40+ lunch ideas for kids at home

Most people get a little bored of the same sandwiches for lunch every day and one of the best things about the kids being at home is that we can mix it up a little with their lunches. I thought I would share some of the sandwich alternatives we love alongside a few reader recommendations too. I hope it provides a little inspiration for when you are next in a lunchtime rut. Let me know your favourites too. 

40+ lunch ideas for kids at home

I know that a lot of these are obvious but I really think having them all together in a list in front of you helps. Anything to make meal planning and food shopping a little easier right. 


What to Serve with Lunch 


Depending on what we are having, I usually try and include two portions of fruit (usually an actual piece of fruit plus fresh fruit juice/smoothie), carrot/pepper/cucumber sticks, a piece of cheese or Actimel/yoghurt and a sweet treat. When we are at home, these extras are shared across their snacks too. 


40+ lunch ideas for kids at home 

 

Pizza Bagels 

Heidi loves having Pizza Bagels as a snack from the school canteen. They are really easy to make, fill you up and are delicious too. In fact, I often have them myself. Simply cut a bagel in half, add tomato puree/passata, sprinkle with cheese and add the toppings of your choice. Sweetcorn is favourite here! Then simply place under the grill for a few minutes until the cheese is bubbling. 

Homemade Sausage Rolls 

40+ lunch ideas for kids at home  - homemade sausage rolls



We don't have these often and like to save them for special occasions but they are such a treat and so easy to make too. Simply wrap sausage meat in puff pastry, cut into bite size pieces, give them an egg wash and bake in the oven at 180C for around 25 minutes. These are great if you have a little time before lunch as the kids love getting involved in making them too. 

Cheese on Toast 

One of my favourite comfort foods and perfect when it's chilly outside. 

Veggie Egg Fried Rice

40+ lunch ideas for kids at home  - Egg fried rice

This is one of Heidi's favourite lunches. We cheat and buy a ready made packet mix of veggie rice and fry in a wok with a fried egg and a few extra veggies. Heidi just likes eating this plain but we like to add a bit of Soy Sauce to ours.  

Quesadillas

These are quick and easy to make and a lovely sandwich alternative. Take a tortilla wrap and place in a hot frying pan. Flip over a couple of times for 5 seconds on each side. Then sprinkle cheese and other ingredients (tomatoes, mushrooms, chicken, ham.....) onto the tortilla and turn down the heat. Cover if you can. When the cheese starts to melt, use a spatula to flip over the tortilla in half and then in half again. 

Soup and Bread 

Always a lush option for winter. We tend to always have a batch of homemade soup in the freezer but Heinz tomato soup with torn up pieces of bread dunked in is always a favourite. 

Hot Dogs 

Hot dogs may not be the most nutritious but the kids love them, especially when topped with tomato sauce and mustard. 

Pasta Salad 

Pasta salad is a brill way to use up leftover pasta and you can prepare in advance too. We like ours with pesto and pine nuts and there are 30+ ideas for pasta salad recipes over on BBC Good Food to try too. 

Crepes 

40+ lunch ideas for kids at home  - crepes


Pancakes should be enjoyed more than once a year in my opinion. They can usually be made with ingredients you already have in your store cupboard and you can use up leftovers in the fridge as toppings. Although lemon and sugar is our favourite. 

Chicken Lollipops & Dipping Sauce 

Chicken lollipops are always a hit with the kids. We first had them at a Jamie Oliver restaurant when we only had Harry with us when he was around 5 and he wolfed them down.  Simply add bits of chicken to small skewers and grill/oven bake. You can marinate the chicken if you like - we like using Tikka spice or a Nandos rub or just leave them plain if you prefer. Serve with a dipping sauce like ketchup/mayo/satay sauce/nandos sauce/curry sauce. 

Scampi Salad Pitta Pockets 

Simply pop some Scampi in the oven and then pop into toasted pitta breads with salad leaves, cucumber pieces and a drizzle of sauce (my kids like ketchup, I like seafood sauce). 

Paninis and Salad 

40+ lunch ideas for kids at home  - panini and salad


We hardly ever cook paninis but did buy some panini buns the other day and the kids loved them. It kind of gives you the coffee shop sandwich vibe at home. You can recreate your favourites - Meatball paninis are a favourite here. 

Pizza Pinwheels 

These are a fun one to make with the kids. Use puff pastry and pizza sauce to make little pinwheels which look fab. You can grab the full recipe here. 

DIY Lunchables 

My kids love lunchables but they can work out expensive. My top tip is to keep the container and fill with your own crackers / cheese / ham. You can re-use time and time again and the kids will never know. 

Soreen 

I feel like Soreen has kind of gone out of fashion. We used to always have a loaf with Sunday tea. Harry is a big fan and loves a slice with butter. 

Ravioli / Pasta and Sauce 

Sometimes the most basic lunches are the best. 

Cheese Board 


Cheese boards aren't just for Christmas! My younger two have quite plain tastes when it comes to cheese. Harry is a little more adventurous though. Even so, Babybel / Cheddar / Goats Cheese / Red Leicester chunks with cheese biscuits, grapes and chutney is always a nice lunch. 

Sausage Sandwiches 

My boys love sausage sandwiches and they are brilliant for days that you feel like you need something more substantial for lunch. 

Soft Boiled Egg and Soldiers 


This is one of Heidi's favourite lunches and a good way to get some extra protein into kids. 

