Summer Lunch Ideas for Kids

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Feeding kids during the summer can become a challenge for parents and caretakers. While there seems to be plenty of ideas for breakfast and dinner options, lunch is the meal that tends to get lost in the mix leaving us scrambling for what to make.

Having some go-to easy summer lunches for kids you can depend on, from summer picnic themes to creative picnic ideas for kids, will simplify meal planning. Check out the 5 themed lunch ideas and related suggestions below and you’ll no longer need to stress when lunchtime rolls around…again.

Quick and Easy Sandwich Creations

Creating quick and easy sandwich creations can turn the usual lunch prep into an adventure for your kids. They'll love making or helping assemble their own quirky combinations, from classic turkey rolls jazzed up with their favorite veggies to peanut butter and jelly taken up a notch with slices of banana or strawberry.

Your kids will have a blast experimenting with different tastes and textures and exploring creativity within the bounds of nutrition and taste. During playtime, your kids can even practice making sandwiches in their very own play kitchen using various kitchen accessories.

Refreshing Salads and Wraps

Salads and wraps are light, nourishing lunches for kids that are easy to prepare. They’re also refreshingly cool foods to eat on a hot summer day. Two great kid-friendly salads you may want to try are Strawberry Summer Salad and Chicken Caesar Salad.

Some favorite ideas for quick wraps include:

  • Hummus with sliced cucumbers and mangoes
  • Chopped chicken breast, shredded cheese, and sliced avocado
  • BLT
  • Nut butter of choice and sliced bananas

Take your lunch outside as much as possible to enjoy the sunshine and fresh air. When you have a kids’ picnic table in your yard, your kids will love having their own special spot to eat and will want to dine outside as much as possible. Be sure to dine al fresco on National Eat Outside Day, celebrated annually on August 31.

Fun and Fruity Snack Ideas

With plenty of vibrant, nutrition-packed fruit options available, fruit has become a top pick for kid’s lunches and for summer picnic foods. Let the simplicity of sliced watermelons, berry skewers, and mango cubes elevate your outdoor dining experience, making it memorable for your little ones. For an extra special treat, put together a rainbow fruit salad that will delight even the pickiest of eaters.

Invest in a quality outdoor kids picnic table that’s highly durable and will provide a beloved place for outdoor dining and snacking sessions for years to come.

DIY Smoothie Bar

Setting up a DIY smoothie bar will create a canvas of creativity in your kitchen where your kids can customize their own refreshing drinks. Follow these steps to set up a DIY smoothie bar:

  • Reserve a shelf in your refrigerator and/or freezer for smoothie ingredients. This will save time and make it easier for your child to prepare his or her beverages independently.
  • Decide where you’d like to set up your smoothie station and clear the counter of all items that won’t be needed to make smoothies.
  • Gather your essentials: a blender, measuring cups and spoons, drinkware and straws, and various ingredients including: a mix of fresh and or frozen fruits and vegetables, nut butters, sweeteners like honey and maple syrup, milk, yogurt, nuts and seeds, and spices like cinnamon and nutmeg.
  • Initially, prepare a few blended beverages while your kids observe. Then encourage experimentation and stay nearby to answer questions or make recommendations while they attempt to make their own smoothies.

In between smoothie making sessions, your kids will have fun coming up with unique smoothie recipes and “making” them in their play kitchen. This is a wonderful activity that fosters creativity and independence in meal preparation.

Interactive Food Art

Summer lunches and snacks can be used as a springboard for fostering creativity in kids. Some simple ideas for food art creations include:

  • Using grapes and pretzel sticks to make a tree
  • Making teddy bear face PB&J sandwiches using blueberries or grapes for facial features
  • Creating flowers with thin cucumber sticks, spinach leaves, and fruit

Kids will find joy in creating edible masterpieces, turning a blank plate into a unique piece of culinary art!

Spice up your summer lunches with these delicious ideas! Get inspired and create tasty meals that your kids will love.