5 Easy and Delicious Cold Lunch Ideas for Your Kids

Cold lunch ideas can offer up a variety of flavors, take minimal time to prepare, and are easy to transport to school. They are also an ideal way to give your children a healthy and nutritious meal without having to worry about the food going bad!

Packing a fun and nutritious lunch for your kids doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Here are 5 delicious and easy-to-make lunch boxes and helpful tips for creating a cold lunch that your kids will love. 

Lunch box ideas - Spicy Latina Mom

Tips For Making Healthy, Delicious Cold Lunches

Preparing cold lunches can be a great way to introduce your children to a range of foods that they may never have tried before. Taking the time to make your kids a creative and nutritious cold lunchbox will not only keep them fuller for longer, but it can also educate them about making healthy, sustainable choices.

Easy lunch ideas

Whenever we’re preparing our kid’s lunch, it is important to keep in mind a school lunch must contain these 4 elements to keep it nutritious:

  • Protein like cheese, turkey, ham, boiled eggs, and tuna.
  • Carbohydrates such as crackers, bread, tortilla wrap…
  • Vegetables like cucumber, jicama, carrots sticks, cheery tomatoes…
  • Fruits like strawberries, apples, bananas, pears, melon, grapes, etc.
Easy Lunch Ideas

With all of this in mind, here are five easy and delicious cold lunch ideas that you can prepare for your kids. These recipes are simple to make, and you can even tailor them to suit the dietary requirements of each child. From light salads to protein-packed sandwiches, these lunches are sure to take the boredom out of mealtimes.

Easy Lunch Ideas

Monday easy cold lunch idea

Sandwiches are classic cold lunch ideas and will make your kids smile. Choose different breads to give your sandwiches a change of pace. This is my fave, tuna sandwich but you can switch the protein for meats like turkey, ham, beef, or chicken to the sandwich, along with cheese, veggies, and condiments.

Tuna Sandwich Ingredients

These ingredients make up to 2 tuna sandwiches

  • 1 Tuna Can
  • 1/4 cup Pre cooked veggies (corn, carrot, peas) it can be from a can or frozen
  • 1 Tbsp Mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp Greek yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp Lime juice
  • Pepper to taste
  • 2 Slices of Wholewheat bread
  • 1 cup Lettuce

For the lunch box

  • Cucumber sticks
  • Carrot sticks
  • 1/4 Lime
  • Chili powder, I love Tajin
  • 1 Banana

How to make

  1. Drain the tuna and dump it into a bowl. Add the precooked veggies, the mayonnaise and greek yogurt, some lime juice, and pepper, and stir.
  2. Add a little mayonnaise to the slices of bread, put the tuna mixture on the bottom bread slice, add some lettuce on top, and put it together.
  3. To complete, we put the sandwich in a container and add cucumber and carrot sticks, 1/4 lime, powdered chili, and a banana.
Easy Lunch Ideas

Tuesday Peanut Butter and Jelly Rolls

When planning lunch ideas cold, it’s important to remember that presentation is key. Making Peanut butter and Jelly bread rolls instead of sandwiches can make lunchtime more interesting! Your kids will be much more likely to eat their lunch if it looks interesting and inviting. Get creative with how you assemble it and maybe include some fun decorations or notes to surprise your child. 

If you fell in love with my containers find them here

Ingredients:

  • 2 Slices of Wholewheat bread
  • Peanut Butter
  • Honey or Jelly (Optional)

For the Lunch box

  • Grapes
  • Strawberry
  • Jicama sticks
  • Carrot sticks
  • Chili powder, tajin
  • 1/4 Lime

How to

  1. Take two slices of bread, remove the bread edges, and then flatten them with a roller.
  2. When the slices are flattened, add the peanut butter, some honey, or jelly and we roll them up.
  3. To complete this lunch, add to the container jicama and carrot sticks, grapes, strawberries, 1/4 lime, and chili powder.
Easy Lunch Ideas

Wednesday Chicken Apple Salad and Crackers

Salads are another great cold lunch idea for your kids. With salads, you can mix and match a variety of flavorful ingredients for endless possibilities. This is one of my favorite chicken salads and it might sound funny the mix of apple and chicken but give it a try and I am sure your family will just love it! Thi is great option for kids who do not like sandwiches.

