32 Toddler Lunch Ideas You’ll Love!

Published by Mama Knows Nutrition on

toddler lunch ideas

PB&J getting a little old? Tired of waiting until 11:15am to figure out what you’ll feed the kids? You’re in luck! Today, I’m serving up 32 toddler lunch ideas that are easy, quick, and super doable.

The Anatomy of a Toddler Lunch

First, let’s go over the general guidelines I follow when coming up with new toddler lunch ideas.

Fruit or Veggies

I always aim to include a fruit or a veggie. You totally can serve both, but you don’t have to. Fruit & veggies can be fresh, frozen, canned, packaged-- they all have benefits, so serve whatever you’ve got in the cupboard and in the budget.

Just be sure to look for fruits that don’t have any added sugar. This means opting for canned or packaged fruit in 100% juice instead of syrup.

And of course, once in a while, I will serve a lunch or other meal without a fruit or veggie, and that’s okay. They will survive. Just make it up at the next meal or snack (or even tomorrow if your fridge and pantry are bare!).

Whole Grains

Whole grains are the sh*t. No, seriously! They help to keep kids from getting constipated, which is why I try to include them in every meal I serve my kids.

I find that the best sources of whole grains for toddlers are whole grain breads, pastas, and crackers, so try and reach for these whenever you can.

Something New!

Toddlers often have a better appetite at lunch than they do at dinner, which makes lunch a great time to include something new in their meal! As long as they’re at home, they’re way more likely to try a new food at this time of day.

That said, if you’re packing a lunch, you’ll want to make sure it’s mostly (or all) items they like. When they're out, your main goal is to get them to eat enough fuel to make it through the rest of the day at daycare or preschool, so it’s unfair to them if you pack mostly unfamiliar foods or ones that you know they’re not crazy about.

My Favorite Toddler Lunch Products

Once you start looking through the toddler lunch ideas included below, you'll probably notice that we rely heavily on a few go-to lunch packing items.

I’m linking all of the products I love most here, so that you can easily shop for any that happen to catch your eye!

For Lunch On-The-Go

Lunchbots Trio Bento Box

Lunchbots Five Section Bento Box

Leak-Proof Dip Containers

Snack-Size Leak Proof Containers (love these for things like yogurt!)

Ice Packs for Lunch Box

For Lunch At Home

Divided Plates

Silicone Plate & Mat

The Best Starter Utensils

32 Toddler Lunch Ideas

toddler lunch ideas

 

toddler lunch ideas

Avocado, broccoli, cucumbers, tortilla chips, peanuts, clementines (this was for my 5 year old)

Need more lunch inspiration?

Grab my Healthy Packed Lunch Guide! It’s full of easy, no-cooking-required lunch ideas that don't even need to be heated up. And, it's great for home lunches, too!


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