Lunches for Your Sandwich-Hating Kid

These kid-friendly recipes are nearly as simple — and just as portable — as a PB&J.
FNK_ Lunchbox4_H

FNK_ Lunchbox4_H

Food Network Kitchen’s Lunchbox 4 for KIDS/THANKSGIVING/CAMP CUTTHROAT, as seen on Food Network.

Photo by: Renee Comet ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Renee Comet, 2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Food Network Kitchen’s Lunchbox 4 for KIDS/THANKSGIVING/CAMP CUTTHROAT, as seen on Food Network.

Sandwiches have been the default lunchbox meal for generations. Rightfully so: They’re easy, they’re portable, they require no utensils, and — if well-constructed — they hold up well until lunchtime. But what to do if your kid is just not that into meals between bread this year? Never fear. These kid-friendly recipes are nearly as simple — and just as portable — as a PB&J.

Rice Bowls with Veggie Flowers and Hoisin

Reusable plastic containers are your friend for lunches like this rice bowl, made with leftover brown rice, frozen peas, bell peppers and hoisin sauce. Top with sesame snack sticks, packed separately in another container or baggie for maximum crunch.

Food Network Kitchen’s chicken with avocado cream and quinoa salad as seen on Food Network.

Photo by: Stephen Johnson ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Stephen Johnson, 2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Food Network Kitchen’s chicken with avocado cream and quinoa salad as seen on Food Network.

Chicken, Avocado and Quinoa Salad-in-a-Jar

Meals in jars are all the rage for office desk lunches, so why not introduce them in the school cafeteria? This one’s perfect for a kid who loves Mexican food — it’s layered with shredded rotisserie chicken (store-bought is fine!), frozen corn, avocado, salsa and tortilla chips (packed separately).

Food Network Kitchen's Cucumber Tuna Salad Sandwich For Bunless/Breadless Sandwiches As seen on Food Network

Photo by: Stephen Johnson ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Stephen Johnson, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Food Network Kitchen's Cucumber Tuna Salad Sandwich For Bunless/Breadless Sandwiches As seen on Food Network

Cucumber Tuna Salad “Sandwiches”

Replace the soggy tuna salad sandwich with these fun cucumber boats. It’s best to use English cucumbers, because their skin is thinner and doesn’t need to be peeled.

FNK_ Lunchbox2_H

FNK_ Lunchbox2_H

Food Network Kitchen’s Lunchbox 2 for KIDS/THANKSGIVING/CAMP CUTTHROAT, as seen on Food Network.

Photo by: Renee Comet ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Renee Comet, 2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Food Network Kitchen’s Lunchbox 2 for KIDS/THANKSGIVING/CAMP CUTTHROAT, as seen on Food Network.

Carrot-Ginger and Chicken Noodles

Noodle salads are ideal for packed lunches, because rather than getting soggy, they taste even better after a few hours in the fridge (or even a cubby). A flavorful veggie-packed sauce is the star of this recipe. Pack the noodles with pineapple chunks tossed in toasted coconut, cucumber roll-ups and roasted cashews for a full meal.

FNK_ Lunchbox3_H

FNK_ Lunchbox3_H

Food Network Kitchen’s Lunchbox 3 for KIDS/THANKSGIVING/CAMP CUTTHROAT, as seen on Food Network.

Photo by: Renee Comet ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Renee Comet, 2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Food Network Kitchen’s Lunchbox 3 for KIDS/THANKSGIVING/CAMP CUTTHROAT, as seen on Food Network.

Cream Cheese-and-Ham-Stuffed Peppers

Use your deli meat to make these stuffed peppers instead of sandwiches — smoked turkey works just as well as ham, for a variation. The filled peppers can be refrigerated for up to three days in an airtight container.

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