68 Preschool and Kindergarten School Lunch Ideas
These 68 Preschool and Kindergarten School Lunch Ideas are great healthy and colorful lunches that are also easy to pack. You could also use these school lunch ideas for older kids, you will just have to pack more;). 13 weeks of school lunches that will sure to be a hit with your little one!
kindergarten lunch ideas
Are you struggling to come up with school lunch ideas for your toddler, preschooler or kindergartener?
Then you’ve come to the right place 👋!
I’ve spent the last 5 years making it my mission to create EASY and NUTRIENT-PACKED lunches. I even wrote an entire cookbook dedicated to school lunches!
Below you will find tips, tricks, printables, my favorite school lunch packing tools as well as 68 IRL examples of healthy school lunches.
Bonus – most of the lunches below only took me 5 minutes to pack 👍!
Reasons to Love these School Lunch Ideas:
- great for ages 3-6
- can be used for inspiration for older kids – just pack more
- perfect packed lunches at home or school
- fun foods so they will eat
- hidden veggies
- can be used for any bento box you own
- 13 weeks of lunch ideas
- all real school lunches
- my kids devoured (most of) these lunches below
Tips on How to Pack Bento Boxes
I live by two Bento Packing Principles – protein and color.
That’s really it! After I get those items packed, the rest of the lunch usually falls right into place.
Tip #1 – Pack a Protein
Packing a good and healthy source of protein 🍗🥚🥜 into each lunch box is key for making kids feel full and energized all afternoon long. Some of our favorite protein sources are: hummus, Greek yogurt, hardboiled eggs, almond/seed/peanut butter, beans, edamame, cheese or chicken.
Tip #2 – Make it Colorful
I live by the #eattherainbow method when it comes to lunches 🌈 (and I’m not talking about skittles here;). The goal is to try to pack the entire rainbow of colors into each and every lunch.
Why am I so into this philosophy of eating? It’s pretty simple.
By packing lunches full of color I know, without a degree in nutrition, that my girls are getting a variety of nutrients from each fruit and veggie I pack.
Colorful Food = Healthy Food
Although it might sound pretty labor-intensive to pack a ton of different colored produce in a lunch, I promise you that it’s actually as hard as you think! Once you open up your fridge and start poking around, you will be able to find a ton of colorful fruits and veggies that are perfect for your kiddos lunches.
Tip #3 – Get the Printable
Make your life even easier and get these FREE printables – one for planning out kindergarten school lunches and the other with over 100 easy school ideas to keep you inspired! Head to the full post here – 100 Healthy School Lunch Box Ideas (FREE Printables!).
If you want even more, check out my best-selling cookbook Little Bento: 32 Irresistible Bento Box Lunch for Kids for more recipes and ideas!
Favorite Lunch Boxes
I tested out the top 6 lunch boxes to help you find the perfect lunch box for your toddler, preschooler, or big kids that can go anywhere they go – school, preschool, a school pod, lunch at home, a playdate, or a fun outing. Here are my top 3 lunch boxes for kids:
BEST OVERALL LUNCH BOX: OMIEBOX
We love the OmieBox because it has a built-in thermos that can be inserted into the lunch box for warm or cold foods that can be removed if needed. How brilliant is that? Plus, you can insert dividers in the 2 smaller sections to separate the food, and each section is leakproof.
BEST ECO-FRIENDLY BENTO BOX: PLANETBOX ROVER
We have been using the Planetbox Rover for years, and we all absolutely love it! The Rover holds a good amount of food for both my 5 and 7-year-olds, and I know I can pack it with even more food as they grow. My girls love the fun magnets, the carrying case, and the small colorful pods you can add into the bento for small amounts of food. This lunchbox is made completely without plastic – it is made with only stainless steel and food-grade silicone.
BEST FOR YOUNGER KIDS: BENTGO
This is a great little lunch box for younger kids or kids who don’t eat very much. I loved that it is a compact, lightweight, and completely leakproof lunchbox. My kids loved the fun designs on the front. Plus, this lunchbox is super easy to open and shut for younger kids.
BEST VALUE LUNCH BOX: EASY LUNCH BOXES
A very basic bento that comes in a 4-pack with different colored lids. This set of Bentos comes with the smallest price tag, and you can get all 4 boxes for under $20. This bento is a great size for both kids and grown-ups which means you can use them for the entire family. They aren’t made with the highest quality of materials (BPA-Free Plastic), but we have had our bento boxes for over 6 years, and they are still going strong. I think every family should have a set of these. They are also a great option if your kid tends to misplace everything in their life;).
