8 Easy Toddler Lunches You Can Make Ahead of Time

Posted by Grant Oster on

Toddlers can make mealtime difficult. They’re picky eaters, don’t like to sit still for long periods, and want what they want when they want it. So, the key to making lunches for toddlers is being ready for anything—and having a plan. You can make your life easier by prepping some quick toddler lunches ahead of time, so you don’t have to worry about running out of ideas or getting stuck on the go with no way to satisfy your toddler’s appetite.

Below, you’ll find some of the best toddler lunches that are easy to make ahead of time. You can stock up on these lunch ideas and keep them in your freezer whenever you need them. You’ll also find some tips on how to prep these meals, so you will be ready when you need them.

Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwiches

You can never go wrong with PB&J sandwiches—they’re simple, sweet, and savory. What could be better than that? This classic sandwich has peanut butter and jelly, but there are plenty of ways to customize it depending on your tastes. Experiment with different nut butters or add some sliced bananas or raisins for a little extra sweetness.


  • 6 slices of bread (whole wheat, white, or a mixture of both)
  • 3 tablespoons of crunchy peanut butter
  • 3 teaspoons of your toddler’s favorite jelly
  • 3 teaspoons of honey
  • 3 sliced bananas (or any other fruit of your toddler’s choice)


  1. Spread peanut butter on one slice of bread and jelly (and/or honey) on the other.
  2. Put the slices together and cut diagonally for easy sandwich-making.
  3. If you’re adding fruit, place it between the two slices before cutting.

Here’s how you store it

Store the sandwiches in an airtight container and keep them refrigerated until you’re ready to pack them. The peanut butter and jelly will be good for up to 3 days.

Greek Yogurt with Berries and Granola

This recipe is a great alternative to regular yogurt; Greek yogurt packs even more protein. You can also use any fruit you like—fresh or frozen berries work well here. Granola adds a crunchy texture and more fiber, but you can add as much or as little as you want to accommodate your toddler’s taste buds (and let’s face it: small children are incredibly picky).


  • 1 cup Greek yogurt (plain or vanilla)
  • ½ cup fresh berries, sliced or whole
  • 2 tablespoons granola (or more if you want)
  • ¼ cup sliced almonds, walnuts, or other nuts (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon honey (optional)
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
  • ½ cup nonfat milk or almond milk (optional)
  • Fresh mint leaves, for garnish


  1. Place yogurt in an airtight container – to save on dishes – and top with berries and granola.
  2. If using nuts, sprinkle them over the top and drizzle honey all over; if using cinnamon, add it now.
  3. Top with a splash of milk and some fresh mint leaves.

Here’s how you store it

You can add nuts, honey, or cinnamon and sprinkle them when you’re ready to pack them. They’ll keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. If you add fresh mint leaves, it’s best to store them separately in a plastic bag. If you don’t have fresh mint leaves, dried mint can be used, as well.

Caprese Skewers

Caprese skewers are a great lunchtime staple, and they’re great to introduce to your toddlers because they’re easy to pick up and perfect for little hands. You can even make them with your toddlers; they’ll love helping you in the kitchen. Caprese skewers are a great way to get some greens into your kids’ diet without them being able to resist all the other fun stuff on their plate.

They’re easy to make ahead of time, and they’re so delicious that you won’t get enough of them.


  • 18 cherry tomatoes
  • 18 mozzarella balls, whole or cut in half
  • Basil leaves
  • Olive oil


  1. Start by threading the cheese and tomatoes onto skewers. You can use wooden or metal skewers.
  2. Once your skewers are ready, drizzle them with olive oil and add basil leaves.

Here’s how you store it

You can place them in an airtight container and store them in the fridge for up to 3 days. 

Taco Salad

Taco salads are the perfect lunch for toddlers. They’re easy to make and a good source of protein and fiber from the beans, cheese, and avocado. You can prepare the main ingredient ahead of time, so you don’t have to spend your morning preparing lunch for everyone. Taco salads are also great for toddlers who don’t like sandwiches—these will give them something different than a PB&J or grilled cheese that they’re used to eating.


