Packed lunch ideas: Quick and easy recipes for kids lunchboxes

Pack your kids' lunchboxes with these tasty dishes and they won't want to swap them (posed by models, Getty)
Pack your kids' lunchboxes with these tasty dishes and they won't want to swap them (posed by models). (Getty)

At last, kids are heading back to school, which may come as something of a relief, but it does also mean that it's time to re-stock lunchboxes that have sat empty for months.

Do not panic - we have for you here the Greatest of All Time easy lunchbox fillers:

Hot noodle

Bearing a passing resemblance to a certain popular snack food, this healthy lunch pot is an instant hit.

Serves: 2


250ml low-salt veg stock

140g dried egg noodles

1 tsp curry powder (optional)

50g peas (fresh or frozen)

30g sweetcorn (tinned or frozen)

100g cooked, chopped chicken/Quorn

2 tsp light soy sauce


1. Pour the stock into a saucepan over medium heat and bring to the boil. Add the noodles and curry powder (if using), and turn down to simmering.

2. Add the peas, corn and chicken, and cook for 5-6 minutes, until the noodles are soft and chicken/Quorn fully heated.

3. Stir in the soy sauce.

4. Decant into heated thermos flasks.

Read more: Returning to school: How to help with anxiety, according to a psychologist

Stuffed picnic roll

Stuffed picnic roll
Stuffed picnic roll

This spillage-free picnic roll is the future of portable food – and you can swap fillings daily, according to their emperor-like whims.

Makes: 1


1 crusty roll

1 tsp soft butter

½ tsp Marmite OR 1 tsp pesto (optional)

20g grated cheddar

1 thin slice of ham

1 lettuce leaf, shredded

1 small carrot, grated

Watch: These amazing animal snacks will get your child excited about lunch


1. Remove the top of the roll with a sharp knife, to form a ‘lid'. Scrape out the bread centre. (You can make into breadcrumbs and freeze).

2. Mix the butter with the Marmite and using the back of a teaspoon, spread it around the inside of the roll and under the lid.

3. Layer the ingredients inside. Pop the lid back on.

4. Wrap tightly in foil till needed.

Cheese and carrot savoury muffins

Cheese and carrot savoury muffin
Cheese and carrot savoury muffin

“What did you learn today?” “Muffin”. These delicious little health hits are packed with cheese and carrot, but treat-y enough to feel like fun.

Makes 12


1 egg, whisked

40g melted butter

250ml milk

250g self-raising flour

80g grated cheddar

1 grated carrot

1 tbsp chopped chives (optional)

extra cheese for sprinkling


1 Pre-heat the oven to 180°C and arrange 12 muffin cases in a bun tray.

2. Put the egg, butter and milk into a bowl and whisk to mix.

3. Add the dry ingredients, and fold through with a metal spoon, until all the flour is incorporated - but don’t overmix.

4. Add a spoon of mixture to each muffin case, and keep topping up till they’re roughly equal.

5. Top each with extra cheese.

6. Bake for 15-20 mins, till golden and slightly springy on top.

7. Rest for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire tray to cool.

Keep in an airtight container, or freeze.

Read more: 6 easy 3-ingredient sweet treats you have to try

Totally tortilla

Totally tortilla
Totally tortilla

Brush up their Spanish with this filling slice of tasty tortilla. It’s even better cold and will keep wrapped in the fridge for up to three days.

Makes: 6 slices


1 medium potato, peeled and cut into 3, width-ways

1 tbsp olive oil

3 eggs

1 slice thick ham, chopped

1 tbsp peas

30g grated cheddar

salt and pepper


1. Boil the potatoes in salted water until a sharp knife will go through (about 15 mins), then drain. Leave to cool then cut into 0.5cm slices.

2. Add the oil to a small oven-proof frying pan over medium heat.

3. Whisk the eggs, season, and pour half into the pan until they begin to solidify. Layer the potatoes, ham, peas and cheese, then pour the rest of the eggs over.

4. Cook until it’s browning at the edges.

5. Heat the grill, and place the pan under until the top is golden-brown.

6. Allow to cool, and cut into slices.

Read more: Nigella Lawson, Jamie Oliver and more share chef-approved pancake recipes

Portable pancakes

Portable pancake
Portable pancake

These little pancakes are easy to make, and hugely satisfying sandwiched with peanut butter* and banana, Greek yoghurt and berries or honey and cinnamon.

Makes: 6-8


100g self-raising flour

15g sugar

1 egg, whisked

180ml milk

50g butter


1. Mix the flour and sugar in a bowl.

2. Beat in the egg and milk until the mixture is smooth.

3. Put a non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat to melt the butter. When hot, use a ladle to drop in circles of batter.

4. Cook till bubbles form on the surface, then flip and cook until golden on both sides.

*Check with your school to find out the rules on bringing in nut products.

Watch: These lunchbox meals are so over-the-top

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