8 No-Heat Lunch Ideas for Kids

They’re getting sick of ham and cheese and the hot lunch line isn’t a great option either. You need a boost of creativity and we’ve got just that. Ahead, eight lunch ideas that are meant to be eaten cold, but don’t sacrifice on taste. (You may even be tempted to pack extra for yourself!)

italian deli pinwheel sandwiches recipe hero
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

Italian Deli Pinwheel Sandwiches

Dress up plain ol’ deli meat by rolling it into white tortillas along with kale, Dijon mustard and mayonnaise. But pinwheels are totally customizable, so you can roll up whatever your kid prefers.

motts apple chicken salad recipe

Mott’s Apple Cranberry Chicken Salad

If you’ve got an adventurous eater on your hands, try this modern take on a classic. This salad combines chicken with sweet dried cranberries and crisp celery stalks. Plus, it swaps the usual mayonnaise for Mott’s No Sugar Added Apple Applesauce, Greek yogurt and Dijon mustard, so it’s a bit healthier.

blt pasta salad recipe hero
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

Blt Pasta Salad

All the crunchy, savory, creamy ingredients of a BLT except without the bread.

veggie sushi recipe
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

Veggie Sushi

If you have a tough time getting Charlie to eat his vegetables, we think this veggie sushi will do the trick. Use a thin cucumber slice to roll up sushi rice with carrots, avocado and scallions. Complete the meal with a little container of soy sauce for dipping.

lunch kebabs recipe hero
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

Lunch Kebabs With Mortadella, Artichoke And Sun-dried Tomatoes

This deconstructed recipe involves zero cook time and is super fun to eat. All you need to do is layer your child’s favorite deli meats, cheeses or vegetables between mini slices of bread. See? Easy.

caprese salad with grilled zucchini recipe
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

Caprese Salad With Grilled Zucchini

Who knew a handful of simple, fresh ingredients could produce such a satisfying lunch? Well, we did, but that’s why we’re sharing our secret. Just make sure to cut the tomatoes and mozz into smaller pieces when you’re packing for your kiddo.

rainbow collard wraps peanut butter dipping sauce recipe hero
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

Rainbow Collard Wraps With Peanut Butter Dipping Sauce

These rainbow collard wraps are great for any meat-free households and can be made up to two days in advance (read: two days of lunches you don’t need to prep for). The homemade peanut butter dipping sauce is our favorite part.

peanut butter jelly blondies
Photo: Mark Weinberg/Styling: Erin McDowell

Peanut Butter And Jelly Blondies

Lunch is never complete without a sweet treat, right? Sneak one of these guys into Claire’s lunchbox for a little midday surprise. We guarantee everyone at her lunch table will be begging for one…so make an extra batch.


Operations Director, Branded Content

Rachel joined PureWow in 2016 and is the Operations Director of Branded Content where she oversees the editorial production of sponsored content campaigns. In addition to...