Lunch Ideas for Picky Eaters


My daughter started school in Canada last term, and although she loved the new environment, it wasn’t without its challenges for her and us. We have to send her along with lunch. I feel like this is such a continuous scale of escalation. In Jamaica, kindergarten provided breakfast, lunch and dinner as part of tuition (she was always home for dinner, though). Prep school was more money and no lunch. You paid for it separately, but it was still at school. And now, braps! Notn just suh. The lunches were coming home virtually untouched some days, even though we asked her what she would like during shopping and in the mornings. As you can imagine, this is a new challenge — Finding lunch ideas for picky eaters. Yikes!

Having a picky child when you are a picky eater yourself must genuinely be a point of fun for the universe. We went from wanting healthy options to deciding that eating anything would be better than nothing all day and tearing the kitchen down when she walked through the door at 4:00 p.m. This was stressful for me but primarily for hubby, who has now taken over as Mr. Mom since he works from home and is now the stay-at-home parent. So, in true mom blogger fashion, I am sharing what we came up with.

Meal Planning Lunch Ideas for Picky Eaters

It’s a multi-layer problem for us. Beyond the food, emotionally adjusting seems to have affected her appetite as she deals emotionally with missing home, her old school and friends. Living in a new country also equals new food items/options, a new culture, a school structure for the little one, and the lunch situation.

Immigrant Note: Something else I have had to consider as an immigrant which I didn’t before was that kids in North America have a great many food allergies than back home. So while planning my own child’s lunch, I have o consider the list of allergies in her class supplied by the school. Things like nuts (and products with them), fruits, etc.

Get a Bento Box Lunch Container

The first thing I thought of was to get a bento box lunch container. It would provide options that didn’t touch; if she ate some things, I’d be okay with that. The one we got, while small, works. It doesn’t leak wither, and the food doesn’t leave its place. Problem one: solved.

You May Also Like: 4 Alternatives to Force-Feeding Children

Shop at Costco

With a small family, bulk shopping hasn’t always appealed to me. It seemed portions of things were just too much. Well, that’s changed. While it remains true that some packaged goods are more than I’d like, the options at Costco make up for it. That’s exactly what you need when meal planning for kids (my kid at least): options. It’s also become a good option for me, the adult picky eater, when it comes to options for my lunch bag. Here are some of the things on our list of lunch ideas for picky eaters.

Food Items Ideas for Kids

Fruits and Veggies

  • strawberries
  • apples
  • grapes
  • bananas
  • mangoes
  • watermelon
  • clementines
  • blueberries
  • raspberries
  • baby carrots


  • yogurt
  • milk
  • cheese


  • chicken nuggets
  • chicken fingers
  • fish sticks
  • burger patties
  • meat cuts
  • sausage
  • bologna


  • gummy fruit snacks
  • chips
  • granola bars
  • snack bars
  • crackers
    • cheese
    • fish
    • saltine, etc.

Do you have any lunch ideas for picky eaters you can share? Let me know in the comments.

Xo, Shandean

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Shandean Reid

A heavily caffeinated, quintessential millennial wife and mom doing modern family life. I’m a communications professional following a five-year stint as a SAHM, switching roles with hubby, a physician and now WFHD. I also read and write books for fun! Stick around if I'm your kind of person!



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