If you’re looking for some fun ideas to make your little one’s lunchbox more appealing, we’ve got it covered. For children, food is fun, so encourage them to snack with these interesting, but healthy ideas for their lunchbox. What’s more, why not bring your little one into the kitchen with you and encourage them to help you prepare their own lunch?
Lunch ideas for toddlers
Sandwich sushiLiven up your toddler’s sandwiches by cutting them into fun shapes, making pinwheels (by spreading the bread and then rolling it up and cutting into slices), or mixing and matching different coloured breads to make a chessboard-style sandwich. Try to include some form of protein – ham, chicken, cheese, tuna – as it will help your child feel fuller.
Mini energy ballsWho said energy balls had to be just be for those Instagram health bloggers? Packed with goodness, these mini energy balls by Annabel Karmel are perfect for little tummies. Taking just 20 minutes to prepare, however big the batch might seem at the time, they won’t be around for long.
Cheese chunksSlice up pieces of cheese (you can wrap them in foil to make them fun for your toddler to unwrap) or put a pre-wrapped cheese in, like Babybel or Cheestring.
GrapesA small bunch of seedless grapes is perfect for lunchboxes because they’re small and easy for your toddler to eat – no peeling necessary. They’re also high in fibre, so great for preventing constipation. For younger children, be sure to cut up the grapes into halves or quarters to prevent choking.
FlapjacksPacked with oats, flapjacks are a great energy boost to add to your little one’s lunchbox. Why not try making your own (and save money on the shop bought variety)? These superseed flapjacks are quick and easy to make (and even quicker to disappear!)
Mini muffinsA great option for little tummies, get creative with sweet or savory mini muffins for your tot. They’re bound to love these ruby red mini muffins by the team at Ella’s Kitchen, made from beetroot and feta, or try spinach and cheese for a more classic muffin.
Fruit kebabsYour little one will love sliding the chunks of fruit from the mini kebab. If you’re making this for your toddler, try threading strawberries, kiwi and grapes on a plastic straw (which is safer than a wooden kebab stick).
Cranberry and Hazelnut oat cookiesAnother healthy alternative to sugary snacks, why not add some homemade cookies to your tot’s lunchbox? These cranberry and hazenut oat cookies are super easy to make (depending on the nursery school rules, you might want to bake without the hazelnuts). What’s more, why not get your little one in the kitchen with you and bake these at the weekend?
Vegetable batonsSlice up carrots, cucumber, pepper and celery for your toddler to nibble on. You could also include a mini pot of houmous or cream cheese for him to dip them in.
Mini cheese and potato frittatasLeftovers can work well in your toddler’s lunchbox now and again, especially if it can be served cold. Go for foods such as quiche or frittata as they can be cut into slices and wrapped in a cling film or foil. This mini cheese and potato frittata recipe is a great option to try for lunch and dinner.
Mini rice cakesMuch healthier than crisps, add a pack of mini rice cakes to your little one’s lunchbox. If they find them a little dull, why not try introducing a flavoured variety.
Overnight OatsAnother one that’s super easy to prepare the evening before, whilst also being nutritious in a packed lunch box. Simply soak oats in yoghurt or milk in a small pot, include some fresh fruit or berries and leave in the fridge overnight. Just don’t forget to pack your little one a spoon!
Pesto rice saladIf your toddler loves cheese as much as you do, why not try a cold pesto rice salad. A good leftover option to make a change from sandwiches, either make your own pesto or add a shop bought variety.
Sandwich shapesA quick and easy way to make sandwiches more fun, use a cookie cutter to create cute shapes. Whether it’s a dog or a butterfly, keep your little one guessing and make lunchtime a surprise!
Sweetcorn frittersAnother leftover favourite, your little one is bound to love these bite sized sweetcorn fritters. Suitable from six months, they are also a good option if you’re looking for different baby-led weaning ideas.
Make sure you're following Mother & Baby on Instagram for relatable memes, inspiring stories and parenting hacks!
Have approx 60 seconds to spare? Why not join thousands of mums-to-be and start your very own Amazon baby wish list! They're absolutely free to create and perfect to send to the friends, aunties and your mum to make sure you're getting the baby products you really need... Click here!
For parenting tips, tricks and advice you can trust, click here to subscribe to Mother & Baby and have the latest issue delivered to your door every month.