Girl eating pizza bagel

In our house, mealtime can be a stressful process—both choosing what to eat and eating in a reasonable amount of time. This is especially true when it comes to planning something that my 5-year-old will eat during a very quick school lunch, along with her slightly less picky little sister (age 2). In this post, I will share five lunch ideas for your picky eater. Hopefully, some of these can help to liven up your kid’s lunchbox and expand their mealtime horizons.

Before we get to the list, a quick disclaimer: the following ideas are the “main entrée.” I  always add in extra snacks for my snack-obsessed children. Examples of our regular snack favorites include: Babybel, fruit, Pirates Booty, Trader Joe’s Apple Sauce pouches, and Made Good bars, just to name a few.

1. Banana and Peanut Butter Rollup

Banana and peanut butter rollup

The Banana and Peanut Butter Rollup is a quick, easy, and healthy option that can be done with quite a few variations.  All you need is a wrap (you can try different kinds, including plain, whole wheat, and multigrain), a banana, and some type of spread. We typically go with peanut butter, but we have also used Sun Butter (which works best for those with nut allergies), jelly, and/or Nutella. A mix of peanut butter and Nutella with the banana can be a good way to ensure your child is getting both fruit and protein, with the bonus of a chocolatey flavor.

Once you have all the ingredients, the rest is simple. First put your spread(s) on the wrap, then add the banana slices and roll it up. We then cut the wrap into smaller pieces so it’s easier for our kids to pick up and hold rather than taking the first bite and having the banana slices fall out.

2. Make Your Own Pizza

DIY pizza bagel

Both of my kids are huge fans of Lunchables. The pizza Lunchable, which is a favorite in our house, can be very easily replicated at home with basic ingredients that you likely have in your fridge and pantry.

In this instance, we started with a mini bagel. The only other ingredients are marinara sauce, shredded cheese, and protein (we use pepperoni). I put all the ingredients into a Bentgo box and add in a spreader on top. In addition to a mini bagel, my daughter has approved a “Make Your Own Pizza” lunch using an English muffin and a wrap.

3. Deconstructed Charcuterie Board

Deconstructed Charcuterie Board

While cheese and crackers are a regular snack in our house, they have also been served as a meal. Because of this, I’ve been trying to get a bit more creative and add sustenance. One recent success was a Deconstructed Charcuterie Board lunch that included sliced cheese, crackers, salami, yogurt-covered raisins, quartered cucumbers, and apple butter. Depending on the school policy and any allergies, you can add nuts and granola.

The good news with the Deconstructed Charcuterie Board is that you can keep the cheese and crackers as staples and easily rotate the other choices. We have a tough time with veggies, but I have found that offering a dip option, like hummus or peanut butter, helps to ensure the veggies get eaten (at least partially).

4. Yogurt and Fruit Skewers

Yogurt and Fruit Skewers

Both of my kids love yogurt and fruit, so this lunch choice is a real crowd pleaser. In fact, the fruit skewer idea was inspired by my daughter Charlotte after she helped me to make caprese skewers this summer and said she wanted to eat her favorite foods off “sticks” too.

First, pick the yogurt of your choice and pair it with assorted fruits on toothpicks. As a bonus, your little one may even want to help assemble the skewers. I’ve found when my kids help make their own meals it ensures they’ll actually eat what they prepare. Our most recent variation of yogurt and fruit skewers included apple chunks, strawberries, and raspberries, but you could put any fruit onto skewers that your kids like.

A helpful side note when sending the Yogurt and Fruit Skewers to school is including an icepack. Since most kids’ lunchboxes don’t offer much room, if you’re looking for a great skinny icepack that will fit, we’ve had great success with these ones.

5. Homemade Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Muffins

Homemade Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip MuffinsThis last one is the clear winner in our house. It’s a twist on your typical banana muffin with some extra fiber included by adding oats. The chocolate chips provide a hint of sweetness, and we all know it’s easier to convince kids to eat food with chocolate in it. Of course, while you can certainly opt for the store-bought variety of muffins, we frequently find ourselves with half-eaten or overly ripe bananas around the house, making Homemade Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Muffins both a fun and practical choice.

As a bonus with this option, my kids enjoy putting on their aprons and chef’s hats to help bake. Just like in my previous post on kid-friendly apple treats, you can measure out the ingredients beforehand so your little ones can assist during each step. From my experience, when my kids help bake and cook, they are very proud of themselves once we have a finished product and are excited to eat what they made.

Children baking


  • 1 EGG
  • 1 ½ CUPS FLOUR
  • ¼ TSP SALT

Muffin Topping:

  • ¼ Cup Brown Sugar
  • ½ Tsp Cinnamon


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees and prepare muffin tins with liners or by spraying
  2. Mash Bananas
  3. Combine and mix wet ingredients in stand mixer (bananas, butter, yogurt, egg and vanilla)
  4. In a separate bowl mix all of the dry ingredients excluding the chocolate chips.
  5. On a low speed slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.
  6. Add in the chocolate chips and gently fold together without over mixing
  7. Fill muffin tins ¾ full
  8. Bake for 5 minutes
  9. Lower heat to 350 degrees and bake for another 12 to 15 minutes

Girl showing off her lunch

Do you have any creative meal ideas? If so, I’d love to hear them. Feel free to tag me @snfenlon or @capecodmoms with your top lunch picks!

Samantha Fenlon
Samantha is a Massachusetts native with a love for Cape Cod. Growing up, she spent summers in Hyannisport and now feels incredibly fortunate to take her two children and husband back as often as she can. Samantha, her husband Matt and their two girls - Charlotte age 5 and Addison age 2 - love to go to the beach and are always up for exploring new spots throughout the Cape. Samantha spent nearly a decade working in TV news as a general assignment reporter in New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. She is a passionate storyteller with a background in on-camera reporting, content generation, video editing and social media. For the past five years Samantha has been a freelance media consultant while raising her two children. Samantha graduated from Syracuse University with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and Psychology.


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