LUNCH BOX PACKING TOOLS
Besides having a lunch box, it’s great to have some of these tools on hand to make it easier to pack fun lunches.
- Silicone Cupcake Liners: not just for muffins, these holders are great for sectioning off different foods from each other (i.e. crackers in one and cheese in another).
- Small Cutters: these are great for fruits, veggies, cheese and small sandwiches.
- Sandwich Shape Cutters: an easy way to turn any sandwich into a fun shape.
- Uncrustable Cutters: just like the store-bought, at a fraction of the price.
- Small Dip Containers: great for dips, sauces or small treats.
- Ice Pack: helps keep your child’s lunch cold.
- Water Bottle: to send cold water for lunch. Read my Buying Guide: Best Kids Water Bottles for a more in-depth look at our favorite brands.
Preschool and Kindergarten Lunch Ideas
1. Spiced sweet potato mini muffins, peach chunks + blackberries, cherry tomatoes, Annie’s bunnies and chopped pears in the Innobaby Bus Bento.
3. Fajita chicken quesadilla, dried cranberry + pistachios mix, chopped peaches, cherry tomatoes and a couple of dark chocolate chips (in the yellow container) in the Planetbox Bento.
4. Pesto + spinach pita pizza (recipe in book), pineapple, chocolate covered sunflower seeds (in the pink container), ants-on-a-log, mandarin oranges+ blueberries and Annie’s chocolate bunnies in the Planetbox Bento.
5. BBQ chicken pita pizza with corn and bacon, melon balls, carrot slices and raisins in the Ecolunchbox Bento.
7. BBQ chicken pizza, snap peas and dip, pineapple + honeydew + blackberry finger salad, strawberries and pomegranate seeds and raisins in the Planetbox Bento.
8. Leftover tomato + corn + walnut couscous salad, watermelon, avocado chunks, baby carrots and dark chocolate chips in the Planetbox Bento.
9. Lemon hummus with chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots and crackers, strawberry applesauce, grain-free raspberry + chocolate muffin and dried fruit (Bento is no longer available, but the Yumbox is even better).
10. Rainbow fruit (strawberries, mandarin oranges, pineapple, avocado and blackberries), homemade granola, Greek yogurt with honey and chia seeds and some snapeas in the Ecolunchbox Bento.
11. Turkey + pesto + yellow pepper wrap, trail mix, grapes, snap peas with dip and a dried apricot in the Planetbox Bento.
12. Greek yogurt with strawberry jam stir-in, peach + blackberry finger salad, homemade quinoa + almond granola, grapes and almond butter + dates with cinnamon roll-ups in the Planetbox Bento.
15. Pulled pork sandwich with slaw, cut melon and strawberries, mixed dried fruit, Smarties and carrot sticks in the Steeltainer Bento.
16. Dinosaur almond butter + jelly sandwich, carrot sticks with ranch dip, peaches + grapes and pressed green juice (apples + celery + spinach + lemon) in BeatrixNY Bento and Cup.
17. Pumpkin yogurt with chia seeds, snappea sticks, dark chocolate power berry balls, blackberry + grape + pear finger salad, leftover cilantro + cheddar + corn bread muffin in the Bentology Bento.
18. Pretzel bagel bites and cucumber slices with honey mustard dipping sauce, granola + yogurt covered raisins and pear + pomegranate seeds finger salad in the LunchBots Bento.
19. Turkey pesto sausage pizza, green bean sticks with dipping sauce, cinnamon sweet potato chips, apple chunks and organic fruit chews in the Comfort Loft Bento.
20. ‘E’ pear sandwich with seed-tella and Halloween sprinkles (Ellie is convinced every meal should have sprinkles in it;) grape kabobs, olive slices, dehydrated strawberries and sliced sweet peppers in the Innobaby Bus Bento.
21. Bento box on left – kale chips, homemade applesauce, pink container has chocolate covered sesame seeds. Bento box on right – leftover slow cooker salsa chicken + cheese baked flautos, salsa, yellow container has a couple dried blueberries in the Steeltainer Bento.
22. Green hatch chili + lime hummus with carrot sticks, snap peas and multi-grain crackers, strawberries + pomegranate seeds, gouda slices and organic fruit chews in the Steeltainer Bento.
