Single motherhood






Hi, I'm a Kenyan-born, Colorado-based single mom to twins Hodari and Milambu. I turned the challenges of single motherhood into a thriving YouTube community and blog. Here, I offer support and practical advice on parenting, lifestyle, and more. Let's navigate life's complexities together!


more about me

single motherhood





As a busy parent, it can be tough to find the time and energy to pack a healthy and enjoyable school lunch for your kids. And with the added pressure of nut-free restrictions, it can feel like an even bigger challenge. As someone who has experienced the lunchbox struggle firsthand, I understand the frustration and want to help make things easier for other parents. That’s why I’ve compiled this comprehensive list of nut-free school lunch ideas for kids.

Gone are the days of boring and repetitive lunches that end up coming back home uneaten. This list includes a variety of delicious and nutritious options that are sure to please even the pickiest of eaters. From creative sandwich ideas to tasty snacks and sides, you’ll never run out of inspiration for packing a lunch that your child will love. So, say goodbye to the stress and hello to a new world of exciting and healthy school lunch options for your little ones.

*Note: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my like, at no extra cost to you.

Fridge and Pantry Must-Haves for Packing School Lunch

It’s always good to have your fridge and pantry stocked up before the beginning of the week to ensure that you are all set and that you have all you need to pack lunches. Below I have listed some items you should have in store, this list isn’t exhaustive and you can choose to have more or less based on your needs.

Fridge and Freezer Staples for School Lunches

  • Eggs
  • Deli turkey, chicken, or ham
  • Blocks of Cheese
  • Packaged cheeses
  • Cottage cheese or yogurt
  • Dips and sauces
  • Frozen waffles
  • Mixed Vegetables
  • Carrots, cucumber, celery
  • Blackberries, strawberries, blueberries
  • Drinks (milk and juice)

Pantry Staples for School Lunches

  • Bread
  • Pasta
  • Rice
  • Crackers, pretzels, chips
  • Cereal
  • Tortillas
  • Beans
  • Chia Seeds
  • Dried fruits

Tips for Packing A Healthy Lunch

toddler school lunch idea

Packing a healthy school lunch doesn’t have to be difficult, here are a few things to keep in mind while packing lunches:

1. Use a proper lunch box. A great lunchbox will make packing school lunches easier. I have been using the bentgo kids boxes for a while now and I love them. They are divided into different compartments which make it easier to pack a variety of meals. I recently purchased the Omni box lunch box since it’s getting colder and I want to start packing hotter meals.

2. Try to incorporate food from different food groups to give your kids more variety in their meals and make sure they are getting all the nutrients they need.

3. Always pack protein to help your child stay full. Protein sources such as chicken, beans, sandwich meat, and eggs are a great addition to any lunch.

4. Don’t be afraid to include a variety of fruits and vegetables. Include your child’s favorite fruits and vegetables and some new ones for them to try.

5. Include foods that your child likes to help them eat more of their lunch. When your child sees a favorite food as part of the lunch, they’re going to be more likely to eat their lunch and try other foods.

6. If they’re old enough, involve your kids in making lunches. They’re going to be more likely to eat lunches they prepared themselves.

Favorite School Lunch Essentials

When it comes to packing lunches, having the right items is essential to a smooth lunch packing experience for you and enjoyable for your kids. Here are some of our favorite lunch packing items:

Related: The Best School Lunch Packing Essentials

Bento Box School Lunch Ideas


Bentgo® Leak-Proof Lunch Box

Shop Now

Bento Box School Lunch Ideas


OmieBox Bento Box for Kids

Shop Now


Sandwich Cutters

Shop Now


Animal Food Picks

Shop Now

amazon store

Say Goodbye to Boring Lunches: 120+ Nutfree School Lunch Ideas for Kids

Main Course Meals

Cold Lunches

toddler school lunch idea
  • Cold pasta salad
  • Bean and cheese quesadilla
  • Fish sticks and fries
  • Chicken tenders
  • Lunchables boxes
  • Mini pizza bites
  • Chicken drumsticks
  • Homemade chicken nuggets
  • Turkey and cheese roll-ups
  • Mini meatball sub
  • Tuna melt
  • Mini bagel pizzas
  • Mini corn dog muffins with mixed veggies
  • Mini cheese and ham quiches
  • Turkey and cheese sliders on Hawaiian rolls
  • Fish sticks and tartar sauce
  • Baked chicken tenders
  • Sloppy joes
  • Chicken pot pie muffins
  • Cheeseburger sliders
  • Mini meatloaf cups
  • BBQ pulled pork sliders
  • Broccoli and cheese muffins
  • Tater tots and chicken nuggets
  • Fried rice with veggies
  • Baked ham and cheese roll-ups.
  • Mini bagels with cream cheese and turkey
  • Cheese and turkey sliders on whole-grain buns
  • Cheese and veggie quesadilla

