7 “Better for Them” Lunch Ideas for Kids

7 "Better for Them" Lunch Ideas for Kids

This post has seven lunch ideas you can feel good about for your kids PLUS my new Best Ever Wheat Sandwich Bread bread machine recipe. Lots of Lunch Ideas for Kids so we can all get our kids eating better.

I have this thing – my mantra with my kids is “Always try everything. Just one bite”. I don’t make them clean their plates – we eat until we are satisfied, not stuffed. …unless it’s macaroni and cheese…but generally, I try to be about portion control, “eating a rainbow”, and trying new things.

My picky 4 year old needs more push though, so I use his school lunch as an opportunity because in that situation – when he is hungrier, eating at tables with others kids eating – he is more likely to eat what I have packed for him. So I will even put things in his lunch that he may turn his nose up at knowing that, if hungry enough and without other available options, he will succumb. And it works! Not always, but often. One example is cottage cheese – now he loves it in his school lunch and eats it all up yum, but at home he won’t touch it.

So, I look at school lunches as the meal where I have the best opportunity to get some better foods and variety into him.

You will notice the Horizon products in each of these (duh, this is a sponsored post). I partnered with Horizon because these milk boxes have totally saved me. To try to get my son to drink milk, I was using super-cool milk bottles with super heroes and such on them to try to entice my son to drink from them. But they were coming home with just as much milk in them. Grrrr. Milk is too expensive for that crap. So, I started buying him Horizon milk boxes a few months ago. Eight grams of protein a pop and they don’t require refrigeration, making them lunch box friendly. And calcium, of course. I also like the Super Squeezes – my son loves smoothies-in-a-pouch regardless, but with these he is also getting a nice dose of protein and calcium. My son calls them the “Cow Milks”, and he drinks them all. So, kudos to you Horizon and your cute cow marketing.

So armed with these milk boxes and smoothie pouches of gold, I have for you 7 lunch ideas that you can feel good about, or as my son says “super awesome”. Hand to God, these are truly things I make for my 4 year old. 

Also, at the bottom of this post, I have included my new Best Ever Wheat Sandwich Bread (for the Bread Machine). A couple months ago, I broke down and got a bread machine …and I have not purchased bread since. Love love love my machine. These machines are not expensive, and they are insanely easy to use. So I would add that to the Christmas list if you don’t have one.

So, lots going on in this post and it is all good stuff! And leave me a comment. Let me know your healthy lunch ideas and help me out cuz I always need new ideas too.

1. Peanut Butter and Apple Wrap.

7 "Better for Them" Lunch Ideas for Kids
Peanut butter and Apple Wrap

This simple wrap is now in regular rotation – it is just a whole wheat wrap, some all-natural peanut butter, and apples slices, and that is it. Add little crackers, fruit like grapes and mango, and Horizon milk. Also, look at the wrap ingredients on the back of the package and try to get wraps that do not list vegetable shortening as an ingredient.

2. Hard-Boiled Eggs and Greek Yogurt.

7 "Better for Them" Lunch Ideas for Kids
Hard-Boiled Eggs and Greek Yogurt

Lots of protein in this lunch here, with the eggs, Greek yogurt, and Horizon Super Squeeze. Add some snack veggies like carrots and grape tomatoes (and skip the ranch – these veggies taste great plain). Then add a little trail mix of pretzels, oat cereal, and raisins.

3. Quesadilla with Black Beans.

7 "Better for Them" Lunch Ideas for Kids
Quesadilla with Black Beans

On the day I am writing this post, this is the lunch my son chose this morning. A simple cheddar cheese quesadilla, made using a whole wheat wrap, served with mild salsa for dipping. Creamy black beans (a perfect finger food for kids) on the side. Along with clementine orange, watermelon, sugar snap peas (which are great raw), and Horizon milk.

4. Hummus with Dippers and Nuts.

7 "Better for Them" Lunch Ideas for Kids
Hummus with Dippers and Nuts

Hummus with celery sticks and whole grain crackers make for an easy, nutritious lunch. Add some nuts, like these irresistible vanilla almonds, to add healthy fats. Then some green grapes, raisins, a mozzarella cheesestick, and a Horizon Super Squeeze.

5. Cottage Cheese and ‘Sauce …and Chocolate.

7 "Better for Them" Lunch Ideas for Kids
Cottage Cheese and ‘Sauce …and Chocolate

Some cottage cheese, some organic whole grain tortilla chips, pear applesauce, and a little bit of good, antioxidant-rich dark chocolate (which is, in fact, nutritious), and what kid can resist. Toss in some sliced kiwi, apples, and Horizon milk for a complete lunch.

6. Turkey “Sushi” Wrap.

7 "Better for Them" Lunch Ideas for Kids
Turkey “Sushi” Wrap

Oooh this one is a favorite. Make a wrap with a little light mayo, turkey, red bell pepper, and cucumber in a whole wheat wrap, then cut sushi-style. This is so tasty. Add banana, yogurt-covered raisins, pretzels, and a Horizon Super Squeeze.

7. PB and J on the Best Ever Wheat Sandwich Bread.

7 "Better for Them" Lunch Ideas for Kids
PB and J on the Best Ever Wheat Sandwich Bread

And then there is the ‘ol trusty. PB&J. How is mine “better”? …cuz it izzzzz. So first, I get organic grape jelly – pesticides are used quite a bit on grapes, so I get organic. And all-natural peanut butter. Then I make the bread (recipe follows). Cheesestick, banana, a clementine, apple, and Horizon milk completes this one and my kid just loves it.

Which brings me to the sandwich bread. Which is absolutely outstanding. Sandwich, toast, whatever. I purchased my first bread machine recently, and it has changed everything. I have not bought bread in months now, and I am so happy about this. I came up with this version because I wanted it healthy, all-natural, and easy to make. Which it is. And just honestly so damn tasty! This bread has just the right balance of wheat and bread flour giving a fluffy loaf with a good crumb, but not heavy and dense. Delicious stuff.

So that’s it kids. A bunch of Lunch Ideas for Kids, then an outstanding bread. I hope you get some new ideas to try with your kiddos. And, of course, try this bread {smiley}.

Best Ever Wheat Sandwich Bread Machine Bread
Best Ever Wheat Sandwich Bread Machine Bread

Best Ever Wheat Sandwich Bread (Bread Machine)

A wholesome, kid-friendly bread machine recipe.
4 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Bread
Cuisine: bread machine, sandwich bread, whole wheat bread
Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 3 hours
Authur: Erica
Servings: 6


  • 1-1/3 cups plus 2 Tbs light buttermilk
  • 2 Tbs dry milk
  • 3 Tbs local honey
  • 2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 1-3/4 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 2-1/4 cups bread flour
  • 2 tsp bread machine yeast


  • Add the ingredients, in the order given, to the bread maker. If you are using the delay timer and not making the bread right away, it is particularly important to put the yeast in a little well in the flour so it is not in contact with any of the liquid below. Process according to manufacturer’s instructions.


On my bread machine, I use the Basic Cycle choosing the Light Crust.

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