Fun Lunches:

alt We have fun lunches! I find out what has happened on the date of the day I do lunches and do info on the day on a brown bag. I sometimes add a separate paper inside the bag with activities associated with the day. I find food that also goes along with the theme for the day. This is one of the web sites I use. My children's friends can't wait to see what is in their lunch bag and also to read the trivia on the bag! I then make up questions from the info that I have put on the bag and when we do any kind of road trip we have a trivia game!! It's fun to learn about things you would never learn about anywhere else! Hope you can use this! (Tammy Martin)

Lunchtime Basics:

alt PB&J Sushi Roll - Remove crusts from bread. With a rolling pin or large soup can, completely flatten bread. Spread 1 tablespoon peanut butter and 1 tablespoon of jam on each slice of bread. Roll each slice into a tight spiral. Cut each spiral into 4 pieces.
alt Tortillas and pita pockets are definite favorites around here.
Pasta salad
alt One of my children's favorites is ham and cheese roll ups - that is a ham slice with Kraft singles on top, then rolled up. Also, I take a tortilla shell and make a pizza in it (sauce, cheese, ham or whatever they like) and then roll it up - they microwave it at school. They also love homemade lunchables in a "tupperware" container. Another favorite thing is a PB and J circle cut - with Pampered Chef's circle sandwich cutter. There is always, chips, salsa and veggies on the side. (Mindy Halladay)
alt Mini Make-Your-Owns: For pizza, choose either bagel halves or crackers and pack tomato sauce, grated cheese, olives, and thin strips of chicken in their own small containers. One of my kids favorites is taking an English muffin and cutting it in half. Lightly spread some ketchup around and cover with cheese and pizza toppings... toast it in the toaster oven and send to school.
alt We live in Arizona, so foods don't keep too well. I pack the fruit cups, (fresh fruit doesn't do too well here in the heat...well, maybe peanut butter and apples). My daughter also likes the chicken salad and tuna packed with a few crackers. They can be found at the Dollartree for a buck. Can't beat it! She likes cheese crisps (cheese toasted on whole wheat tortilla) and also burros, I make up dozens of them and then freeze them. They thaw out by the time lunch arrives. I buy TONS of those Austin brand peanut butter or cheese crackers, they can withstand the heat. You could also make your own version of "lunchables" use a tupperware like container and put meat, cheese, crackers, etc. Have LOTS of peanut butter on hand! I use whole wheat and spread it on both sides of bread, then jelly/honey in the middle, that way it doesn't leak through as easily. For drinks, either those small container like juices, or just plain ole water! I prefer the latter, as juice has way too much sugar in it. (Juli Weatherhead)
alt When I slice apples for my children's lunches they don't like the bitter taste of lemon juice on the apples but my children think that the apples are bad if they turn a little brown, so I let them sprinkle the apples with a little cinnamon. When they go to eat them they think the apples are brown just from the cinnamon. Also my kids like to dip the graham cracker sticks into individual cups of apple sauce. And lastly, what I have started to do is whenever I go to a fast food restaurant my kids get chicken nuggets or whatever I always get the packets of ranch dressing, then I save them to put into their lunches with veggies. (Lori Pullin)
Peanut Butter Tortillas - Spread peanut butter on a tortilla and then add what your little one likes. Try jam or honey spread on another tortilla, or let your child sprinkle diced apples or bananas on the peanut butter. Put the two tortillas together and use your pizza cutter to cut them into small triangles.
alt My children hate sandwiches in their lunches because they get soggy or squished. I have tried making a turkey or ham sandwich in a tortilla shell. I just open up the tortilla shell and put the meat in the center, then the shredded lettuce and then shredded cheese. Next, I roll up the tortilla shell and cut it in half. My kids love it. Another idea is to send your child to school with a zip lock bag of their favorite cereal. They will just need a paper bowl and plastic spoon. Your child can buy a school milk to add to the cereal. Your child will be the envy of the lunchroom. (Wendy Jones)
alt Since our autistic son is sensitive to foods that contain gluten and casein, packing his school lunch can be a challenge. We have come up with lots of alternatives to traditional sandwiches. A few favorites are the following: two gluten free waffles spread with jelly and stuck together; cubed chicken with a little bit of honey on it; a baked potato with whatever fixings your child can eat, wrapped tightly in foil (these stay fairly warm and are safe to eat); corn chips and fresh salsa; corn chips and homemade chili; hot dogs (buy Hebrew National to avoid gluten and casein) without the buns; various sliced meats rolled with lettuce and held together by a toothpick; and on occasion, I will use rice crispy treats sliced very thin as the "bread" for a peanut butter sandwich. I had to invest in some small and inexpensive Tupperware for packing his lunches and buy several during the summer garage sales. Since no one wants to stand out at lunchtime, sometimes I will buy a few Lunchables, remove the foods (since my son cannot eat most of it) and just use the plastic containers. As far as side dishes, think FRUIT, FRUIT, FRUIT and of course we try to add some fun desserts like homemade trail mix. Good luck to anyone starting out on a gluten free/casein free diet. (Erin Linton)
alt Turkey Wraps - Mix together 1/4 c. cream cheese and 1/4 c. salsa until creamy and spreadable (this mixture keeps well, so you can make extra and use it later). Spread cream cheese mixture on a tortilla. Layer the tortilla with turkey and sprinkle with lettuce and carrots. Fold over ends of tortilla and roll up (cut in half before packing).
I am 13 years old and going to 8th grade. My mom thought that she could creatively give me snacks that were wholesome and fun. Well... she did and I didn't care one bit that it was healthy for me because of the way she made it! Unfortunately, I can't remember a lot of it but still I can recall some of my favorites. I sure your kids will enjoy it as much as I did!
alt Ants on a Log - You'll need 1 celery stick cut up in 3-4 in. lengths, peanut butter with 3-4 raisins per celery piece. The trick is to tell them to eat the ants before they get the celery!
Smackers - You'll need your child's favorite sandwich and a cookie cutter. When preparing the sandwich in the morning, take a cute shaped cookie cutter and cut out your sandwich. For fun (although not very healthy) you can give your child a small bag of chocolate chips to decorate the newly shaped sandwich! (I noticed this idea was on the web)
alt Tweesters - You'll need a variety of different fruits, similar in size ex. apple, oranges, pear, pomegranates. Cut the fruit into 4-5 even slices horizontally, then mix up the fruit slices funkily. (Ashley Fernelius)

