Toddler and Pre-K Lunch Ideas

Ever since the chickpea was itty bitty, I’ve been snapping photos of her lunches. Not every day, because #lifeiscrazy, but whenever I had a spare moment and a semi-functioning brain to pair with it. Around here, taking photos of our food is kind of a thing!

I did a little series on Baby Led Weaning to start, then moved on to Toddler Bites and truth be told? I miss blogging about my pint sized pipsqueak! Some of y’all have been so sweet to email asking for more meal ideas for your kiddos and I thought it would be super fun to keep snapping away and then post them all here.

Healthy Garden Veggie Dip


Instead of making this into a multi-part series or something that requires you to fall down a rabbit hole of links, I’m going to keep updating this post with new photos as I take them!

This should be a fun little project for moi and hopefully helpful for all the adults out there feeding little ankle biters on the regular!

Toddler and Pre-K Lunch Ideas

Toddler and Pre-K Lunch Plate
Toddler and Pre-K Lunch Ideas
Toddler and Pre-K Lunch Ideas
Toddler and Pre-K Lunch Ideas
Toddler and Pre-K Lunch Ideas
Toddler and Pre-K Lunch Ideas
Toddler and Pre-K Lunch Ideas
Toddler and Pre-K Lunch Ideas
Toddler and Pre-K Lunch Ideas
Toddler and Pre-K Lunch Ideas
Toddler and Pre-K Lunch Ideas
Preschool Lunch Bento Box

:: in a rush? pin it for later ::

update: I totally forgot to mention the school bus tray! It’s by Innobaby and we love it! There’s even a lid for traveling or when you have leftover food to save for later. I bought several when my kiddo first started solids and we’ve been using them ever since.

current bento-style lunch favorites:

  • strawberries
  • roasted chicken thighs seasoned with garlic, butter, cumin, paprika, and sea salt
  • sweet potato pancakes
  • cucumber slices
  • crinkle cut carrot “chips”
  • raspberries
  • apple slices
  • peanut butter crackers
  • bagels + cream cheese sammies
  • cheddar bunny crackers
  • black beans
  • popcorn
  • mandarin oranges packed in juice
  • pesto pasta
  • grapefruit
  • pepperoni
  • blueberries
  • avocado slices or guacamole with chips
  • strawberry yogurt
  • pretzels and pretzel crisps
  • veggie straws
  • watermelon
  • kiwi
  • grapes
  • bacon
  • eggs+/or egg cups
  • cheese crackers
  • triscuits
  • freeze dried strawberries
  • mini cheese wheels
  • cheese quesadillas on pita bread

I always offer a manageable portion of each food. I’ve found if I load up her plate too much she will focus on on particular food and fill up on it *or* winds up a bit overwhelmed. We usually do little of each and then once that is gone she’s allowed to request extras of her favorites or even something different!

I feel like a robot when I say it but, “Eat the foods you have before asking for more.” has become our mealtime mantra.

Right now we’re working on broadening her culinary horizons (how she went from being the kid who ate curry and soup to mainly deconstructed eats, I’ll never know!) so we’re working on trying new things.

Since lists and challenges are currently a big hit around here, we started a fun list of all the new foods she’s tried and how she felt about them. It’s exciting to add new things to it each day, even if some of them are a total bust! We’ve been able to take he pressure off of trying new foods this way and I’m pretty pleased with it so far. Today she tried pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds. The latter was a total hit while the pepitas were deemed to messy (ummm okay kid!) and required a big gulp of water after.

I’m also breaking out my trusty Fruit + Veggie Chart to help keep things fun and healthy. Join along if you can!

I’ll be back with more tips, tricks, and photos super soon!

Have a question? Leave me a comment and we can chat! xoxo

If you get a chance to make any of these toddler and pre-K lunch ideas for your littles, let me know! I cannot wait to see all your lunches with love!

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  • bee

    these photos are so adorable!!!

    • Thank you, Bee!

  • I am in love with the bus plate or food holder thingamabop, clearly using technical terms.

    RIght now, Ave is an eating champ but I’m sure it will change as I remember it did with you guys. In fact, I used your BLW posts when we started solids. It was a great help.

    • Totes technical terms! We get them on Amazon and my mom-brain totally spaced on including that in the post so I just updated it 🙂 I’m so glad the BLW posts helped! Mia legit ate everything in sight (minus a few odd items) and loved curries, soups, and casseroles and then it was like BAM! Toddler brain kicked in and all foods could no longer mix or touch. We’re working our way back there and get new things back on her plate every day so I wouldn’t fret! Also Ave is such a champ, maybe she won’t even hit that phase! Also, MISS YOU! Catch up chat soon?

  • So many great ideas! I love the tray you use too.
    Caleb is notorious for asking for more food (usually signing it and saying it!) while he still has food in his mouth. So my mealtime mantra is “finish what’s in you mouth!”

    • Love it, Caroline 🙂 Gahhhh I miss baby sign language! I still treasure it when I see my friends kiddo’s signing for things – isn’t it the best?! (hello nostalgia and #allthefeels) Good mealtime mantra!

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