24. Whole wheat sandwich with seed-tella and raspberry jam, kettle chips, mandarin orange + blueberry finger salad, dye-free chocolate candy, dried blueberries + cranberries in the Innobaby Bus Bento.
25. Bits & pieces lunch in purée tray with lid – seed butter + raspberry jam sandwich, dried cranberries, sharp cheddar, frozen edamame, cherry tomatoes, blackberries, grapes, pomegranate seeds, dark chocolate and nut-free granola. I also sent a reusable pouch of broccoli + asparagus purée with tarragon and a little Greek yogurt in the Fresh Baby Puree Tray and Nourish with Style Pouch.
26. Turkey and cheese roll-ups + tomatoes on a stick with ranch dressing, kiwi + blueberry + pomegranate seeds finger salad, purple carrot sticks, homemade cookie and pretzels in the Steeltainer Bento.
27. Chicken + bean quesadilla with salsa, root veggie chips, avocado chunks, peppermint waffles cookies and blackberries in the Steeltainer Bento.
28. Egg salad sandwich, carrot sticks with ranch dip, pear + raspberry finger salad and a tropical dried fruit mix in the Steeltainer Bento.
29. Zucchini + chive cream cheese with carrot rolls ups on a whole wheat tortilla, melon balls, raspberry + pomegranate seeds, raisins, and frozen edamame in the Steeltainer Bento.
30. Whole wheat mini bagel with pumpkin cream cheese, covered pretzels, tri-colored carrots, hard-boiled egg and kiwi + blackberry + grape finger salad in the Innobaby Bus Bento.
31. Caprese sandwiches on-a-stick with basil dipping sauce, organic beef jerky and melon + blackberry + grape finger salad in the LunchBots Bento.
32. Bits & Pieces lunch – crackers, cheddar, grapes, sliced chicken, cucumbers, organic yummies and a pouch with applesauce + plain yogurt and cinnamon in the BEABA Container and the Nourish with Style Pouch.
33. Apple slice sandwich with spiced seed butter + shaved coconut + granola, avocado + cucumber + tomato finger salad with lime juice, cheese slices, dehydrated strawberries and some organic chocolate candy in the Steeltainer Bento.
35. French bread pizza with corn + cherry tomatoes, blackberry + peach + raspberry finger salad, ants on a log using seed butter, dark chocolate pretzels and red pepper sticks in the Steeltainer Bento.
36. Whole wheat sandwich rolls ups with cream cheese and peach jam, pear + edamame + dried cherry finger salad, nectarine applesauce with Greek yogurt and cherry tomatoes with ranch dip in the Bentology Bento.
37. Leftover basil + citrus chicken salad in whole wheat pita (recipe in book), grilled peaches + blueberries in yogurt, cheddar bunnies, heirloom tomatoes and a small amount of jelly beans in the Innobaby Bus Bento.
39. Sandwich on a stick (meatball, cheese, toasted roll, olives, meatball), chopped strawberries, homemade sweet potato chips, chocolate chip cookie and avocado + edamame finger salad with lemon juice in the Steeltainer Bento.
40. Orange chicken salad + carrot wrap on whole wheat tortilla, popcorn + dried fruit with cinnamon, steamed broccoli with olive oil, dark chocolate pretzels and blackberries in the Steeltainer Bento.
42. Pineapple hummus, tri-colored pepper sticks, purple carrot sticks, multi-grain pita crackers, peach + plum + kiwi finger salad, chocolate surprise and frozen edamame in the Steeltainer Bento.
44. Leftover strawberry + avocado + corn + chicken farro salad, double grape + blueberry finger salad, yogurt covered pretzels, carrot sticks with ranch dip and dried cranberries in the Innobaby Bus Bento.
45. Breakfast for Lunch – fruit kabob (strawberry, melon and blackberry), yogurt with chia seeds, grain-free refined-sugar free dark chocolate chip muffin, homemade granola and hard boiled egg in the LunchBots Bento.
46. Peach + bbq chicken pizza (made from leftover chicken from dinner) with cilantro, watermelon + melon balls, dried fruit mix, letter cookies and edamame + avocado + pumpkin seeds in the Steeltainer Bento.
47. Bits + Pieces Meal – hard salami, sharp white cheese, grapes, multi-grain crackers, basil gouda, dried strawberries with dark chocolate covered raisins and an orange. In the pouch was carrot + pumpkin + apple puree mixed with Greek yogurt and cinnamon in the BEABA Container and the ReSqueeze Pouches.
