The Best Homemade Kids’ Lunches on the Planet: 200+ Kid Friendly Meal Ideas

What if I told you that making food your kids will love doesn’t take that much time? If you are looking for fresh kid friendly meal ideas, this post is for you.

easy school lunch ideas and meal ideas kids will love

When I was pregnant with my first child, I bought pregnancy books, parenting books, and baby food books. I even bought a few sleep training books. Somewhere along the way, I learned. I got in my groove and managed to have two more kids. Then I went to work full time and making homemade meals seemed like an impossible task.

In 2011, I launched MOMables. A meal planning service that helps parents make fresh school lunches and meals their kids will love. In 3 years, I’ve been able to grow a community of over 45k parents who want to make better meals for their family.

how-to-pack-meals-ahead-of-time

Last year, Fair Winds Press (a publishing company) contacted me to see if I would be interested in writing a cookbook filled with homemade lunch recipes. Not just any cookbook… a cookbook that would follow the best selling baby food book! Me? a mom of 3 kids who comes up with fun lunches and cool snacks for a living write a whole cookbook?! I was honored, scared, and excited all at the same time –sort of like when I found out I was pregnant for the first time. 

Last summer I tested, wrote, edited, and re-tested over 200+ recipes for this book. I worked with my amazing friend and photographer Alison Bickel, to show you how beautiful real food can be. Just check out this short video! I know you are going to love this cookbook.

The book is filled with all of my kitchen tips, shortcuts, little stories about each recipe, my philosophy about being a busy parent and how to feed your family real food in a hurry… and so much more.

lunchbox-quesadillas recipe

I have poured my heart out into this book. I’ve made my husband taste things that he would rather not have to give his “honest opinion” (luckily those never made it into the book).  I’ve worked a ridiculous amount of hours trying to get every single recipe typed up in a way that even a novice home cook or a young person could follow. I was a stress case for 12 weeks, relied on every family member and friend for child care, and drank way too much coffee while staying up way past my bedtime to meet a deadline (or two).

I’ve been really lucky to work with a publisher and an editor that trusted my expertise and encouraged my creativity. This is a “the sky is the limit” for real life kitchens, busy parents everywhere, I’m out of ideas type of cookbook.

the best homemade kids' lunches on the planet cookbook by laura fuentes founder of MOMables.com

This cookbook is a manual for parents who want to make homemade food simple. A guide filled with prep-ahead tips to help you make lunches the night before so you can keep it together in the morning when you are busy trying to get the kids out the door –ahem! my life. 

The Best Homemade Kids’ Lunches on the Planet is designed to teach you how to make real food convenient and appealing to your kids. The book is divided into chapters like:

  • Pack Like a Pro: Nourishing Foods on the Go. Everything you need to know to get started with packing the best lunches and making meals for your family. From budget-friendly shopping, how to stock your pantry, and tips on making prep-ahead meals.
  • Get Out the Door: Breakfasts to Go. A whole section on portable breakfast items, my family’s favorites, and the tips a parent needs to getting out the door in the morning with well-fed kids on time.
  • Fill the Box: Sandwiches and More. Long gone are the days of one peanut butter and jelly sandwich after another. It’s time to bring variety back into your family’s lunches! The sandwiches, wraps, and pinwheels in this section incorporate leftovers and easy to find ingredients into new favorites.
  • Add Some Fun: Interactive Lunches for Picky Eaters. This section is for every parent who has had to fight or say no to one of those colored pre-packaged lunches at the grocery store. The lunches in this section teaches you how to make your homemade version delicious, nutritious, and a lot more fun!
  • Fill the Thermos: Portable Hot Lunches. Inspired by my good friend who lets her kids eat school lunch because a “hot lunch” is better than a sandwich. I beg to differ. These hot lunches will rock your thermos world.
  • Extra Credit: Staples, Drinks, Treats, and More. The recipes here are the tipping point of going fully homemade. This chapter will be your most visited, guaranteed.
  • Putting it All Together: Meal Planning and More. A 2 week sample plan with recipes from the book, a guide on how to use the recipes in the book to create classroom sized snacks, and making meals on-the-go.

pancake-sandwiches-for-school-lunch-ideas

My goal was to write a book anyone could gift to a friend when their kids are entering pre-school and continue to be a resource for awesome meals even through high school.

The cupcake recipe was tested by 67 families. Together we simplified the directions into a two bowl process and for it to yield of the average classroom size of 24 cupcakes. Fluffy, delicious, moist cupcakes every time!

Easy-yellow-cupcakes-recipe

Unlike other kid recipe books out there, the meals are pictured exactly as you would need to pack them inside a lunch box, a thermos, or a snack box. Because really, nobody wants to eat a soggy lunch.

homemade-lunchable-recipe

To purchase your copy of The Best Homemade Kids’ Lunches on the Planet click here

I want to thank you for supporting my mission of helping parents pack fresh school lunches and make meals their kids will love.

In gratitude,

Laura Fuentes

 

A Note Regarding Food Allergies:

Nearly all recipes can be made gluten free by using readily available substitutions (breads, pastas, wraps) when needed. Dairy is easy to substitute for a dairy free alternative. When baking, eggs can be omitted and you can use flax eggs or a banana. Peanut butter or almond butter can be easily substituted with nut-free butter alternative. There are no soy products in the book (or corn). Many recipes are naturally gluten free, dairy free, etc. This is a practical food guide for every parent. That was my approach when writing this book. It’s not, however, a paleo/grain free book.

Of course, the information in the book is meant for educational purposes and is not intended to replace the advice of a physician or medical practitioner.

