I have a confession to make: I rarely make lunch.
I find it difficult to stop working during the middle of the day and prepare food. Because of this, we usually have easy-to-prepare or no-prep lunches.
Now that Monkey is nearly 9, however, she has taken on much of the responsibility of lunch. She loves to feel grown up by being in charge of food prep, and I love not having to make lunch myself.
All of these ideas are quick lunch meals kids can make alone (at least if they are 7 and up). Not all of the ideas are super healthy (you can find 101 healthy options here), but they are quick and not terribly unhealthy.
10 Quick Lunch Meals Kids Can Make Alone
Help your kids feel like kitchen superheros with these 10 quick lunch meals.
Tuna is one of Monkey’s favorite things to make. She can make this meal without any adult help. We like to add hardboiled eggs and cut up pickles or relish to our tuna. Sometimes we have it on bread and sometimes we have it in a salad.
Fruit and Cheese Plate
The girls love to munch on snack-style lunches. The fruit and cheese plate is a favorite. My kids love peaches, strawberries, blueberries, grapes, watermelon, cheddar cheese, mozzarella cheese, Colby cheese, Monterey Jack cheese, and mild Swiss cheese.
If we have leftover chicken from the day before, we sometimes turn it into a chicken salad. We use the same mix for chicken salad that we do for tuna (mayo, a bit of mustard, salt and pepper, and some apple pieces).
Leftovers are easy for kids to reheat. We typically heat our leftovers in the oven for extra crispy texture.
Monkey loves making Ramen noodles. It isn’t my favorite thing to serve them for lunch because it isn’t healthy, but in a pinch it’s better than nothing.
Macaroni and Cheese
Monkey loves making macaroni. We usually use the healthier version of the kind with the cheese pouch.
One of my friends introduced this lunch idea to us, and it’s been a lunch saver. We spread peanut butter or hummus onto a tortilla, and if we’re feeling particularly healthy, we add veggies to the hummus roll. Sometimes we add honey or jelly to the peanut butter rolls and cut them into sushi shapes. The kids love that.
Similar to the fruit and cheese plate, the veggie plate just has more veggies. We usually also serve this with cheese or leftover meat if we have any. My kids love olives, green or red bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, broccoli, and carrots.
Crackers and Fish
Crackers and fish is one of my favorite lunches, but the kids go through love/hate phases for this lunch. We purchase canned sardines or kippers and serve them atop crackers. Usually veggies are served on the side.
In a pinch, Monkey will just boil some hardboiled eggs for us to eat for lunch. Usually, this is our “empty pantry” lunch. If there is a side item also around, we’ll eat that with the eggs, but sometimes we have just eaten the eggs.
What quick lunch meals do your kids like to prepare?