Are you confused about what to cook for your kid? 13 lunch box recipes for kids going to school.

Lunch box filled with healthy food for school kids

Being a mother is a difficult job, and it gets more complicated when she has to prepare lunch box recipes for kids. Since every child is different from one another regarding food and taste, there is no provision for copy and cook. The difficulty even increases when mothers have to mingle taste with the nutrition for their growing kids.

Every child has his likes and dislikes for food. Thus, to add nutritional values to the taste, a mother has to think about different lunch box recipes for kids every day. It could make them fortunate enough to see their child’s lunch box empty when they come back home.

For growing children, food is essential for their overall growth and development. It is not advisable to let them refuse to eat for longer as they get hungry soon due to their physical activities. Even if they deny to eat, they should not stay hungry for longer.

However, children become healthy when they eat on their own and that too happily. Yes! This is the crux of the whole article, how to make your child eat independently at school?

Lunch box recipes for kids                                                                        

You cannot make your three and a half-year-old realize the importance of healthy food and its future consequences. All you can do is be innovative in cooking and try different varieties to make your child eat everything. If your child refuses to eat any vegetable, try serving him in a different style. Let’s see how can you make varieties of lunch box recipes for kids.

Cold lunch box ideas for picky eaters

1. Paneer pocket,  (For preparing four pockets)


Image source:

–     Paneer – grated 100 gm

–     Bread – 4 slices ( corners removed)

–     Onion – 1 (finely chopped)

–    Capsicum – 1 medium-sized (finely chopped)

–    Dry mango powder – ½ teaspoon

–    Salt- according to taste

–    Coriander chutney – 2 tbsp

–    Tomato ketchup – 1 tbsp

–    Oil – 3 tbsp


–    Mix all the ingredients in grated paneer except oil and coriander chutney

–    Now, take a bread slice and roll it with a roller to make it flat

–    Apply some coriander chutney properly, especially on the edges

–    Put some paneer mixture over the bread and roll it properly.

–      Seal the edges from both sides with the help of applied chutney

–     it will take the shape of a pocket just as shown in the picture

–     Repeat the process for other bread slices too

–     Pour oil in the pan and roast the pockets from both the sides

2. Idli

Sometimes children eat just looking at the presentation or looks of the dish. Thus, mini idli is a perfect option for the lunch box as It is easy to pick and eat. All you have to do is to buy a mould for preparing mini idlis.

–     You can prepare the batter in two ways

For rice idlis


–      Rice – 2 cups

–      White urad dal (lentil) – 1 cup

–      Salt – 2 teaspoons

–      Oil – 1tablespoon


–      Soak rice and lentil separately for 4-5 hours.

–      Drain water from rice and by adding a little water grind it into a coarse paste

–      Drain water from the lentil by adding a little water to it grind it into a fine paste.

–      Mix both the pastes

–      Add  in salt

–      The batter should be thick

–      Keep it in a warm place overnight or for 8-10 hours

–      The batter will turn sour

–      Pour the batter in the concaved rounds of the idli maker.

–      Keep the stand in the vessel filled with water in the bottom and close the lid.

–     Heat it on a  medium flame for 8-10 minutes.

For rawa (semolina) idlis


–      Soak one cup rawa (semolina) in one cup curd for 3-4 hours

–      Add a little salt to the batter

–      Just before preparing idli, add water to only that amount of batter that is required to prepare one batch of idlis.

–      Note: Add water such that the batter is neither thick nor thin

–      Add a half packet of Eno fruit salt to the batter from which idlis are to be made.

–     Now grease the mini idli mould with ghee or clarified butter.

–     pour the batter in the concaved rounds of the idli maker.

–     Keep the stand in the vessel filled with water in the bottom and close the lid.

For Sweet tooth

3. Wheat cake

Healthy whole wheat cake for kids going to school


–      Whole wheat – 1 cup (you can choose the size of the cup and keep measuring all the ingredients with the same)

–      Powdered sugar – 1 cup or less than one cup ( as per your choice)

–      Refined oil – 1/4 cup

–      Milk – to set the consistency of the batter

–      Baking powder – ½ teaspoon

–      Baking soda – ¼ teaspoon (meetha soda)


Mix refined oil and sugar and give a good stir for two to three minutes

–      Keep the sugar mixture aside.