Build Your Own Wrap Station 



We often have this for tea but there's no reason why it can't be used as a lunch idea too. I fill little ramekins (well, old GU pots) with a few options from grated cheese, salsa, chicken, mince, rice peppers and salad and the kids can create their own tortilla wrap. 

Crudites/Bread Stick and Dips 

We nearly always have a packet of breadsticks in the cupboard. We like adding them to a glass along with peppers/carrot sticks/cucumbers and hummus/sour cream/salsa to dip.  

Omelette 


Steve is chief omelette maker in our house and tends to make a three egg omelette so if you are cooking for a few, make sure you have plenty of eggs in. I like a red pepper and cheese omelette and the kids like cheese and ham. 

Toasted Teacakes 

I love a toasted teacake with a generous helping of butter. Lush with a cuppa and quick and easy too. 

American Style Blueberry Pancakes 



We follow this recipe for blueberry pancakes and they are so good with streaky bacon, extra blueberries and syrup. They do take a while if you have a few mouths to feed so not one to pick if you need a quick lunch. 


Jacket Potato 

Jacket potatoes are super easy to make but I am lazy and usually have the kind you cook from frozen these days. Our favourite toppings are spaghetti hoops, beans, coleslaw, chicken and bacon sandwich filler and cottage cheese. 

Eggy in the Basket 


Cut a hole (use a glass) out of a slice of bread, fry one side of the bread (and the bit you have cut out), turn the bread over to fry on the other side, crack an egg in and wait until it has cooked. Cut the bit you have cut out into little soldiers to dip. A nice alternative to a soft boiled egg. 


Topped Waffles 

I mean the potato versions (not the sweet ones). Waffles topped with a little grated cheese and a side salad is a good alternative to cheese on toast if you don't have much cheese or have no bread in. Beans work well too. 

Toast and Toppings 

Some days I literally can't think of anything to make for lunch and this is a good fall back. Toast and jam/marmalade/curd/nutella is simple but good. 

Fish Finger Sandwiches 

Fish finger sandwiches are a classic lunch and there are lots of variations/ways you can pimp yours up. We like ours in a Greggs stottie but you could use wraps/pittas/buns/normal bread. Serve with a bit of rocket and salad cream. 

Eggy Bread 



I LOVE eggy bread as it reminds me so much of being a child. Beat an egg and place on the plate, cover your bread in the mixture and then fry for a few minutes on each side. Not the healthiest but lush with a pinch of salt and ketchup on those days where you are craving comfort food. 


Quiche and Salad 

My kids aren't keen on quiche but a few of you recommended so it's on the list. 

Pie and Beans 

Another good one for winter. If we are making a pie, we often use leftover pastry / filling to make mini pies for the freezer which are perfect with beans on the days where we have nothing in for lunch. 

Sausage, Cheese and Bean Melt

Mum in the Madhouse has a very simple recipe for these on her blog and whenever she shares, I always think they look divine. We are definitely going to try soon. 

Crumpets

Such a quick and easy lunch. We like ours topped with marmalade. 

Homemade McMuffins 


Recreating your favourite McMuffin at home is pretty easy. The kids like Sausage McMuffins and Steve likes a Sausage and Egg McMuffin. All you need is a pack of muffins and your favourite fillings. 

Savoury Croissants 

Another breakfast dish that can easily be enjoyed at lunch. Cut your croissant in half, add a slice of cheese and ham and then bake for 5 minutes. Lush! 

Potato Rosti & Fried Egg 


This is a nice way to use up a couple of leftover potatoes. One big potato will make two rostis. Peel and grate a potato then pop in a clean tea towel and squeeze out all of the moisture. Slice an onion and mix with the potato with seasoning. Form into moulds and fry for 5 minutes on each side. Don't make them too thick so they cook through. Top with a fried egg (or avocado and a fried egg). 

Pizza Boats 


My kids constantly ask for these. They can be quite messy to eat but they are lush. Take a soft taco shell, spread a layer of passata on the bottom and add your own toppings with a sprinkling of cheese. We usually add a few from chicken/mushrooms/sweetcorn/peppers/ham/pineapple. Just whatever we have in really! Then bake in the oven for around 5-7 minutes. Like I say, they are messy so make sure the kids don't have a white top on when eating. 

Porridge 

Porridge is not just for breakfast and a bowl of porridge with a chopped banana is lovely and filling and perfect for those days when it's raining outside. 

Crispbreads and Cream Cheese/Smoked Salmon 

Topped Crispbreads / Ryvita with a quick spread of cream cheese is perfect when you are in a rush. Add smoked salmon if you are feeling fancy. 

Sweetcorn Fritters 

These are lovely and pretty easy to make too. Sweetcorn is my kids' favourite veg so they love them. Here is an easy recipe to follow. 

Grilled Halloumi Burgers 


Grilled Halloumi Burgers are lush! I like to serve them in a bagel with a bit of chilli jam. The kids are happy to just have plain Halloumi. 

Let me know if you have any ideas to add to the list. 

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40+ lunch ideas for kids at home





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1 comment

  1. This is just what I need to read. With having both of my girls home everyday we're running out of ideas of what to have for lunch. They soon got bored of sandwiches everyday. You have given me some great ideas. We are so having eggy bread for lunch tomorrow.

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