With the end of Labor Day weekend and the end of summer for students, parents everywhere are scrambling to brainstorm back-to-school lunch ideas to pack for kids. It’s not uncommon for kids to be picky when it comes to food, especially school lunches, but even they can easily tire of the same old turkey sandwich or plain pasta with butter. Packing lunch can be tricky, since it’s important to make energizing lunches for kids that won’t leave them tired at the end of the school day, but keeping variety is equally important. It’s no surprise, though, that kids unfailingly adore breakfast; it’s hard not to when no one thinks twice about a meal with an excuse to eat peanut and jelly pancakes and rice pudding blintzes with blueberry sauce. So why not pack breakfast for lunch?
Shake up the banal packed lunches and opt for a brown bag breakfast for lunch instead that’ll get your kid pumped for the rest of the school day. But remember: just because it is breakfast for lunch doesn’t mean that it needs to be a meal that’s ridiculously sugary—breakfast doesn’t always have to be sweet, after all. So if your kids are breakfast lovers and you’re searching for new ways to pack lunch for kids, here are nine of the best breakfast for lunch ideas that are tastier than a soggy grilled cheese.
Kid-friendly egg sandwich recipes are super simple to make, like this breakfast quesadilla with sausage, egg, and cheese. They’re easily adaptable, so adding in your kid’s favorite kind of meat, cheese, and vegetables gives you free reign.
Breakfast Mac and Cheese on a Stick
There’s no doubt that kids go head over heels for mac n cheese, and this breakfast mac and cheese on a stick version is no different. These can be made the night before and are still crispy and flavorful even when they haven’t been freshly fried.
Hard Boiled Eggs with Toast
Hard boiled eggs are a hearty, protein-packed option. A little sprinkle of salt and pepper on top draws out the flavor and can be paired with toast or a biscuit.
Kids who love the sweetness of breakfast will become huge fans of baked oatmeal. Without the inevitable gloopy texture of traditional oatmeal, baked oatmeal is more like a super soft version of an oatmeal cookie. Adding in applesauce and other fruit like in this kid-friendly baked oatmeal version makes it healthy and delicious.
Muffin Tin Frittata
Mini frittatas are a cutlery-free meal. Build them with your kid’s favorite add-ins and bake in a muffin tin the night before. They’re perfect at room temperature, or can be zapped in a microwave for 30 seconds at school.
French Toast Sticks
French toast sticks are easily portable and fun to dunk in maple syrup. Send them along as little sticks, or skewer them with raspberries and blueberries to make it seem kinda less like dessert.
Cinnamon Raisin Bread with Cream Cheese
Schmearing the bread with plain cream cheese is sure to please picky eaters, and the raisins in the cinnamon bread add a healthy flair.
White bread is often overused in sandwiches, so swap it out for a beloved Sunday morning breakfast: waffles. There are many ways to make a waffle sandwich, like adding in kid-approved proteins like bacon, cheese, or even fried chicken.
With a consistency similar to banana bread, avocado bread is basically banana bread’s healthy, loaf bread cousin. The avocado isn’t overly powerful, but actually rather sweet, so picky eaters are sure to fall in love with this green bread. Serve with some butter, cream cheese or put an egg on it.