alt Tuna Sandwiches 
alt My favorite lunch idea my mom did when I was young was to make a hot dog sandwich. She would buy hot dog buns, bologna (or other lunch meat) and cheese. She would place a few slices of cheese on the lunchmeat, roll it up to make it look like a hot dog and put it in the bun topped with mustard, mayo and other fixings. The kids at school always thought my sandwiches were the coolest and I thought it was so fun to get to eat a hot dog sandwich! (Leslie Casper)
alt Hot dogs in a thermos. Just put 1-2 wieners in a thermos of hot water and they'll still be warm at lunch. Pack the bun separately with or without the mustard/ketchup on them. You can buy small single serving sizes or just save them from extras you get at fast food places! (Susan Gough)


alt Grapes, olives, peanuts, crackers, rice cakes, pretzels, fruit cups, cheese cubes or string cheese, carrots, applesauce, muffin, bell pepper strips, ants on a log, hot dogs cut up into slices, etc.


alt Freeze box juices or water in a small drink container. These drinks will be perfectly thawed by lunchtime and serve double duty as lunchbox coolers.

Fun Websites:

alt Family Fun - Link 1, Link 2

Other Ideas:

alt Fun Lunches by Liz Shawl - "I did an enrichment a few years ago "back to school" and we had a mini class on this. So here are the ideas that I had for that."
alt Fun Lunch Ideas by Melissa Dillon