This recipe makes enough for 2 lunch boxes.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup shredded Chicken (Make your life easy, get rotisserie chicken)
  • 1 Tablespoon Mayonnaise
  • 2 Tablespoons Yogurt
  • 1 Apple Chopped
  • Celery finely Chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon Jalapeno juice from the can (Optional)
  • 1 cup Lettuce

For the Lunch Box

  • Crackers
  • Grapes
  • Melon or your fave fruit

How to

  1. Place chicken previously cooked and shredded in a bowl, and add mayonnaise, yogurt, apple, finely chopped lettuce, and celery. Stir everything together.
  2. Taste it and add salt and pepper if needed. Optionally you can add jalapeno juice to add more flavor.
  3. We complete this lunch with crackers, grapes, and melon.
  4. If you fell in love with my containers find them here
Easy Lunch Ideas

Thursday Cheese and Tomato Salad with Crackers

This tomato salad is fresh and great for hot days. In addition, it’s full of nutrients and is a great option to make for the whole family as well. Children and adults can bring the same lunch on Thursdays!

This recipe makes enough for 2 box lunches

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup chopped Mexican Queso Fresco, Mozzarella, or Cottage Cheese
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 pinches Pepper
  • 4 finely cut Basil Leaves

For the Lunch Box

  • Crackers
  • Melon
  • Strawberries

How to

  1. Add the cherry tomatoes and the cheese to a bowl. Add 2 pinches of pepper, chopped basil leaves, and olive oil. Stir everything together and it’s ready.
  2. We complete it with crackers, melons, and strawberries.
Easy Lunch Ideas

Friday Ham Sandwich

Friyaay! Finally, the easiest recipe goes for the last lunch of the week. Sandwiches are classic cold lunch ideas and will make your kids smile. On Friday school lunch we will have turkey lunch with some cucumber and carrot sticks. Sandwiches are classic cold lunch ideas and will make your kids smile.

Ingredients

  • 2 bread slices
  • 1 tablespoon mayo
  • 2 slices turkey ham
  • 1 slice cheese
  • 1/4 cup lettuce
  • Cucumber sticks
  • Carrots stick
  • 1/4 Lime
  • Chili powder
  • 1 Apple

How to

  1. Spread mayonnaise on the bread slices and build the sandwich with turkey ham, cheese, and some lettuce.
  2. To complete this lunch add cucumber and carrot sticks, lime, and an apple to the lunch box.
Easy Lunch Ideas

Mor Easy Lunch ideas

If you fell in love with my containers find them here

What should I put in my child's lunch?

How to Keep fruits and veggies fresh and ready for box lunches

  • Blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries particularly spoil really fast after washing them. You can rinse them with water and then dry them with a paper towel. Storage in a container with a paper towel on the bottom and another on the top of the fruit. That will help to keep humidity down and it will take longer to spoil. With berries anyway, I recommend not cleaning until the day they will be consumed.
  • A secret to keeping veggies fresh for longer after cutting is to add a paper towel to the base of the container where you want to save them. That will indeed prevent humidity to spoil the veggies faster.
  • Have you ever tasted jicama sticks? Jicama is a very popular veggie used for kids’ lunches in Mexico. Place the jicama sticks in a container, place half a lime and some chili powder next to it and you undoubtedly will see what a treat!
How to meal prep?

Meal Prer Cold Lunches

  • Cold lunches are fast to make and they are definitely a time saver for busy parents. The secret here is to have the veggies and fruits ready to add to the primary lunch.
  • You can make ahead of time carrot sticks, celery sticks, and cucumber sticks to easily add to the box lunches.
  • You can also have cleaned grapes, melon cut, or watermelon ready to be just added to the box lunch.
  • There are also easy fruits like apples, pears, and bananas that just after a rinse can go straight to the lunch box.
  • The tuna salad and chicken salad can be made the night before. I will recommend making the sandwiches the same they are going to be eaten.
Easy Lunch Ideas
Buy the containers I am using and other of the tools I use to make these healthy school lunch ideas!
healthy lunchs

5 Easy and Delicious Cold Lunch Ideas for Your Kids

3.82 from 48 votes
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Plato: lunch, Snack
Keyword: easy lunch ideas
Tiempo de preparación: 15 minutos
Tiempo total: 15 minutos
Raciones: 2 Lunch Boxes

Ingredientes

TUNA SANDWICH

  • 1 Can Tuna
  • 1/4 cup Precooked veggies
  • 1 Tbsp Mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp Lime juice
  • 2 Slices Wholemeal bread
  • 1 cup Lettuce
  • Cucumber sticks
  • Carrot sticks
  • 1/4 Lime
  • Chili powder
  • 1 Banana

