Packed lunch ideas the whole family will love

Need inspiration for your kids' lunchbox? Think chicken wraps, mini veg tarts using readymade pastry, Edam and bacon muffins and more

packed lunch ideas
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Need inspiration for your kids' lunchbox? Or maybe even your own? We've got lots of healthy lunchbox ideas for you to choose from. Think chicken wraps, mini veg tarts using readymade pastry, Edam and bacon muffins and more.

Desperately need some new packed lunch ideas? Sometimes making the same packed lunch over and over can be pretty boring - especially for the kids. The same sandwich (opens in new tab) or salad (opens in new tab) and a portion of some type of healthy fruit as a snack can get repetitive.

Jazz up your little ones' lunch boxes with one of these quick and easy lunch ideas that are portable and taste great hot or cold.

We've got lots of tasty treats to choose from as well as healthy snacks (opens in new tab) and some lunchtime treats. All of our recipes can be made in advance or made the day before so there's no need to rush around like a headless chicken making up your little ones lunchbox come school morning.

We've got savoury treats like sandwiches, quiche (opens in new tab) and hearty salads that both you and your little one can enjoy. We've also got sweet treats too including homemade malt loaf bars, cereal bars (opens in new tab) and more! Scroll through to see all our packed lunch ideas and recipes...

Hummus wraps

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If your kids love hummus, spread it on wraps with salad for a change to their usual ham or cheese sandwiches. Made from chickpeas, this delicious spread is full of Omega 3 fatty acids which will help keep them top of the class, as they're good for the brain!

How to make hummus: How to make hummus (opens in new tab)

Easy couscous salad

packed lunch ideas

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Couscous is a nice alternative for lunchboxes and kids will love the mix of bright colours - they won't realise it's packed full of veg. Plus, it's simple to make so a treat for you too!

Get the recipe: Easy couscous salad (opens in new tab)

Moroccan chicken pockets

packed lunch ideas

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Pitta bread is great to pack full of different ingredients, but a simple chicken and lettuce filling will please even the fussiest of eaters.

Get the recipe: Moroccan chicken pockets (opens in new tab)

Low-sugar malt loaf bars

packed lunch ideas

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These low-sugar malt loaf bars are the perfect packed lunch snack for you or the kids. They're really easy to make and will keep for 2-3 days in an airtight container. They're much healthier than the shop-bought version.

Get the recipe: Low-sugar malt loaf bars (opens in new tab)

Homemade pitta crisps

packed lunch ideas

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These homemade pitta crisps are much healthier than your average pack of crisps. They don't take long to make either and are perfect for using up leftover pitta bread.

Get the recipe: Homemade pitta crisps (opens in new tab)

Tuna and lemon mayonnaise wraps

packed lunch ideas

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Kids who love tuna will adore these wraps flavoured with a zingy mayo. Make sure to stuff in lots of lettuce to help them along with their 5-a-day.

Get the recipe: Tuna and lemon mayonnaise wraps (opens in new tab)

Quiche toasties

packed lunch ideas

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These quiche toasties will go down a treat with kids that love pizza thanks to their cheese and tomato topping. Their managable size makes them a perfect lunchtime filler.

Get the recipe: Quiche toasties (opens in new tab)

Moroccan chicken salad

packed lunch ideas

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It's worth taking the time to make this salad as the kids will love it. You can adjust the spice to their taste and it's a great way to get them interested in new flavours and cuisines.

Get the recipe: Moroccan chicken salad (opens in new tab)

Caprese ciabatta

packed lunch ideas

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When you're short on time and cheese and tomato is all you have, this classic Italian sandwich is a delicious option.

Get the recipe: Caprese ciabatta (opens in new tab)

Spanish tortilla with artichokes

packed lunch ideas

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This Spanish tortilla is a great lunch option for kids' lunches and it's packed full of protein. If they're not too keen on artichokes, try adding other veggies like peppers or broccoli instead.

Get the recipe: Spanish tortilla with artichokes (opens in new tab)

Jumbo herby sausage rolls

packed lunch ideas

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Who doesn't love sausage rolls? Kids will love these herby varieties in their lunchbox.

Get the recipe: Jumbo herby sausage rolls (opens in new tab)

Leek, asparagus and pea pasta

packed lunch ideas

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Give them a change from bread with this tasty pasta salad. Kids will love the different textures and it's a great way to introduce veg at lunchtime.

Get the recipe: Leek, asparagus and pea pasta (opens in new tab)

Banana and three seed energy bars

packed lunch ideas

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Bananas are great for giving kids an energy-boost throughout the day. Instead of giving them a banana, have a go at making these energy bars. Mixed with three different seeds, they're a perfect healthy lunchbox filler.

Get the recipe: Banana and three seed energy bars (opens in new tab)

Lemongrass and lime herby chicken kebabs

packed lunch ideas

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Even though these chicken kebabs are supposed to be served warm, pop them in a box to maintain their flavour. Kids will love the chunks of meat and they are the perfect filler if you have big eaters on your hands.