June 18, 2014

Leave a Reply 29 comments

eve - June 18, 2014 Reply

Hi there! I would love to get a copy of your book. Is there anyway that I can make payment to your account and you can delivery it internationally to me? I’m located in Malaysia and it’s unlikely I would have the privilege to purchase your book from the local bookstore here.

Hope to hear from you soon. Thanks so much!

    Laura Fuentes - June 18, 2014 Reply

    Hi Eve. I don’t personally ship or sell the books. You can purchase an e-book (electronic copy) on both Amazon or Barnes & Noble (check the post for links).
    Thank you for your support!

Tina - June 18, 2014 Reply

Like a lot of families, we have food allergies in our house. Are the recipes adaptable to accommodate food allergies?

    Laura Fuentes - June 18, 2014 Reply

    Nearly all recipes can be made gluten free by using readily available substitutions (breads, pastas, wraps) when needed. Dairy is easy to substitute for a dairy free alternative. When baking, eggs can be omitted and you can use flax eggs or a banana. Peanut butter or almond butter can be easily substituted with nut-free butter alternative. There are no soy products in the book (or corn). Many recipes are naturally gluten free, dairy free, etc. This is a practical food guide for every parent. That was my approach when writing this book. It’s not, however, a paleo/grain free book.

Dariela - June 19, 2014 Reply

I’m so excited to have this book!!!! Thanks for making it Laura. I really need ideas for lunches and I KNOW they are going to be excelent and real 🙂 Can’t wait!!

    Laura Fuentes - June 19, 2014 Reply

    thank you Dariela!!

Brenda - June 19, 2014 Reply

Hey, I love your site, would your ideas and recipes work for big kids, too? I make lunches for my husband everyday as well as my son. Thanks

    Laura Fuentes - June 19, 2014 Reply

    Brenda, the recipes in the cookbook is how I eat as a family. My husband packs many of the recipes to work. You’ll be able to use every idea for him as well.

Carissa - June 19, 2014 Reply

Happy dancing over here!! Congrats!!!

    Laura Fuentes - June 19, 2014 Reply

    Carissa, thank you so much for your friendship and support! I’m dancing with you!

Kelly - June 19, 2014 Reply

I just pre-ordered! I’m so excited. I have followed you for years but my oldest will be starting kindergarten in the fall so I really NEED this book now!! Thanks so much – can’t wait to have it! 🙂

    Laura Fuentes - June 19, 2014 Reply

    I’m thrilled to have you following my journey. I hope the book serves you as a reference for many years to come!

brenda - June 19, 2014 Reply

Awesome Thanks!

Jaqueline - June 19, 2014 Reply

I can’t wait for the book to knock my door!!! 😀

Jessica - June 19, 2014 Reply

So glad I found this site! Will help a lot with five little ones, under6, in school. As well as a lunch packing husband. Now I just have to get the book. Thanks!

    Laura Fuentes - June 19, 2014 Reply

    thanks so much Jessica! If you are packing lunches for 5 and a husband, you might want to check out MOMables. 🙂

Matt Robinson - June 19, 2014 Reply

Congrats Laura! I don’t think there is one family that wouldn’t benefit tremendously from this book. Can’t wait to read it!

    Laura Fuentes - June 19, 2014 Reply

    thanks so much Matt!

Christine aka happyvballgirl - June 20, 2014 Reply

Wow, Laura, this book just sounds AMAZING and I can’t wait to get my hands on it! I already love all your recipes from MOMables.com but being able to hold it in my hands and flip through it for ideas will just be icing on the cake. Thanks so much for all of your hard work (that’s an understatement!) in bringing us so many wonderful, healthy and fun ideas to feed our children (and hubbies, too!). And congratulations to you and this incredible accomplishment!! I have no doubt it will be a huge success! <3

    Laura Fuentes - June 21, 2014 Reply

    Thank you so much Christine! Taking on a cookbook was a huge project but I enjoyed developing the ideas and I am really happy with the end result. I can’t wait to share the recipes with you!

Elle - June 23, 2014 Reply

Good luck with you book!
I wasn’t planning on buying the book, but that bit at the end of your post where you wrote about food allergies got me – I can’t eat cow-dairy or eggs and my little one is allergic to corn so I really appreciate the fact that you thought about these things.
I’m going to order your book soon (not now, as we’ll be traveling in the next 3 weeks, but when we get back).

    Laura Fuentes - June 23, 2014 Reply

    thanks Elle! While it’s not labeled as an allergy cookbook, the recipes are very easy to adapt. if you have any questions, never hesitate to email 🙂

Kat D - June 24, 2014 Reply

Is that cupcake allergy free?

    Laura Fuentes - June 24, 2014 Reply

    the cupcake is not nearly all the recipes on the book are. However, the recipe will work with Cup4Cup flour

Tiffany C - June 24, 2014 Reply

I AM SUPER DUPER proud of you! So cool! I can’t WAIT to get this book.I definitely need help in the lunch department. Especially this summer. xx

Reynaul - August 7, 2014 Reply

Your book came Tuesday and I LOVE it! I started flagging recipes that I wanted to try and stopped because I was flagging the whole book! 🙂 So I am just going to work my way thru the book instead. Love your blog, keep up the great work!

    Laura Fuentes - August 7, 2014 Reply

    thank you so much! if you have a few minutes,I would appreciate if you could leave a review on Amazon or B&N. Thank you!

Jessica - October 7, 2014 Reply

I saw this on pinterest.com and was wondering if this stands up against picky eaters of a picky mom. I am very picky about what I eat and my toddlers have grown the same way already. I try to cook stuff but am stuck in a rut because I do not know what all to cook have the time and end up cooking things that I know how to cook or what I think my girls will eat.

    Laura Fuentes - October 7, 2014 Reply

    I think you might love the ideas Jessica. Check out the reviews of it on Amazon. 🙂

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