Knowing what to pack in children's lunchboxes can be tricky, especially if they're fussy eaters. However, if you choose fresh and colourful ingredients, chances are that what you make will be more wholesome and appetising.


You don't have to spend too much time prepping either. From crunchy taco salad to pitta pockets, our recipes are easy to make and stuffed full of freshness and flavour. So, ditch the soggy sarnies and try something different.

Find more simple lunches with our kids' cooking recipes and check out our fuss-free easy lunch ideas.

1. Chicken taco salad

chicken salad in a lunch box

It's healthy, it's four of your five-a-day and it's topped with crunchy crushed taco shells. Our chicken taco salad is perfect if you want to get some variety into your child's lunchbox. A smattering of creamy avocado chunks and barbecued chicken upgrades this salad to a next level feast.

Discover more chicken salad recipes.

2. Pitta pockets

Filled pitta next to apples with peanut butter

Looking for something to replace sandwiches? Our easy pitta pockets are the answer. Try pairing them with finger food like our crushed pea & mint dip with carrot sticks, or some snackable spiced almonds. These fuss-free pittas can be thrown together in minutes and are an easy low-fat option.

Check out more stuffed pitta recipes.

3. Peanut hummus with fruit & veg sticks

Cut vegetables with peanut hummus

Get dipping with our peanut hummus with fruit & veg sticks. This healthy, nutty dip has silky smooth tahini and a pinch of smoked paprika to make your chickpeas pop with flavour. Stir in some whole chickpeas once your hummus is blended for texture. With no cooking involved, this is an ideal midweek lunch for when you're short on time. Fancy trying a different flavour? Discover more easy healthy hummus recipes, ideal for popping into lunchboxes.

Try our hummus recipes for more flavour variations.

4. Mini spinach & cottage cheese frittatas

Frittatas in a cupcake tray

Our cheesy mini spinach frittatas are easy for little hands to hold, healthy and packed full of all-important greens. It takes just seven ingredients and a muffin tin to bake these marvellous marbled treats. Not a fan of spinach? Try making a batch of mini butternut squash frittatas at the weekend, ready for midweek snacking.

Perfect for any picnic or packed lunch, check out more of our frittata recipes.

5. Stuffed Moroccan pitta

Pitta stuffed with hummus and veg

Hearty chickpea falafels, creamy hummus and crunchy red pepper stuffed into pitta pockets makes a simple veggie lunch the kids will want more of. Use shop-bought hummus and falafels if you need a quick fix. If you want to make your own, try our easy falafel recipe with a quick hummus.

Whether shaped in a patty or ball, falafels are always delicious. Check out more of our incredible falafel recipes.

6. Chicken, carrot & avocado rolls

Wraps filled with carrot, chicken and avocado

Lunch is all wrapped up with our simple, quick chicken tortilla rolls. Raid the fridge and put together the perfect mix of cheese, chicken and avocado for a midday hunger killer. For a packed lunch, wrap them in cling film and twist them shut to avoid spillage in school bags.

A great alternative to a soggy sandwich, discover more flavourful wrap recipes.

7. Tuna rice salad

Rice with veg and tuna

Ensure the kids are eating well with rainbow rice salads, designed with easy meal prep in mind – make the rice base in a batch and divide up for the whole family. Our healthy tuna-topped version provides a protein boost and for more grown-up tastebuds, there's a feta and beetroot variation.

Discover more rice salad recipes.

8. Sweet potato falafels with coleslaw

Pittas stuffed with falafels and coleslaw

These pittas burst with flavour as they’re stuffed full of our homemade sweet potato falafels and coleslaw. They make a low-fat, filling yet vegetarian lunch, and each serving comes to less than a pound!

9. Green bean & penne salad

Pasta in a lunch box with rocket

This speedy pasta salad with a healthy tomato and basil dressing counts as three of your five-a-day and is sure to perk up any lunchbox. It's a colourful recipe that blows beige sandwiches out of the water. Top up with rocket and basil for extra greens.

Discover more of our pasta salad recipes.

10. Lemon & yogurt chicken flatbread

Chicken and lettuce in a wrap

Give the kids a taste of summer hot off the griddle pan with our lemon & yogurt chicken flatbreads. Wrap up chicken and pepper chunks with a healthy spread of Greek yogurt and a handful of lettuce for a filling, picnic-style lunch.

Rustle up some fluffy homemade flatbreads with our flatbread recipes.

11. BLT pasta salad

Pasta with tomatoes, bacon and spinach

This bacon pasta salad is an excellent addition to any lunchbox. It takes only 20 minutes to prepare, and counts for two of your children’s five a day!

12. Creamy tomato soup

Pots of tomato soup with bread

This low-fat vegetarian soup will be a winner for everyone as the passata and whole milk gives it a silky-smooth finish. Pop it in a thermos, and kids can enjoy a warming lunch on a cold school day.

For soups perfect for any kind of weather or occasion, check out our soup recipes.

13. Prawn & salmon burgers

Burger buns with prawn and salmon and vegetables

These prawn & salmon burgers are delicious, and healthy too! Rich in omega-3, it's the brain food your child needs to pick them up for an afternoon of learning.

Discover more healthy burger recipes.

14. Spinach & tuna pancakes

Pancakes filled with tuna, spinach and other veg

Pancakes aren't just a treat for Shrove Tuesday. Make them a weekday staple with our delicious spinach & tuna pancakes. They're healthy, nutritious and full of flavour, packing in three of your five a day.

More like this

Discover more savoury pancake recipes.

15. Pizza omelette

Omelette with pizza toppings

You might think this recipe is a strange combination of foods, but it will be a winner with your kids. It uses the best parts of a pizza but swaps the carbs for protein by substituting egg. Each serving also costs less than £1.25, making it an affordable way to pack your kids' lunches.

Find more exciting ideas for fluffy and filling omelette recipes.

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Do you have any tips for getting children to eat their veggies? Leave a comment below...


As many countries urge populations to stay at home, many of us are paying more attention to our diets and how the food we eat can support our health. To help sort out the fact from the fiction, BBC Future is updating some of their most popular nutrition stories from their archive.

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