spinach muffins will be their next favorite food for lunch or late snack.

Healthy and Simple Lunch Ideas for Picky Eaters

 Quick And Healthy Lunch Ideas For Picky Eaters

A well-balanced lunch helps keep your child’s energy level high and hunger at bay. But if providing snacks gets stressful, the full day in front of them can be a nightmare. If you’re trying to shift picky eaters into healthy eating habits, then it’s important to keep things simple to encourage them to try different foods.

You can introduce their favorite flavors and foods just in a different that is new to them. My kids have gone through stages of being picky eaters and as parents we have to get creative to be able to not only please everyone, but not be a short order cook either! Let’s check out these Lunch ideas! 

Quick and Healthy Lunch Ideas For Picky Eaters

1. Kid Friendly Pasta Salad by Little Sunny Kitchen

First on our list of 15 Quick and Healthy Lunch Ideas For Picky Eaters comes this beautiful and colorful dish full of healthy and nutritious tasty bites. Fill your bowl up with fun shaped pasta and veggies you know your little ones will eat! You can really customize this to fit everyone’s picky needs for lunch time!

2. Turkey Cheese Apple Sandwiches by We’re Parents

Skip the bread for this crunchy sandwich. Substitute apple slices for the bread and add turkey and your favorite cheese to make all the people smile! I love the addition of sprinkled cinnamon to top off this dish! Try it today to see for yourself!

3. Tortilla Pinwheel Lollipops by Home Cooking Memories

Making food fun to eat is a sure way to please even the pickiest of eaters! Get ready to roll yourself silly with these lollipops. You can use any tortilla like regular flour, spinach, or tomato, add in your filling, and roll up! Add the slices to a stick and you’re done.

tots lunch idea

4. Shredded Zucchini Tots by Brooklyn Farm Girl

Inviting your children into the kitchen to help you prep for a quick and healthy lunch may just be the trick to getting them to enjoy more foods. I loved being able to help our my parents in the kitchen and learn a lot about food. Plus these little tots are delicious and go really quick around our house. You might need to make a double batch!

pizza pocket lunch idea

5. Homemade Healthy Pizza Pockets by Food Meanderings

What kid doesn’t want to eat pizza?! Now you can have it at home and have a healthy version of the greasy filled pizza in the local restaurant! I love being able to control what all goes into the recipes I feed my children! Let them add what appeals to them, you might just find a new ingredient you didn’t think about yet.

kabob lunch idea

6. Turkey and Cheese Kabob Recipe by Eating On A Dime

Who doesn’t like to eat food on a stick! I’m an adult an lost food on sticks! So this is guaranteed to make them want to eat these tasty bites too! You simply alternate turkey and cheese onto kabob sticks for this quick and easy dish! Continue reading for more Quick and Healthy Lunch Ideas For Picky Eaters.

quesadilla lunch idea

7. Turkey and Cheese Quesadillas by Eating On A Dime

Even the pickiest of eaters won’t want to turn their noses up at this delicious and easy lunch! There is just something so tasty about sandwiching a tortilla with turkey and cheese! My kids love to help when we make these for lunch! Serve with some fresh fruit for a complete meal!

mac and cheese lunch ideas for picky eaters

8. Vegan Mac and Cheese by Happy Kitchen

This is one of our families favorites! We have a few family members that have dairy issues to finding a vegan option for an old classic is like heaven! I do try to make this when our children aren’t in the kitchen as it does have some veggies as its base. Some kids might not care really!

turkey wrap lunch ideas for picky eaters

9. Turkey Club Ranch Wrap by Food Meanderings

Next up on our 15 Quick and Healthy Lunch Ideas For Picky Eaters we come to a wrapped version of another classic sandwich. There is nothing funner that eating a wrapped or rolled sandwich! You can eve serve these with some veggies and dip for a complete healthy meal!

chicken lunch ideas for picky eaters

10. Air Fryer Tandoori Chicken by Recipe This

We just recently were gifted an air fryer and I can say that we have used this more than our stove lately. With summer right on our heels I like to try to keep the heat out of the kitchen. I love that our Air Fryer doesn’t put off much heat at all, but still delivers amazing meals just the same! Give this chicken a try tonight!

unicorn sandwich lunch ideas for picky eaters

 School Lunch Ideas for Picky Eaters

Dealing with a picky eater can be a frustrating challenge, but sometimes all it takes is a little creativity and ingenuity to spark your culinary imagination! We’ve compiled 30+ mix-and-match school lunch ideas to help you build the perfect lunch for your picky eater!

My big boys went back to school last week, and this year they are both attending school all day long. That means that this year I get the dubious honor of preparing school lunches for not just one, but two picky eaters each day. Lucky me?

In order to make my life a little easier, I sat down with these guys and compiled a list of all the foods that they might be willing to try at lunchtime. Naturally, they don’t agree on 100% of the foods on the list (honestly, they only agree on about 5% of them!), but at least it’s a start for those days when I’m running out of ideas! I thought it might be worthy of sharing if you also find yourself staring vacantly into the pantry before whipping up the gazillionth almond butter and jelly sandwich of the year. Variety is nice.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Now, before I start listing the foods, I know that some of you are going to say “This isn’t a list for PICKY eaters!” or “MY kid won’t eat half of the things you have listed on there!” Bear in mind that this is not a magical list that is suddenly going to make your child stop being a picky eater. It is simply a bunch of different easy lunch ideas that you may not have considered or tried yet. It is intended to inspire you and your child to try something new and to potentially spark other ideas that your child will agree to.
When you’re feeling overwhelmed with a picky eater, it can be super helpful to look at a large list of options that might encourage and inspire you to break out of the rut of the serving the same three foods all the time. Kids can be fussy eaters in many, MANY different ways (all three of my boys are very picky, and there are only about five foods that all of them can agree upon – I wish I was kidding!), so there is no one-size-fits-all solution to the picky eater situation. Different foods are naturally going to appeal to different kids, so find the ones that your child responds favorably to and develop different variations that you can try out. Continue to offer your child new foods on a regular basis along with your good old standby options, and hopefully, you will soon be able to introduce some new alternatives into your lunchtime routine!

 easy lunchboxesFor my boys’ lunches, I use Easy Lunchboxes because they fit perfectly into kid-sized lunch boxes, and the divided portion sections eliminate the need for a bunch of different plastic baggies (less mess, less waste – yay!). Because we use the Easy Lunchboxes, our list of lunch ideas is actually made up of two different lists – one for the main compartment (entree) and one for the two smaller compartments (side dishes). Simply chose one item from the main list and two from the side list, and you can easily create a customized lunch that is sure to please your picky eater!

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