Get the recipe: Lemongrass and lime herby chicken kebabs (opens in new tab)

Smoky cheese, bacon, baby leek and potato tart

packed lunch ideas

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This savoury tart is delicious served up hot or cold so makes a great dish to make for dinner which can be turned into lunch the next day. Kids will love the familiar cheesy bacon flavoured topping.

Get the recipe: Smoky cheese, bacon, baby leek and potato tart (opens in new tab)

Cheesy pasta salad

packed lunch ideas

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We've used baby corn, peas and cucumber but you can vary the veg to your child's taste. They'll love the cheesy sauce mixed with ketchup.

Get the recipe: Cheesy pasta salad (opens in new tab)

Cheese and oat slices

packed lunch ideas

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Want to include a savoury snack? These cheesy bites made with mixed seeds, mustard and oats are full of flavour and texture.

Get the recipe: Cheese and oat slices (opens in new tab)

Edam, bacon and sun-dried tomato muffins

packed lunch ideas

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Kids love Edam and these savoury muffins with bacon and sun-dried tomatoes are a delicious lunchbox filler.

Get the recipe: Edam, bacon and sun-dried tomato muffins (opens in new tab)

Breakfast muffins

breakfast muffins

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Avoid the mid-morning slump with these muffins packed with dried fruit, honey and berries but most importantly, seeds which are full of protein which will give you a slow-release of energy.

Try seeds in this recipe: Breakfast muffins (opens in new tab)

Banana bread

packed lunch ideas

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goodtoknow user Sophie says: 'Delicious! I left out the all-spice (didn't have any) and salt (I used salted butter) and added pecans. A yummy cake to make from store cupboard ingredients.'

Get the recipe: Banana bread (opens in new tab)

30 packed lunch recipes

30 packed lunch recipes

Kids will love these cheese and corn mini scones – they’ll definitely come home with empty lunchboxes!

Get the recipe: Cheese and corn mini scones (opens in new tab)

Blueberry, coconut and lime bars

packed lunch ideas

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They look like birthday cake but they're full of fruity goodness. Packed full of lime and blueberry, these cake bars are a sneaky way to get them well on the way to 5-a-day.

Get the recipe: Blueberry, coconut and lime bars (opens in new tab)

Chorizo and asparagus tarts

packed lunch ideas

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Chorizo and asparagus tarts are so easy to make using readymade pastry cases and are delicious hot or cold, so make lovely lunchbox fillers for spring.

Get the recipe: Chorizo and asparagus tarts (opens in new tab)

Raisin and banana cookies

packed lunch ideas

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goodtoknow user yummy mummy jen says: 'Amazing recipe. Flatten them before baking so they're not too moist in the middle. They smelt and tasted delicious!'

Get the recipe: Raisin and banana cookies (opens in new tab)

Hairy Bikers' Cornish pasty

packed lunch ideas

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Make up a batch of the Hairy Bikers' Cornish pasties and pop them in the freezer until you need them. If you make them bite-sized they'd be more suitable for lunchboxes.

Get the recipe: Hairy Bikers’ Cornish pasty (opens in new tab)

Egg mayo rolls

packed lunch ideas

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Give kids a nutritious protein boost with your own homemade egg mayonnaise - chop the cress finely and add some lettuce too.

Get the recipe: Egg mayo rolls (opens in new tab)

Pasta, avocado and minty beans salad

packed lunch ideas

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If your kids love peas, mix them into this fresh and fragrant pasta salad for a really easy sandwich alternative.

Get the recipe: Pasta, avodado and minty beans salad (opens in new tab)

Crunchy carrot and seed flapjacks

packed lunch ideas

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A 7-ingredient recipe! All you need is a few store-cupboard staples like butter, golden syrup, brown sugar, oats and seeds to make these delicious flapjacks.The carrot gives an added boost to your little one's veggie intake too!

Get the recipe: Crunchy carrot and seed flapjacks (opens in new tab)

Roll up sandwiches

packed lunch ideas

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Even the fussiest of eaters will enjoy these miniature roll up goodies! Fill with anything from cheese and pickle to hummus and salad, these sandwiches are incredibly versatile.

Get the recipe: Roll up sandwiches (opens in new tab)

Falafel bites

packed lunch ideas

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Encourage the litte ones to try new flavours with these lightly spiced falafel bites. Pair with rice or couscous, hummus and salad for a delicious alternative to sandwiches.

Get the recipe: Oven-baked falafel bites (opens in new tab)

Salt beef sandwich

Salt beef sandwich

Salt beef is a sandwich favourite. Add plenty of flavour to your beef by pickling it and leaving it until it's nice and tender.

Get the recipe: Salt beef sandwich (opens in new tab)

Jessica Dady
Jessica Dady

Jessica Dady is Senior Content Editor at Goodto.com and has over 10 years of experience as a digital journalist, specialising in all things food, recipes, and SEO. From the best food hampers to cookbooks, from the best cake stands to baking sets, Jessica has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to must-have food products. A passionate baker, she spends much of her time creating celebration cakes for friends and family - particularly for her two lucky children.