Preschool lunch ideas

This post is sponsored through my partnership with Bitsy’s Brainfood

The smell of sharpened pencils, textbooks, and notebook paper is in the air. Back to school season has officially arrived! While I admit that there are days where I’m SO thankful for the hot lunch option, for the most part, I enjoy putting together Liv’s little meals to take to school with her. (She goes for a few half days each week.) My favorite time to pack her lunch is when we’re cleaning up the kitchen from the previous night’s dinner. I mix and match from some favorites, and pack it up so it’s ready to grab and go in the morning. I try to do whatever I can at night to streamline our morning routine. I thought I’d share some of her faves if you’re looking for lunch box inspiration this school year!

Preschool lunch ideas 1 of 1

Please keep in mind that I’m not a Registered Dietitian. Just wanted to share some of the ideas and combos that have worked in our family, and have also encouraged Liv to eat the rainbow. 

Some supplies:

Lunch box

Bento box or small containers

Water bottle

Cookie cutters or sandwich shapes (optional)

Cold pack

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THE MAIN COURSE

1) Sandwich it up!

Favorite combos:

Turkey and cheese with a little mayo and mustard

Peanut butter (sunflower seed butter may be a good option if your school is nut-free. Trader Joe’s has an awesome one.), banana and cinnamon

Cookie cutter sandwich 1 of 1

*Sandwich tip: switch it up by cutting the sandwich into a shape -we have a heart sandwich cutter that Liv loves- or rolling it into a wrap before slicing

Almond butter (or sunflower seed butter) and jelly

Grilled cheese

BLT with turkey bacon and avocado

2) Pizza. I’ll pack leftover pizza from dinner, or make her an English muffin pizza with marinara, cheese, and olives. 

3) Pasta. She loves gnocchi (from Trader Joe’s) with Alfredo sauce, and Annie’s mac n’ cheese bunnies. If you pack the pasta in a thermos, it will stay warm until lunchtime. 

4) Deli meat roll-ups. Take your favorite deli meat, add some cheese or fillings, and roll up. 

5) Little meat and cracker stacks. These are like build-your-own Lunchables. I’ll grab some crackers (Trader Joe’s has pita crackers that she loves), top with a slice of cheese and some turkey.

6) Breakfast for lunch: French toast sticks and banana-egg pancakes do extremely well. I’ll leave them dry and pack a small container with syrup for dipping. 

7) Quesadillas or bean burritos. 

FRUIT AND VEG: 

This one is pretty self-explanatory, but here are some faves!

8) Bananas. Sometimes I’ll slice lengthwise and add almond butter (or sunflower seed butter) and sprinkle with cinnamon

9) Berries

10) Apple slices: add a little lemon juice so they don’t brown.

11) Tropical fruits or melon they enjoy

12) Whole or stone fruit, sliced and top with lemon juice

13) Crudites and dip

14) Sweet potato or butternut squash wedges

15) Kale or zucchini chips

16) Soup. This will stay warm in a thermos.

17) Pouches

18) Homemade fruit leather

Cookie cutter veg 1 of 1

*Veggie tip: cut the veggies or fruit using small cookie cutters. I have these ones from Pampered Chef and they’re the perfect size for little hands. Liv won’t touch plain chopped zucchini, but if it’s roasted or cut into a star, she’ll devour it. 

EXTRA SIDES:

Preschool lunch ideas 1 of 1 3

19) A little string cheese or Babybel cheese

20) Olives (Liv adores these)

21) Trail mix (again, be sure check with the school’s nut policy. All of Liv’s preschools so far have allowed nuts.)

