5 sandwich-free lunchbox ideas for picky kids and grownups

Moms and dads of picky eaters have to think outside the “lunch” box. My son is stubbornly sans sandwich. Peanut butter and jelly sandwich, nah. Turkey and cheese sandwich, nope. Tunafish sandwich, not a chance. Fortunately, I’ve gathered some sandwich-free recipes from a few of my favorite Pinterest power moms.

1. Apple, Ham*, and Cheese Rollups from Momables

*Turkey would be delicious as well.

Food for Thought – Rub lemon juice on the apple slices to keep them from browning. Buy pre-sliced apple slices if you’re looking to save time, but lose money.

2. Pizza Muffins from All My Great Ideas Are Really From Pinterest

Food for Thought – Make mini pizza muffins or cut the muffins in half and store in a warmed Thermos container. Of course, you can always serve the muffin at room temperature, but if your child is like mine he or she is in the lunchroom screaming “make it hot!”

3. Breakfast for Lunch from Stay-in-Bed Mom

Food for Thought

Option 1: Pack cold or hot cereal, with all the trimmings, and a yogurt on the side. (See previous post.)

Option 2: Serve a hard boiled egg; breakfast bread (e.g. banana, pumpkin, zucchini, etc.) or muffin (banana nut, blueberry, pumpkin, etc.), and yogurt.

Option 3: Prepare a mini bagel (toast, if desired) with butter, cream cheese, or peanut butter. Pack yogurt and a piece of fruit on the side.

4. Smoothie from OGT

Food for Thought – Be sure to store your smoothie in a freezer-safe container. Make your life easy by buying already prepared smoothie ingredients from your local grocery store’s frozen food section (e.g. Dole Crafted Smoothie Blends).

5. DIY “lunchables” from Stay-in-Bed Mom

Food for Thought – Using a bento style lunchbox, put crackers; deli turkey, ham, or salami; and sliced cheese into the individual compartments. While you’re at it, make this momable an authentic Lunchable by including a Capri Sun and a fun-sized candy bar.

If you’re set on sandwiches, try these clever sandwich disguises.

  • Sandwich or sandwich kabob: Thread turkey, cubed string cheese, and squares of bread on a skewer. Just make sure the skewer isn’t stabby!
  • Tortilla pinwheels: Spread cream cheese, sliced cheese, deli turkey (or other meat, black bean or hummus spread), thinly sliced tomatoes, shredded lettuce or spinach on a tortilla. Roll tightly and slice into rounds.

A Final Thought – From the Pillow

Picky kids won’t (hopefully) be picky adults. Your picky toddler, preschooler, school-aged child, tween, teen will (most likely) outgrow their picky eating. And if they don’t, they don’t. It’s not your fault.

So don’t be a worrier, be a warrior, Mama. Slay the lunch game every day.

Do you have a kid who is decidedly anti-sandwich? Which sandwichless lunch options worked for you?

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