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Hot Lunch Ideas to Pack in Your Kids’ Lunch Box

Hot Lunch Ideas to Pack in Your Kids’ Lunch Box

Packing school lunches can be sometimes challenging. Doing this every day all year round can make you feel you are running out of ideas. But no worries, we are here to give you some inspiration. Keep your children’s lunches unique and delicious with these hot lunch ideas below. We also have great lunch boxes ideas to keep them hot, fresh, and absolutely yummy. 

Hot Lunch Ideas for School

These 7 ideas and recipes below will help you prepare the perfect hot lunch for your kids. Keep in mind that a hot lunch will keep your little ones full and energized. Which means they will be ready to carry on throughout their school day easily. 

1| Mac and cheese 

School kids love mac and cheese. They adore the soft cooked mini pasta with the cheesy and creamy sauce. And the best thing about mac and cheese, is that you can customize it however you want. You can make it healthier by using low fat milk, and add in your child’s favorite vegetables. Also, you can use lactose free milk or cheese if your little one is lactose intolerant. Finally, you can add in a little protein to your mac and cheese by adding chicken, beef, or bacon. In other words, if you are making mac and cheese for your kids’ school lunch, then the sky’s the limit. 

2| Chili cheese fries

Who does not love fries covered with a delicious beef chili and cheese? Your kids will adore you if you make them a lunch where fries is a main ingredient. But as mums, hearing the words chili cheese fries might be terrifying to us. But we are here to ease your mind. First, not all beef chili recipes are spicy. You can simply not add in the ingredients that make it spicy. To make the beef chili, simply chop up some onions, tomatoes, and green bell pepper. Cook the onions then the bell pepper, then add in the tomatoes. Mix in some tomato sauce and add in the seasonings you like. To assemble your kids’ lunch, prepare the fries using an air fryer – this way the fries are healthier and less oily. Then add in the fries and top them off with the hot chili and cheese. Make sure the chili is hot so it melts the cheese. And voila – your kids’ lunches are packed and good to go! 

3| Anything pasta or noodles 

If you or your family are in the mood for pasta or noodles, make sure to cook a little extra to pack for the next day’s lunches. Using leftover food for school lunches is a great way to save time and energy. So whenever you cook something your kids love, make sure to cook extra for their school lunches. All kids love pasta – whether with tomato sauce, pesto, or alfredo sauce. And you can easily heat it up the next morning and pack it in their lunch boxes

In addition, children love noodles just the same. We are not talking about pre-packed ready to cook ramen noodles. But we are talking about authentic, homemade noodles. There are plenty of noodle recipes that you can easily make. And they can include chicken, beef, shrimps, and vegetables. Trust us, whatever you make, as long as it is noodle shaped, your kids will love. 

4| Fish and chips 

As mums, we must include fish in our kids’ meals. It is very important for their development as it contains many nutrients and healthy fats. Packing a fish and chips lunch can be a great way to include fish in your kids’ diet. And you don’t have to deep fry them. You can oven bake the fish, or use an air fryer. To make things easier, get ready to cook frozen fish strips. Cook them in the morning, and pack them with some yummy dipping sauces. Air fry some potato chips, or pack a potato chip bag with your kids to turn it into a real fish and chips meal. 

5| Chicken tenders or nuggets 

Just like fish strips, children love chicken tenders and nuggets. In fact, children love anything fried. But because we are smart mums, we can oven bake chicken nuggets or air fry them. So they look fried, but in fact they are less oily and more healthy. 

6| Taco bowl

Bowl foods are very popular this school year, like poke bowls or taco bowls. They are also very easy to pack for school lunches. Start with a coriander rice base, and add whatever toppings your kids love. You can use beef chili, avocados, chicken, cheddar cheese, corn, cherry tomatoes, shrimps, and olives. After choosing your toppings, pack some salsa and sour cream in separate containers so the food does not get soggy or messy. This hot lunch idea makes us crave tacos, right? 

7| Anything rice 

Rice is a wonderful ingredient in school lunches. It has many health benefits for kids. As it helps them be full and energetic for the rest of the school day too. You can have rice as a side dish for stews or stir fry dishes. And you can make fried rice – which includes eggs and vegetables. However you choose to make it, rice is one of the best hot lunches you can pack for your kids. 

Now, how can we keep those yummy hot lunches warm and ready to eat? 

Any one of the previous hot lunch ideas needs to be packed well. That is to keep it fresh and avoid leaking. Doing so depends fully on the lunch box you choose. And here are some of our favorite lunch boxes to pack hot meals in: