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Inspiration for toddler preschool lunches based on what my toddlers are actually eating for lunch! Tips for lunchbox containers, main courses, and sides.

Packing your toddler’s lunch for school can be mundane and challenging. I’ve found foods that are perfect served cold and are easy for toddlers to eat while they are away at school. Try a combination of foods from our lunchbox packing guide or one of our sample lunches below!

Some items in this post are sponsored, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Daycare Feeding Supplies

Our favorite lunch box at the moment is the Nuby Bento Box. I love that is an all-in-one insulated lunch box and bento box that includes perfectly sized storage containers! It also includes ice packs that click inside the bento box to keep all the food cold until lunch.

The Nuby Bento Box is the perfect size for toddlers and preschoolers (and would work perfectly for older kids too!). It can hold a whole sandwich in the larger compartment or it can be used for multiple smaller items too (bonus that it fits a juice box).

Nuby Flip-it Freestyle Water Bottle – This is our favorite water bottle for on the go and perfect for school lunches! I love that it includes a hard straw and has just a few pieces so its super easy to clean. It also comes in fun prints so your toddler will love it too! We trust Nuby and use so many of their quality baby and toddler products!

Get 10% off our favorite daycare labels (from Name Bubbles) with code PINECONES10

Preschool Lunch Food Guide

Here are some of our favorite foods to put in my toddler’s lunchboxes. Most of these foods are finger foods, not incredibly messy (a must for school lunches), and work well served cold.

Main Course Lunch Ideas:

  • Bagel w/ cream cheese, avocado, peanut butter and/or jelly
  • Cheese and crackers (mini lunchable)
  • Pretzel crisps with guac
  • Avocado sandwich
  • Turkey & cheese pinwheels
  • Turkey & cheese roll ups
  • Banana sushi
  • Pancake or waffle dippers
  • PB&J bites

Side Lunch Ideas:

Below you will find wholesome combinations of these food ideas that i’ve served to my boys for lunch.

Toddler Preschool Lunches

Toddler School Lunch Idea #1: Bagel w/ Cream Cheese

Bagels can be a great lunch idea, but they are also pretty chewy so I only recommend this for older toddlers (you know your child best and if you feel comfortable). Mini bagels work great or cut them into quarters so they are smaller pieces. Side of 100% juice box, string cheese, avocado, and dried blueberries.

Lunchbox: Nuby Bento Box

Preschool Lunch Idea #2: Cheese & Crackers

Cheese & crackers is a classic toddler favorite and great for sending in school lunches! You could even add some lunch meat to make a DIY ‘lunchable’. Side of a yogurt tube, grapes, & Amara Organic Smoothie Melts. We love Amara because they contain no added sugar and are made of wholesome food ingredients! They have whole milk and plant-based options made with fruits and veggies.

Cheese & Crackers + Amara Organic Smoothie Melts

Easy Toddler Lunch #3: Pretzels w/ Guac

Avocado can be a great option for toddlers because it’s full of nutrients and healthy fats. Served with a side of pretzels for dipping, Mama Chia Squeeze Pouch, grapes, and a homemade peanut butter cookie.

Grape Cutter (this is a game changer!): OXO Grape Cutter

Toddler Preschool Lunch #4: Avocado Sandwich

To mix it up from the normal pb&j or lunch meat sandwith, try a sandwich made with smushed avocado (you could also add cheese or a little mayo, but my kids like just avocado). Side of no sugar added applesauce, and frozen mango and peas (these can thaw in the lunchbox overnight or during the morning before lunch).

Preschool Lunch Idea #5: Snack Box

If you are all out of ideas for a man course, pack your toddler a variety of healthy snacks for their lunch (one of my boy’s absolute favorites!). Baby carrots with ranch for dipping, raisins, turkey, string cheese, mandarin orange, and sweet potato crackers (these are the ones we get: RW Garcia Sweet Potato Seed Crackers)

Easy Toddler Lunch #6: Turkey & Cheese Pinwheels

Lay out a small tortilla and lay cheese and turkey on top, roll up tightly, and then cut into slices or “pinwheels”. Side of drinkable yogurt, cucumbers, and dried apricots (slice for younger toddlers).

Food Cutters: (They don’t make our exact set anymore but this is very similar) Sandwich & Food Cutter Set

Preschool Lunch #7: Turkey & Cheese Roll Ups

Slice cheese into strips and then roll up into deli turkey or ham. Adding a cute food pick or toothpick can help keep the roll ups together until lunch time and can make it easier for your toddlers to hold and eat (talk with your kids about the safety of food picks/tooth picks and make sure they are supervised when they eat). Side of a banana, baby carrots, and pretzel crisps.

Toddler Food Picks: Animal Food Picks for Kids

Toddler Preschool Lunch Idea #8: Banana Sushi

Lay out a tortilla and spread with peanut butter and jelly, then top with a banana, roll up tightly, and cut into slices or “sushi”. Side of mandarin orange, avocado, and Annie’s Homegrown Bunny Grahams.

Food Cutters: (They don’t make our exact set anymore but this is very similar) Sandwich & Food Cutter Set

Toddler School Lunch Idea #9: Pancake Dippers

Breakfast for lunch! Use left over pancakes from breakfast or cook frozen ones, then slice into strips so they are the perfect finger foods. Side of whole milk yogurt for dipping, thawed frozen mango, and Nature’s Bakery Fig Bar.

Easy Toddler Daycare Lunch #10: PB&J Bites

Make pb&j toddler-friendly by cutting into bite sized pieces. Side of no sugar added applesauce, baby carrots with cream cheese, and kiwi.

Toddler Preschool Lunch Summary

Here is a breakdown of our recommended school lunch ideas based on what my boys actually eat for lunch everyday:

  1. Bagel w/ cream cheese
  2. Cheese and crackers (mini lunchable)
  3. Pretzel crisps with guac
  4. Avocado sandwich
  5. Snack Box
  6. Turkey & cheese pinwheels
  7. Turkey & cheese roll ups
  8. Banana sushi
  9. Pancake or waffle dippers
  10. PB&J bites

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