15 Quick and Easy Homeschool Lunch Ideas Your Kids Will Love
Homeschooling kids is hard enough (it's no wonder 80 percent of US parents have a newfound respect for teachers as a result of 2020 stay-at-home mandates). With back-to-back Zoom classes and keeping the kids on their A game, there's absolutely no reason to make lunchtime another hassle.
A fast, easy, delicious lunch is 100 percent the way to go, and meal prepping can make it even quicker. Think hefty use of the air fryer, healthy versions of kids' classics like chicken nuggets, and meals that will keep your children's taste buds happy while still being packed with energy and nutrients. Plus, all of these recipes are the perfect balance between easy, fun, and refreshingly unique. Ready to make homeschooling life a little bit simpler? Swipe through for a few of the speediest, tastiest kids' lunch recipes out there.
Air-Fryer Chicken Nuggets
Did someone say chicken nuggets? Your kids will be so excited to eat one of their favorite foods for lunch, and since these are made in the air fryer, they have way less oil. Serve with a couple dipping sauces for a quick, fun, and simple lunch. They only take seven minutes to cook in the air fryer, and you can make and freeze a large batch of the nuggets ahead of time, ready for a quick meal when the kids are.
Get the recipe: air-fryer chicken nuggets
DIY Pizza Lunchables
Another exciting take on traditional kids' food, these DIY pizza Lunchables will get everyone excited for lunch. The absolute easiest DIY meal, just lay out some crackers, marinara or pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese, and mini pepperoni for the make-your-own pizzas, and serve with grapes and almonds to round it out.
Get the recipe: DIY pizza Lunchables
Creamy Slow-Cooker Mac and Cheese
Load your slow cooker with cooked elbow macaroni, evaporated milk, whole milk, butter, eggs, shredded sharp cheddar cheese, salt, and pepper; stir it all together; and wait for the magic to happen. After a few hours, the miracle of cozy mac and cheese will be waiting for you. This recipe is perfect for making ahead of time in big portions and storing in the fridge or freezer for reheating on the fly.
Get the recipe: creamy slow-cooker mac and cheese
Sushi-Ish Bento Box
Go with a "sushi" theme for the kids' next lunch, serving delicious, easy turkey and carrot "sushi" pinwheels. Spread rice over a tortilla, then add a layer of mayonnaise (seasoned with ginger and soy if you want to get fancy), and arrange turkey and carrots over the top. Roll it all up, cut into slices, and you're done. These pinwheels go great with edamame on the side (buy frozen and heat in the microwave), plus cucumber, dried fruit, and juice.
Get the recipe: sushi-ish bento box
Egg Salad Sliders
This lightning-fast lunch recipe for egg salad sliders uses those delicious Hawaiian rolls you get at the supermarket. To make, simply layer the fluffy rolls with a healthy egg salad, which swaps out most of the classic mayo for Greek yogurt.
Get the recipe: egg salad sliders
Grilled Chicken Caesar Wrap Recipe
There's no way you can go wrong with these grilled chicken caesar wraps. Think of the creamy yumminess of caesar dressing (store bought is fine), tossed with grilled chicken, lettuce, and parmesan and wrapped in any flatbread you have on hand. These go great with chips for a fun welcome-to-the-weekend lunch.
Get the recipe: grilled chicken caesar wrap recipe
Sweet Potato and Almond Butter Sandwiches With Green Apples
Sandwiches are a classic lunchtime meal for a reason: they're quick to make and filling. Make the cinnamon sweet potato butter in advance and store in glass jars for anytime the kids (or parents!) are craving this sandwich. Quickly spread the sweet potato butter on one slice of bread, smear almond butter on the other, and stack crisp green apples and cinnamon in between. Delicious and super healthy, this lunch is a win-win.
Get the recipe: sweet potato and almond butter sandwiches with green apples
Hearty Veggie Skewers With Green Goddess Dip
To make these veggie popsicles, grab skewers and slide through crunchy, fresh vegetables like cucumbers, grape tomatoes, peppers, and sugar snap peas. Then serve with a quick green goddess dipping sauce made out of mayo, avocado, lime juice, scallions, and parsley. These go great with sliced fresh fruit, edamame, pita bread, and a hard-boiled egg.
Get the recipe: hearty veggie skewers with green goddess dip
Taco Bell Mexican Pizza Recipe
This Taco Bell Mexican pizza recipe is the perfect Friday celebratory lunch — your kids will be jumping for joy at the idea of making a taco and a pizza in one. This recipe includes a good dose of veggies, and you'll definitely want in on the fun, too. Just bake the tortillas and layer with canned refried beans, store-bought enchilada sauce, shredded cheese, and ground beef cooked with a taco seasoning packet.
Get the recipe: Taco Bell Mexican pizza recipe
Rotisserie Chicken Club Wrap Recipe
These rotisserie chicken club wraps might just be one of the quickest, yummiest, kid-friendly lunches of all and are the perfect time-saving meal. Lay out a wrap, toss in some rotisserie chicken from the supermarket, and add Swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise, and precooked bacon that you can warm up in the microwave.
Get the recipe: rotisserie chicken club wrap recipe
Pull-Apart Chicken Instant Pot Recipe
You know you've mastered homeschool kids' lunch recipes when you have them make it themselves. Try this supereasy pull-apart chicken Instant Pot recipe, where all you need to do is make the chicken ahead of time and lay out the rest of the sauces, veggies, and bread (such as naan flatbread) for them to make their own.
Get the recipe: pull-apart chicken Instant Pot recipe
Back-to-School Turkey Pinwheels
These turkey pinwheels can be prepared in a cinch, served alongside fruit, veggies, cookies or crackers, and yogurt. Cream cheese, arugula, tomato, and turkey are the main ingredients, making for a quick, easy, and nourishing meal.
Get the recipe: back-to-school turkey pinwheels
A superfun twist on the classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich, this recipe amps up the fun by serving it as kebabs. Skewer together soft bread, gooey peanut butter and jelly, and pieces of berries for a delicious and easy meal. Serve with veggies and ranch on the side, and you have a well-rounded lunch for the kiddos.
Get the recipe: PB&J kebabs
Chicken Spaghetti Casserole
Casseroles are fantastic for meal prep and will take you from easy homeschool lunches to dinner for the entire family. This is perfect for reheating, so make a large tray of this casserole ahead of time, ready to use for lunches in a pinch. It's packed with chicken, lots of veggies, and a special creaminess from milk and a few kinds of cheese.
Get the recipe: chicken spaghetti casserole
Sandwich Lunchbox Ideas For Toddlers
Just because kids might not physically be at school doesn't mean you can't bring the fun of school to them. Continue the lunchbox tradition with these incredible sandwich ideas, including mashed avocado and tofu, PB and banana, mashed avocado and white bean, and a sweet potato lentil dip sandwich. These recipes all give incredible side snack recommendations, too.
Get the recipes: sandwich lunchbox ideas for toddlers