  • 1 pound ground turkey or beef
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cups shredded lettuce
  • 2 diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups shredded cheese
  • 1 can of black beans, drained
  • 1 avocado diced

Dressing Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons taco seasoning mix
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper


  1. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook ground turkey or beef with chopped onion until meat is browned and cooked. Drain fat from the pan if necessary.
  2. Mix mayonnaise, milk, taco seasoning, and honey in a bowl until well combined. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine lettuce with diced tomatoes and shredded cheese.
  4. Add meat mixture to lettuce mixture and toss gently to combine everything.
  5. Top with black beans and diced avocado.
  6. Drizzle dressing over salad before serving.

Here’s how you store it

Store the meat mixture and dressing separately. Then when you’re ready to pack your taco salad, mix the ingredients in a large bowl before adding lettuce, tomatoes, and cheese. Store diced avocados separately, so they don’t turn brown.

Two-Bite Egg Sandwiches

Two-bite egg sandwiches are great for children of all ages. You can serve them with fresh fruit and yogurt or cheese or use them as the main event on top of a bed of lettuce with a side of fruit. This recipe is a great meal choice if you are packing your toddler’s lunchbox in advance because it only takes 15 minutes to make 20 two-bite egg sandwiches.


  • 10 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and sliced in half
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 slices of bread (whole wheat, white, or a mixture of both)
  • Softened butter or margarine


  1. Slice the eggs in half lengthwise, leaving the yolk intact.
  2. Mash the yolks until smooth with a fork or potato masher.
  3. Add mayonnaise, salt, and pepper; mix well.
  4. Spread butter on one side of each slice of bread; place two slices together with buttered sides facing outwards to form a sandwich.
  5. Spread egg mixture evenly over both pieces of bread.
  6. Heat a skillet over medium heat.
  7. Place sandwiches in skillet and cook until golden brown on both sides, about 5 minutes per side.
  8. Slice in half diagonally.

Here’s how you store it

You can store the egg slices in an airtight container for up to 3 days. You can also wrap them individually in plastic and heat them in a toaster when ready to eat them.

Meat + Cheese + Veggie Roll-Ups

Meat, cheese, and veggie roll-ups are a great way to ensure your toddler gets various nutrients in their diet. This recipe in particular is also a great entryway into introducing veggies in your toddler’s meals. For this recipe, you can use any meat and cheese you like, but we recommend using turkey bacon and cheddar cheese for the healthiest choice. Try carrots or spinach to start with!


  • 1 8-inch flour tortilla, warmed (whole wheat, white, or a mixture of both)
  • ¼ cup grated cheese, plus more for sprinkling on top of the roll-ups
  • ¼ cup diced turkey bacon, cooked and chopped
  • ¼ cup shredded carrots or spinach
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves (optional)


  1. Lay out your tortilla on a cutting board or clean surface and spread the grated cheese evenly over the surface in a thin layer. Sprinkle chopped cilantro over the top if desired.
  2. Add a single row of vegetables down the center of your tortilla, then fold one end over it and tightly roll up toward you until completely covered with filling inside your wrap.
  3. Repeat with the remaining batter to make at least 4 rolls total before serving or packing into lunch containers for later.

Here’s how you store it

Wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and store them in the refrigerator for up to 4 days before taking them out for packing. When you’re ready to pack, remove them from the fridge, unwrap them, cut them into slices (like a sandwich), and place them in your toddler’s lunch box so they can scoop up bites as they go.

Pasta Salad

Pasta salads are a great lunch for toddlers because it’s warm, comforting, and filling. It can also be served cold or at room temperature, so it’s perfect for packing in a thermos to take with you on an outdoor adventure or just as a quick lunch during the week. This pasta salad is a great way to sneak in some veggies for your toddler. It’s also very simple to make, especially if you have leftover cooked pasta (or even some cooked noodles from the store). You can add whatever veggies your toddler likes best but chop them up small, so they don’t pose choking hazards.


