A Week's Worth of Kid-Friendly Lunches That Skip the Bread

Really, no PB&J in sight

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Food Network Kitchen’s Lasagna Roll-Ups, for KIDS/THANKSGIVING/CAMP CUTTHROAT, as seen on Food Network.,Food Network Kitchen’s Lasagna Roll-Ups, for KIDS/THANKSGIVING/CAMP CUTTHROAT, as seen on Food Network.,Food Network Kitchen’s Lasagna Roll-Ups, 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

I'm not here to hate on the PB&J. (It's a fact I've never turned one down.) But when you've got three kids to pack lunches for, sometimes five days a week, and one kid who's only juuuuust coming around the idea to eating sandwiches beyond grilled cheese, you need to change things up a bit.

If back-to-school has already hit your town, I feel you. Let me help you out a bit with some lunchbox inspo that'll please sandwich-averse kids — oh, and the parents who forgot to buy bread. (NO judgment!)

Hearty, comforting lasagna isn't just for dinner. Roll up cooked lasagna noodles with creamy ricotta and fresh basil leaves, then serve with marinara on the side. You can pack the roll-ups for your child to eat cold, or heat them up in the morning and pack in a thermos to keep warm till lunchtime.

Food Network Kitchens panko chicken nuggets in a lunchbox.

Photo by: Jackie Alpers ©Copyright 2012 Jackie Alpers - All rights reserved

Jackie Alpers, Copyright 2012 Jackie Alpers - All rights reserved

Kids. Love. Chicken. Nuggets. And while I know they never consider what's in the store-bought variety, there's a good chance you do. Solution? Make your own! Bread and fry these nuggets the night before they're destined for the lunchbox for maximum convenience. Pack them with your kid's favorite dipping sauce and prepare to welcome them home with an empty lunchbox.

Molly Yeh's "Mini Quiches with Peas, Bacon."

Molly Yeh's quiches may be mini, but they deliver huge flavor. Thanks to the crispy bacon, hearty eggs, shredded cheese and protein-packed peas, no one will be left hungry after eating this for their midday meal.

FN_April15_BananaMuffins_081 1.tif

FN_April15_BananaMuffins_081 1.tif

Photo by: Christina Holmes ©Christina Holmes

Christina Holmes, Christina Holmes

OK, muffins may sound more like breakfast than lunch, but hear me out: That new-to-sandwiches kid of mine I mentioned earlier has been surviving on yogurt lunches for years now. And rounding out his lunch has been somewhat of a riddle. But who says you have to eat traditional lunch fare for lunch every day? Clearly, not me. Rife with fruit whole-wheat flour and wheat germ, these muffins will please the grown-ups as much as the kids.

You can whip up Ree Drummond's easy, cheesy recipe quicker than you can the boxed stuff. Even better, this recipe makes eight to 12 servings, which means you might even get two days of lunches made in 16 minutes!

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