How to Pack a School Lunch Your Kids Will Eat


Really, it’s more of a question.

My kiddo started pre-K this year. Although this is his first run at full-time school, he has attended school for the past three years, and although he definitely isn’t tired of peanut butter-honey sandwiches for lunch, I know I am.

Every morning, I scratch my head and think, “Will THIS be the day the teacher contacts the authorities because my kid has eaten a peanut butter sandwich for 16 days in a row?” I usually try to make them a little bit different, by cutting them into different shapes or switching up the honey for jelly once in a while. But it makes no difference. And honestly, I don’t have much time in the mornings. Once I sent a cut-up hot dog. Another day I sent chicken nuggets, kept semi-warm (I hope) in a thermos. Last week he scored a leftover piece of pizza from the previous night’s dinner. He said he ate two bites…and then dropped it.

I scour Pinterest for brilliant lunches that my kid will actually EAT, and usually come up empty. For example, buy cheap wooden skewers (safe in the hands of a 4-year-old) and make kabobs from cheese cubes, grape tomatoes, and lunch meat. My boy won’t touch cheese cubes. And I don’t really want to touch tomatoes in the making of his lunch. Fail.

Here’s another I found: apple & cheese quesadillas. I actually had someone recommend this to me a couple years ago, and I’ve made them for him in the past. He HATED them. (Again, he doesn’t like cheese in most capacities.) Personally, I think these sound terrible.

I ran across yet another list of Creative School Lunches on Pinterest, courtesy of Landee See Landee Do. Here’s one that I actually bought the ingredients (all two of them) for over the weekend, but I haven’t made it yet. Basically, it’s biscuits baked with pepperoni on top, and they are aptly named Polka Dot Pizza Dippers.


Now these, I’ve actually made before. I never thought about packing them in a school lunch, though. These Mini Corn Dog Muffins are made with Jiffy cornbread mix and hot dogs. Mr. Picky likes both of these, so maybe this would be a win.


Here’s one more that I’m willing to try: Mac & Cheese Cups. Yes, my kid doesn’t eat cheese, unless it’s in mac & cheese or grilled cheese. I know. This recipe involves crescent rolls and a box of Kraft. I can handle that. Or you can make them the long, fancy way HERE. Snort. Nope. My question is, how do I keep them from staying upright in his lunch box? I’d love advice on that! This post also has more “lunch ideas under a buck”, but most of them are ridiculous for little kids. There’s no way my child would eat cucumber and hummus. Actually, I wouldn’t, either.

Do any of you have great lunch ideas for me? Being that we haven’t even faced kindergarten yet, I have a lot of lunch-packing days in my future. This momma needs some advice!

-Ashley, MCM Staffer/mom to picky pre-K boy



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  1. Ashley May Orf my son loves (ok maybe obsessed is a more appropriate word lol) Peanut Butter/Nutella roll ups. Super easy to make. Take a piece of bread and roll it flat with a rolling pin, spread crunchy (Jase prefers) or creamy peanut butter on one half of the flat slice then Nutella on the other half of the then roll it up.

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