10 Great Non-Sandwich Lunchbox Ideas

What do you picture when hearing the word ‘lunchbox’? That’s right, a sandwich domineering the bigger department and some cut up fruit clustered by its side. It’s time to toss the stereotype and think of something new and yummy, something that won’t make you bother with cutting the crusts. Get a selection of creative lunchbox food combinations your child will eagerly take to school and never trade! Moreover, you will actually want to pack some of them up for your own lunch at work!

Please note: all ideas conform – or can be adapted to conform – to your kid’s school’s allergen policy.


Skewer Lunchbox

Food on a stick is a fool proof variant for picky little eaters. Cook this Chicken Satay recipe, or any other meat from beef to sausage on skewers, and don’t forget to trim the pointy ends of bamboo sticks!

Perfect with: White or brown rice, cucumber slices, mango slices, pretzels in yogurt glaze

Mexican Lunchbox

Quesadillas are another kids’ all-time fave, and they would eagerly eat cheese tortilla slices even if they are not sizzling hot.

Perfect with: Avocado slices or guacamole, jicama sticks, pineapple chunks, pumpkin seeds, or tortilla chips

Oriental Lunchbox

Use rice paper or big flat lettuce to wrap up any foods your child would like to eat: tofu, shrimp, chicken, pork, or just vegetables like in this Vitamin Spring Roll recipe. It is a great option for reluctant salad eaters! You can also ask your kids to help you cook the rolls and see how eager they will be to try them for lunch!

Perfect with: Large diced meat or cheese, bell pepper slices, fresh blueberries, a square of chocolate

Deli Meat Lunchbox

You can toss bread and its varieties altogether and wrap cheese cut up into sticks into deli meats like ham, turkey, or roast beef. Cream cheese and even greens will also make a nice filling!

Perfect with: whole grain pretzels, celery sticks, sliced apple sprinkled with cinnamon, coconut cookies

Sushi-style Lunchbox

Leftover rice and fish can turn into a wonderful meal if you ask your child to help you roll them up sushi style.

Perfect with: sushi sauce, edamame beans, fresh berries, a snickerdoodle cookie

Noodle Salad Lunchbox

Any cold noodle salad variety will be great! Just don’t forget to sprinkle it with sesame seeds, if sesame is not considered an allergen in your kid’s school.

Perfect with: Cubed cooked chicken, canned fish, peas, a clementine, chocolate-covered raisins

Hummus and Pita Lunchbox

Most children love hummus, so why not make it the basis of a school lunch? Cook this Easy Hummus recipe and feature it on your kid’s lunchbox menu!

Tip: eating will be much easier and cleaner if you place hummus in a separate container.

Perfect with: Salami slices, olives, baby carrots, cherry tomatoes, grapes

Super Healthy Lunchbox

Cook fluffy quinoa according to the directions on the package, mix it with your kid’s fave meats and veggies, and add savor with a simple dressing.

Perfect with: Caprese pops (a cherry tomato, a mozzarella ball and a basil leaf on a trimmed toothpick), air-popped popcorn, sliced pear, small brownie (try this no-flour Keto Chocolate Muffin recipe - it is a very healthy twist on familiar brownie goodness!)

Breakfast Lunchbox

Cook a few extra pancakes following this Banana Pancakes recipe, boil an extra egg or sausage and pack it up for lunch! Easy-peasy, right?

Perfect with: Strawberries, frozen yogurt tube (it will thaw by lunchtime)

Weekend Lunchbox

A weekend lunch is often a feast, especially if it includes a whole grilled chicken. So, why not pack up a leftover chicken leg for lunch on Monday?

Perfect with: basic slaw (or potato salad), sliced vegetables with ranch dip, a slice of watermelon, s’mores.  


We hope we’ve gathered enough lunchbox tips for you to make a very varied school lunch menu! Do try to follow it during one week and you’ll see how much easier your life will become!  Moreover, you will be sure that your children will never trade the contents of their lunchboxes for something less healthy!

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