48. Whole wheat pita pizza with basil, nectarine + blueberry + watermelon finger salad, sesame sticks, dark chocolate covered raisins, frozen edamame with a reusable pouch filled with pumpkin + apple + yogurt puree in the Steeltainer Bento with ReSqueeze Pouches.
49. Flower pb&j sandwich, red berry salad, homemade granola, mango yogurt and dark chocolate chips in the ThinkBaby Bento.
50. Leftover yellow coconut rice and curry + lemon chicken, dried apple slices, yellow melon balls, pineapple, cheddar cheese and yellow pepper sticks in the Comfort Loft Bento.
53. Snack on-the-go, string cheese, apples + lemon juice, quick made trail-mix (raisins, dried cranberries, cashews, dark chocolate candy and gummy hearts from their Valentine’s Day present).
54. Spinach + basil pizza roll-up (recipe in book), berry salad, carrot + snap peas with poppyseed dressing, dried cherries and peanut butter + cinnamon popcorn (recipe in book) in the Planetbox Bento.
55. Hummus (store-bought) with veggies sticks, crackers and cheese, spring fling finger salad (kiwi, avocado, pear, edamame and lime juice), blackberries + clementines and dark chocolate covered raisins in the Planetbox Bento.
58. Cheese pita pizza, blackberry + blueberry finger salad, peanut butter + cinnamon popcorn, sweet peppers with dip and dark chocolate covered sunflower seeds in the Planetbox Bento.
59. Pesto chicken + cheese + cherry tomato sandwich on a stick, berries with coconut dip, baked apple + cinnamon chips, dark chocolate treat and snap peas in the Steeltainer Bento.
60. Honey greek yogurt with cherry + almond chia seed jam swirl, citrus finger salad, kiwi slice, beet chocolate muffins with cream cheese surprise, homemade granola and dried fruit in the Planetbox Bento.
61. Leftover pizza, fruit salad, kiwi slices, mixed dried fruit (cherries, blueberries and raisins) and chopped tricolor peppers in the Steeltainer Bento.
62. Banana + almond butter + cinnamon tortilla roll-up (recipe in book), honey mustard pretzels, melon and blueberries, raspberry + lemon fruit roll-ups (recipe in book) and carrot sticks with dip in the Innobaby Bus Bento.
63. Lemon hummus with chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots and crackers, strawberry applesauce, grain-free raspberry + chocolate muffin and dried fruit (Bento no longer available, but Yumbox is even better).
64. Spinach tortellini with tomato sauce, berry salad, chewy mint chocolate chip granola bars, and a squeasygear pouch filled with sweet potato puree + applesauce + plain yogurt with a drizzle of honey and a pinch of cinnamon in the Steeltainer Bento and Thermos and Squeasy Pouch.
65. DIY spiced oatmeal with dried cranberries and blueberries and pecan pieces to add-in, apple + raspberry finger salad and 2 fruit nut bars. I added 1/2 cup of old-fashioned oats to a thermos and then added 1 1/4 cup boiling water, stir everything together and it was done and hot for lunch in the Steeltainer Bento and Thermos.
66. BBQ chicken pizza, snap peas and dip, pineapple + honeydew + blackberry finger salad, strawberries + pomegranate seeds and raisins in the Planetbox Bento.
67. Pesto pizza on ciabatta roll, sliced cucumbers with dip, strawberries, cashews + dried fruit and a couple of organic gummies in the Planetbox Bento.
68. Easy cheese + bean quesadilla, cut grapes and blueberries, letter cookies (from trader joes), cuties and snap peas in the Innobaby Bus Bento.
I would love to know, what are your favorite things to pack your kids in their lunches?
Get the recipe: Curry Egg Salad & 67 More School Lunch Ideas
- 4 hardboiled eggs, roughly chopped
- 2 tbsp mayonnaise
- 2 tbsp plain Greek yogurt
- 1/2 tsp yellow mustard
- 1/2 tsp mild curry powder
- pinch paprika
- 2 tsp chives, finely chopped (optional)
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 4 pieces bread, whole wheat, multi-grain, white or sourdough
- In a medium bowl, mash together the eggs, mayonnaise, yogurt, mustard, curry powder, paprika, chives (if using), salt and pepper. Gently stir to combine.
- Spread half of the egg salad between 2 pieces of bread, cut and serve.
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