  • 1 pound fusilli pasta, cooked and drained (if you’re using dry pasta, make sure to follow the package directions)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or grated on a microplane grater (or 1 teaspoon garlic paste)
  • ½ cup packed fresh basil leaves, chopped fine (about 20 leaves)


  1. Mix the cooked pasta with olive oil and vinegar in a large bowl. Mix well to coat all of the noodles.
  2. Add garlic and basil leaves, then stir until evenly distributed throughout the salad mixture.

Here’s how you store it

Add a tablespoon of olive oil to keep the pasta from sticking together. This recipe is especially useful for making pasta salads in advance for potlucks or parties, as it will help prevent the noodles from drying out. The pasta salad will last for 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator. It can also be frozen for up to 6 months. To thaw, let the pasta salad sit at room temperature until it reaches a desired consistency.

Spinach + Hummus Wrap

Spinach and hummus wraps are a great way for your toddler to get some greens and healthy fats from the hummus. This recipe is great because fatty foods can help improve your toddler’s mood. Combining fat with protein, such as in hummus, will also give your toddler a feeling of fullness longer than if they were eating carbohydrates alone.


  • 1 large flour tortilla (whole wheat, white, or a mixture of both)
  • ⅓ cup baby spinach leaves (about 5 big ones)
  • ½ teaspoon coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoon hummus or other nut butter of choice, with your toddler’s favorite veggies mixed in

If you need examples of a seasoned veggie mix, try these out:

  • 1 tablespoon tahini mixed with ½ cup chopped carrot, celery, and bell pepper
  • ¼ cup sunflower seed butter mixed with ¼ cup fresh blueberries, diced apple & pear slices
  • 2 tablespoon almond butter mixed with ¼ cup steamed broccoli florets

Note: You can also use plain yogurt instead of hummus as a spread for this wrap if you’d like it to be lower calorie/fat content for your little one.


  1. Heat a small nonstick pan over medium heat.
  2. Add coconut oil and spread it around with a spoon or spatula.
  3. Place your tortilla in the pan and cook for 1-2 minutes on each side until golden brown.
  4. Remove from heat and place on plate or cutting board.
  5. Spread hummus onto the tortilla, leaving about a 1-inch border around the edges of the wrap.
  6. Top with sliced apples and pears or steamed broccoli florets.
  7. Fold in both sides of the tortilla, making a triangle shape.
  8. Cut in half.

Here’s how you store it

Wrap each half in plastic or foil and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. You can also freeze them for up to 2 months. To reheat, place the tortilla on a plate, cover with a damp paper towel, then microwave for 30 to 60 seconds until warm, then pack.

These simple toddler lunch ideas will make your day easier.

It’s always nice to have a few easy toddler lunch ideas ready to go. Having options you can quickly make in the morning will help keep everyone happy and prevent meltdowns from hunger or boredom. You’ll also save money by making lunches at home instead of relying on pricey convenience foods like pizza or pre-made sandwiches.

It’s also nice to have healthy options in your toddler’s lunchbox, even if it’s just a piece of fruit or yogurt. You can make these easy toddler lunch ideas and store them in individual containers for the week. When it comes time for lunch, grab one or two of your prepared lunches and put them into a cooler bag with ice packs.

Happy parents and happy kiddos

We hope you feel encouraged to try one of these recipes. Your little one will love eating such healthy food, and you can enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing they’re getting all the vitamins and minerals they need in their bodies. If this sounds like a tall order, don’t worry—we’ve got your back. The best part about making these finger foods ahead of time is that they can be stored in the fridge until mealtime rolls around again. This means that you can make them on the weekend or after work, and they’ll be ready when it’s time to eat. 

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