Sandwich and Wrap Ideas

toddler school lunch idea
  • Ham sandwich
  • Turkey wrap
  • Turkey Sandwich
  • Rotisserie chicken wrap
  • Turkey pinwheels
  • Turkey + cheese pinwheels
  • Turkey + Hummus + Salad Greens
  • Ham + Cheese + Spinach wrap
  • Chicken wrap
  • Canned tuna, mayo, and lettuce wrap
  • Cucumber cream cheese sandwich, blueberries, animal crackers
  • Chicken Salad Wrap (made with Greek yogurt instead of mayo)
  • BLT Sandwich (bacon, lettuce, and tomato on whole-grain bread)
  • Veggie and Hummus Sandwich (lettuce, cucumber, bell pepper, and hummus on whole-grain bread)
  • Cream Cheese and Jelly Sandwich (made with low-fat cream cheese and fruit jelly on whole-grain bread)
  • BBQ chicken wrap with coleslaw
  • Chicken fajita wrap
  • Beef and bean burrito
  • Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich (made with nut-free butter or sunflower seed butter)
  • Veggie and Cream Cheese Sandwich (cucumbers, carrots, bell peppers, lettuce, and cream cheese on whole-grain bread)
  • Turkey and Avocado Wrap
  • Hummus and Veggie Wrap (carrots, cucumber, bell pepper, and hummus in a whole-grain wrap)
  • Grilled Cheese Sandwich (made with whole-grain bread and low-fat cheese)
  • Egg Salad Sandwich (made with Greek yogurt instead of mayo)
  • Cream Cheese and Banana Sandwich with Graham Crackers
  • Turkey and Swiss Cheese Sandwich with Lettuce and Tomato
  • Roast Beef and Cheddar Cheese Sandwich with Spinach
  • Ham and Cheese Croissant Sandwich
  • Veggie and Tuna Salad Wrap (canned tuna, veggies, and Greek yogurt in a whole-grain wrap)
  • Mini cheese and ham quiches

Hot Lunch Ideas

  • Fettucine Alfredo
  • Tomato soup + grilled cheese
  • Mac and cheese
  • Meatballs + mashed potatoes
  • Chili
  • Oatmeal
  • Nuggets with pasta
  • Spaghetti + meatballs
  • Baked Ziti with Meat Sauce
  • Chicken Stir-Fry with Brown Rice
  • Chicken Enchiladas with Refried Beans
  • BBQ Chicken Drumsticks with Roasted Veggies
  • Quinoa and Black Bean Bowl with Avocado
  • Vegetable Stir-Fry with Tofu or Chicken
  • Grilled Chicken Sandwich with Sweet Potato Fries
  • Baked chicken tenders with sweet potato fries
  • Chicken and vegetable stir-fry with rice
  • Tomato soup with grilled cheese croutons
  • Meatballs
  • Chicken Pot Pie
  • Scrambled Eggs
  • Fish Sticks
  • Taco Meat
  • Chicken Nuggets
  • Fried Rice
  • Whole-grain English muffin pizza
  • Soup
  • Creamy Tomato and Tortellini Soup
  • Lentil Soup with Whole-Grain Crackers
  • Baked Chicken and Vegetable Casserole
  • Beef and Broccoli Stir-Fry with Brown Rice
  • Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
  • Baked Potato Bar with Toppings (cheese, sour cream, bacon bits)
  • Shepherd’s Pie with Mashed Potatoes and Veggies
  • Chicken and broccoli Alfredo pasta
  • Mini meatloaf muffins with mashed potatoes
  • Taco salad with ground beef and cheese
  • Chicken and vegetable soup with crackers

Breakfast for Lunch Ideas

breakfast for lunch idea
  1. Mini pancakes, hard-boiled eggs + chicken sausage
  2. Bagel with cream cheese
  3. Cereal, bacon + eggs + sausage (milk on the side)
  4. French Toast Sticks with Maple Syrup
  5. Mini Frittatas (made in muffin tins with eggs, veggies, and cheese)
  6. English Muffin Breakfast Sandwich (with egg, cheese, and ham or bacon)
  7. Breakfast Pizza (whole-grain pita or English muffin topped with tomato sauce, scrambled eggs, and cheese)
  8. Cinnamon Raisin Bagel with Cream Cheese and Sliced Apples
  9. Waffles + eggs + mixed fruits + syrup on the side
  10. Chocolate chip muffins
  11. Ham and cheese breakfast muffins
  12. Hashbrown + eggs + sausages + fruit
  13. Yogurt Parfait with Granola and Berries
  14. Breakfast Quesadilla (scrambled eggs, cheese, and veggies in a whole-grain tortilla)
  15. Breakfast Sushi (whole-grain wrap with cream cheese, banana, and strawberries)
  16. Breakfast burritos
  17. Overnight Oats (made with milk, yogurt, and your choice of toppings such as fruit, nuts, and seeds)
  18. Smoothie Bowl (a smoothie blended with frozen fruit and topped with granola and fresh fruit)