22) Energy bites (for nut-free, use seeds and sunflower seed butter instead of almond butter)

23) Pretzels or crackers

SOMETHING SWEET:

24) A chocolate kiss

25) Gummies or fruit snacks

26) Homemade granola bars 

27) Bitsy’s Brainfood cookies or cereal. These are an amazing option, especially if your school is nut-free. Their cookies are free of nuts and also produced in a nut-free facility. Livi especially loves the Sweet Potato Oatmeal Raisin cookies, and the letter shapes make it a fun way to infuse learning into lunchtime. She really enjoys picking out the letters she knows, and we’ll spell out simple words together. You can find Bitsy’s at Target (here is the store locator) in the cookie aisle. It’s exciting to have this healthy option available, which encourage and empowers kids to choose foods that taste good while providing a nutrient boost. 

Bitsy’s Brainfood kindly offered a giveaway for 20 (!) lucky readers to try out their amazing products. 

Simply enter via the widget below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The winners will be chosen and contacted on September 3.

xoxo!
Gina 

 This post is sponsored by Bitsy’s Brainfood. Thank you so much for supporting this blog and the companies who help to support our family. 

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133 Comments

  1. Gina E on August 26, 2015 at 7:25 pm

    Fruit & Veggie 123 looks great!!

  2. Elizabeth on August 26, 2015 at 7:29 pm

    I would love to try the sweet potato oatmeal raisin cookies!!! I’d share with my daughter but I’d really like to try them!!

  3. renee duffield on August 26, 2015 at 7:30 pm

    thankyou for the good idea’s

  4. Rachel on August 26, 2015 at 7:45 pm

    Would love to try the beet orange chocolate cookies for my little ones!

  5. Kristen on August 26, 2015 at 7:46 pm

    Smart cookies! The gingersnaps would be a great and healthy sweet treat for fall.

  6. zana on August 26, 2015 at 7:57 pm

    Green Berry blast cereal.

  7. Kim N on August 26, 2015 at 8:15 pm

    The chocolate orange beet cookies sound interesting.

  8. Katie R. on August 26, 2015 at 8:20 pm

    The sweet potato oatmeal cookies sound all kinds of delicious!

  9. Kat on August 26, 2015 at 8:27 pm

    I buy these cookies for my daughter but I usually eat them…Would love some more!

  10. Olviya@servingsisters.com on August 26, 2015 at 8:30 pm

    The oatmeal smart cookies look yummy!

  11. P.Jeanne on August 26, 2015 at 8:31 pm

    I’d love to try the sweet potato oatmeal raisin cookies! I love the tip about cutting veggies into shapes, my son is super picking and I think he would love that 😀

  12. Kristin on August 26, 2015 at 8:39 pm

    I’m going to have to go with Liv’s recommendation and give the sweet potato oatmeal raisin a try!

  13. Jessica on August 26, 2015 at 8:42 pm

    Mmmm the oatmeal cookies! Would love to try!

  14. LaurenCarny on August 26, 2015 at 9:28 pm

    I love Bitsys Brainfood cookies! And so does my daughter! I actually bought some specifically to put in her lunches- she starts preschool on Friday!

  15. Liz on August 26, 2015 at 9:49 pm

    All the smart cookies but the sweet potato oatmeal raisin in particular!

  16. Alex on August 26, 2015 at 11:13 pm

    Orange chocolate beet smart cookies!!!

  17. Jen on August 27, 2015 at 1:12 am

    smart cookies!

  18. michele on August 27, 2015 at 1:56 am

    the sweet potato oatmeal cookies!

  19. Maggie on August 27, 2015 at 3:28 am

    Sweet potato Oatmeal cookies!

  20. Emily on August 27, 2015 at 4:43 am

    Those cookies look delicious! My son would love to try them!

  21. Michelle Stager on August 27, 2015 at 5:07 am

    Great ideas for lunch! Thank you. I’d love to try those oatmeal raisin cookies. Or I mean, my kids would 😉

  22. Melissa L on August 27, 2015 at 5:20 am

    My daughter would love to try the sweet potato oatmeal raisin ones!

  23. Monica on August 27, 2015 at 5:31 am

    Sweet potato oatmeal cookies!