PEANUT BUTTER ROLLS

  • 2 Slices Wholemeal bread
  • Peanut Butter
  • Honey Optional
  • Grapes
  • Strawberry
  • Jicama sticks
  • Carrot sticks
  • Chili powder
  • 1/4 Lime

CHICKEN APPLE SALAD

  • 1 cup Shredded Chicken
  • 1 Tbsp Mayonnaise
  • 2 Tbsp Yoghurt
  • 1 Apple Chopped
  • Celery Chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • Jalapeno juice Optional
  • Lettuce
  • Crackers
  • Grapes
  • Melon

TOMATOE SALAD

  • 1 cup Cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup Mexican Queso Fresco, Mozzarella, or Cottage Cheese
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 pinches Pepper
  • 4 Basil Leaves
  • Crackers
  • Melon
  • Strawberries

HAM SANDWICH

  • 2 Slices Wholemeal bread
  • 1 Tbsp Mayo
  • 2 slices Turkey Ham
  • 1 slice Cheese
  • 1/4 cup Lettuce
  • Cucumber Sticks
  • Carrots Cut into sticks and shredded
  • 1/4 Lime
  • Chili powder
  • 1 Apple

Elaboración paso a paso

TUNA SANDWICH

  • Drain the tuna and dump it into a bowl. Add the precooked veggies, the mayonnaise, some lime juice and pepper, and stir.
  • Add a little mayonnaise to the slices of bread, put the tuna mixture on the bottom slice, some lettuce and put it together.
  • To complete, we put the sandwich on a container and add cucumber and carrot sticks, 1/4 lime, powder chili and a banana.

PEANUT BUTTER ROLLS

  • Take two slices of bread, remove the bread edges, and then flatten them with a roller.
  • When we have the two slices flattened, we add the peanut butter, some honey and we roll them up.
  • To complete this lunch, we add jicama and carrot sticks, grapes, strawberries, 1/4 lime and chili powder.

CHICKEN APPLE SALAD

  • Place chicken previously cooked and shredded in a bowl, and add mayonnaise, yogurt, apple, finely chopped lettuce, and celery. Stir everything together.
  • Taste it and add salt and pepper if needed. Optionally you can add jalapeno juice to add more flavor.
  • On your tupper put fresh lettuce and then add the chicken salad.
  • We complete this lunch with crackers, grapes and melon.

TOMATOE SALAD

  • Add cherry tomatoes, the fresh cheese to a bowl, we add pepper, chopped basil leaves and olive oil. We stir everything together and it's ready.
  • We complete with crackers, melon and strawberries.

HAM SANDWICH

  • Spread mayonnaise on the bread slices and build the sandwich with turkey ham, cheese, and some lettuce.
  • To complete this lunch add cucumber and carrot sticks, lime, and an apple to the lunch box.

Video

Notas

Some extra tips to keep it fun!
  • Include plenty of fruits and vegetables in the lunch. Colorful produce can add visual interest, while also providing essential vitamins and minerals. For example, try packing a crunchy carrot and celery stick plate with a flavorful dipping sauce. Or, put together a fresh salad with a variety of greens and colorful fruits or vegetables. You can even pack pre-cut fruits and veggies for an easy, grab-and-go snack. Another way to add nutrition to your kids’ lunches is by including small servings of whole-grain foods. Try packing whole-grain crackers and sandwich thins for great accompaniments to a variety of cold lunch ideas. If you want to bump up your kid’s protein intake, pack a lunch with hard-boiled eggs, or natural nut/seed butters.
    When it comes to lunch ideas cold, don’t forget to also include dairy items like yogurts and cheeses. These serve as good sources of protein, while also offering a creamy texture and unique flavors that your kids are sure to enjoy. 
    When planning lunch ideas cold, it’s important to remember that presentation is key. Your kids will be much more likely to eat their lunch if it looks interesting and inviting. 

❤Laura

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5 comentarios

  1. I plan to use these lunch ideas for my husband and myself. I love the idea of meal prep and then pack for a week, but what about the sandwiches? Doesn’t the bread get soggy, especially with the tuna salad? Since all breads are not created equal, what bread do you use?

    What brand of containers do you use? Are they stackable? I prefer glass containers so I’ll see what Amazon has to offer.

    1. 5 stars
      Hi Judy,
      Here is the URL to find the containers. I use the plastic ones for the children and have other Rubber Maid brands for myself that are very easy to stock and are also great to keep the fridge in order and save the lunch in there. I will make the lunch the very day I am eating it but will have the salads ready that is what takes most of the time.
      https://liketk.it/3MWvS

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