Fruit and Veggie List


  • Peas (stirfry or steam)
  • String beans
  • Brocolli (roast or sautee)
  • Carrots (chopped, roasted, steamed)
  • Cucumber
  • Mini peppers
  • Mixed veggies
  • Snap peas (steamed or sauteed)
  • Beets (boil or dice)
  • Sweet Potatoe (roasted or mashed)
  • Cherry Tomato and Cucumber Salad
  • Snow Peas with Dip (ranch or hummus)
  • Green Beans with Dip (ranch or hummus)
  • Broccoli Florets
  • Cauliflower Florets
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Corn (boiled if on a cob or sauteed)
  • Zucchini (roasted)
  • Olives
  • Bell Pepper Slices
  • Edamame (sauteed)
  • Sliced peppers
  • Avocado (mash or dice)
  • Celery sticks
  • Radishes (add to salads)
  • Green beans (roasted, steamed, or sauteed)
  • Radish Slices
  • Roasted Sweet Potato Wedges
  • Asparagus Spears (lightly steamed and chilled)


  • Apples
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Mandarin oranges
  • Orange slices
  • Sliced grapes
  • Pinneaple
  • Honeydew
  • Banana
  • Pineapple chunks
  • Mango slices
  • Kiwi
  • Blackberries
  • Watermelon
  • Cantaloupe Chunks
  • Pomegranate Airils
  • Pears
  • Raspberries
  • Watermelon Chunks
  • Grapefruit Wedges
  • Sliced Pears

Dairy & Drinks

  • Gogo squeeze yogurt pouch
  • Plain/flavored yogurt
  • String cheese
  • Babybel cheese
  • Cheese portions
  • Cottage cheese
  • Chocolate milk
  • Whole milk
  • Low-fat milk
  • Honest juices
  • Orange juice

Snacks + Something Sweet

  • Coconut chunks
  • Brownie
  • Candy
  • Cookie
  • Popcorn
  • Dried fruits
  • Mini Lara bars
  • Bobos stuffed oats
  • Natures path toaster pastry
  • Chocolate covered raisins
  • Coconut rolls
  • Rice crispy treats
  • Energy bites
  • Kale chips
  • Pudding
  • Gummy treats
  • Fruit cups
  • Carrot sticks with hummus
  • Sliced bell peppers with ranch dip
  • Celery sticks with peanut butter (or SunButter for nut-free)
  • Banana muffins
  • Homemade trail mix (dried fruits, nuts, seeds, chocolate chips)
  • Grapes and cheese cubes
  • Mini bagels with cream cheese
  • Rice cakes with almond butter (or SunButter for nut-free)
  • Pretzels
  • Chocolate covered pretzels
  • Made good granola minis
  • Simple mills bars
  • Skinny Popcorn
  • Pirate booty corn puffs
  • Kettle brand potato chips
  • Simple mills almond flour crackers
  • Yogurt/chocolate-covered strawberries
  • Wafer bites
  • Mini chocolate chips
  • Mini marshmallows
  • Mini muffins
  • Goji berries
  • Chia seeds on yogurt
  • Organic mama chia
  • Macaroons
  • Roasted chickpeas
  • Veggie chips
  • Apple sauce cups
  • Cottage cheese with sliced peaches
  • Mini pizzas (whole-grain English muffin, marinara sauce, cheese, veggie toppings)
  • Fruit smoothie (made with yogurt, fruit, and milk)
  • Banana bread slices
  • Pita chips with hummus

Final Thoughts

Packing nut-free school lunches for kids doesn’t have to be a chore. With a little bit of creativity and planning, you can provide your child with healthy and delicious meals that they’ll actually enjoy. Remember to include a variety of food groups and colors, limit high-sugar and sodium foods, and serve appropriate portion sizes.

And if you ever find yourself in a rut, don’t be afraid to mix things up by trying new ingredients and recipes. Your child might surprise you by discovering a new favorite food! With this ultimate list of nut-free school lunch ideas for kids, you now have a plethora of options to choose from. So, say goodbye to the stress of packing school lunches and hello to happy and satisfied kids.

pin this post

The Ultimate List of (Nut-Free) School Lunch Ideas for Kids

school lunch ideas

Apr 16, 2023

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

@ FAITH MATINI 2021 All Rights Reserved


Faith Matini is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

error: Content is protected !!