  24. Stephanie B. on August 27, 2015 at 5:37 am

    I would like to try the sweet potato oatmeal raisin cookies – sounds interesting! And the banana squash squares.

  25. Mina on August 27, 2015 at 5:41 am

    The sweet potato oatmeal cookies!

    Mina

  26. Katie on August 27, 2015 at 5:51 am

    I wish cutting raw veggies into shapes made me want to eat them more…

  27. Erin A. on August 27, 2015 at 6:05 am

    Definitely the sweet potato raisin cookies!

  28. Joni on August 27, 2015 at 6:22 am

    I’d like to try their cereals! We have tried all the cookies and they are delicious.

  29. Amanda on August 27, 2015 at 6:32 am

    sweet potato oatmeal raisin cookies

  30. Mary Ann on August 27, 2015 at 6:43 am

    The sweet potato oatmeal raisin cookies sound amazing!

  31. Tera on August 27, 2015 at 6:50 am

    I would try the oatmeal raisin cookies. Looks like fun for adults too 😉

  32. Jessica on August 27, 2015 at 6:54 am

    I love the concept behind Bitsy’s — i’d love to give my daughter any of them to try! Thanks!

  33. Katie on August 27, 2015 at 6:56 am

    I can’t wait to try the little cookies! I love a good crunchy snack that is nutritious and delicious 🙂

  34. Jessica on August 27, 2015 at 7:02 am

    Cute lunches! I think my son and daughter would love the Smart Oatmeal raisin cookies. Those are their favorite kind. :O) Thanks for the giveaway.

  35. Laura on August 27, 2015 at 7:15 am

    Sweet potato oatmeal raisin sounds delicious!

  36. Ashley K on August 27, 2015 at 7:18 am

    Sweet potato oatmeal raisin yum we love bitsy!

  37. Kelly S on August 27, 2015 at 7:18 am

    Yum- Sweet potato Oatmeal cookies!

  38. Kaitlin on August 27, 2015 at 7:40 am

    I love this ideas! I’ve been looking for something like this to shake up our lunch routine.

  39. Natalie @ The Ravenous Mommy on August 27, 2015 at 7:42 am

    We’d love to try the oatmeal raisin cookies!

  40. nina on August 27, 2015 at 7:45 am

    I’ve seen these at Target and would love to try the zucchini gingerbread carrot cookies!

  41. Jessica K on August 27, 2015 at 7:51 am

    orange chocolate beet cookies!

  42. Jennifer on August 27, 2015 at 7:56 am

    I would love to try the sweet potato oatmeal raisin cookies!

  43. Kelster on August 27, 2015 at 7:59 am

    I’d love to try the sweet potato oatmeal raisin cookies.

  44. Beth R. on August 27, 2015 at 8:17 am

    We’re cereal mongers in our house; so I would love to try their cereals!

  45. paige c on August 27, 2015 at 8:31 am

    I want to try the sweet potato cookies!

  46. Kayla on August 27, 2015 at 9:45 am

    I’d love to try any of the cookies… My girls loves crackers, chips, and cookies (all.the.carbs!), so I end up sneaking their veggies and fiber into breads and muffins and pancakes. That’s fine, but it gets repetitive, since so many of those kinds of recipes call for lots of sugar and/or chocolate chips.

    I tried to find these at Target recently, but didn’t succeed…

  47. Emma Davis on August 27, 2015 at 9:53 am

    Any of the cookies, it would be fun to teach letters and numbers!

  48. Randi on August 27, 2015 at 10:12 am

    Great ideas! We’re just introducing a few solids to our 5 month old so we have a few years to go, lol! But I hear you blink and all of a sudden they are in school

  49. Jessica S on August 27, 2015 at 10:39 am

    You mention their products all of the time on your blog…they all sound soo tasty and healthy. I would love to be able to sample their products!

  50. Liz on August 27, 2015 at 10:45 am

    Banana squash squares will definitely be a favorite of ours!

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