–      Add wheat flour, baking powder and baking soda and mix all the ingredients with the spoon

–      Now slowly add wheat flour into the sugar mix

–      Keep on adding the milk at regular interval to avoid lumps

–      Stir it well to form a ribbon consistency of the batter

–      Pour the batter in a greased cake mold

–      Sprinkle some dry fruits if your child likes it

–      Keep it in the oven for half an hour at 180-degree Celsius

For baking in a pressure cooker

–      Spread one cup of salt at the base of the cooker. Preheat it for five minutes by closing the lid and removing the whistle

–      Now open the lid carefully, put some ring or steel bowl over the heated salt

–      Place the batter carefully on the raised bowl or ring

–      Close the lid and bake it for 30 minutes

–      After 30 minutes, prick a knife or toothpick in the centre to check if the cake is completely baked or not

For baking in an oven or convention

Bake the cookies at 160 degrees for 15 minutes

4. Homemade cookiesHome made delicious wheat cookies for kids


–      Wheat flour – 1 cup

–      Gram flour – ½ cup

–      Powdered sugar – ¼ cup

–      Ghee or clarified butter – 1 tablespoon

–      Salt – a pinch

–      Cardamom powder – ½ teaspoon

–      Chopped pistachios or almonds


–     Mix gram flour and wheat flour

–     Add sugar, a pinch of salt, sugar and cardamom powder

–     Now start adding ghee slowly to form a dough

Note: Add only that much amount of ghee that is sufficient to form a dough. Adding excess ghee will not make the cookies crispy.

–     Now take a small lemon sized dough and give a shape to your cookies.

–      It should be neither thick nor thin as shown in the picture.

–     Try to give a shape using your palm otherwise, you can also use a roller

–     Place carefully in an oven for 20 minutes at 180-degree Celsius.

For baking in a pressure cooker or kadhai

–     Spread one cup of salt at the base of the cooker. Preheat it for five minutes by closing the lid and removing the whistle.

–     Now open the lid carefully, put some ring or steel bowl over the heated salt.

–     Place the cookies carefully as the cooker or kadhai would be extremely hot from inside.

–     Close the lid and let it cook for 20 minutes on low-medium flame

–     Turn off the flame if cookies are baked to light brown

–     Prick a toothpick to check if they are baked

5. Jaggery porridge

Jaggery porridge is one of the most nutritious recipes for kids having sweet tooth. Children enjoy eating porridge, even if it is served cold in the lunch box. The recipe for the same is as follows


–      Porridge – 1 cup

–      Clarified butter/ ghee – 1 full tablespoon

–      Nuts (cashew/almonds) – 1 teaspoon

–      Water – 2 cups

–      Jaggery – ¼ cup


–      In a vessel, pour water and add jaggery in it. Boil the water on a medium flame till the jaggery melts completely.  Keep the mixture aside.

–      In a pressure cooker, pour ghee.

–      Now, add porridge/daliya once ghee gets hot

–      Mix the two ingredients and keep stirring till the porridge turns golden brown

–      Pour the jaggery water over the porridge and close the lid

–      Take four to five steams

–      Once the pressure cooker cools down, open the lid and sprinkle  the nuts over them

6.Fruit salad

Roughage and fruit juices are necessary for smooth digestion in kids. The children usually get irritated when they face stomach related difficulties such as constipation or loose motions. Thus, to avoid such problems, fruit salad plays a significant role. Make sure that you don’t add too many fruits to the salad. Try to add those fruits that your child likes the most. Cut the fruits in the size that your child is comfortable in eating and chewing with ease.

Fruit salad - lunch box recipe for kids


–     Bananas

–     Apple

–     Grapes

–     Pomegranate

–     Black salt

–     `Strawberry

–     Black pepper

–      kiwi

–     Lemon (optional)


–     Mix all the chopped fruits

–     Add a little bit of salt and pepper over it

–     Squeeze a few drops of lemon if your little one likes it

–      Mix well and serve

Note: You can add fruits of your choice

Some favourite Lunch box recipes

7. Poha

Poha - A healthy, light and delicious lunch box recipe for kids



–    Rice flakes – 1 cup

–    Salt – 1 teaspoon

–    Sugar – ½ teaspoon

–    Lemon- ½ teaspoon

–    Onion- 1 (finely chopped)

–    Peanuts – ¼  cup

–    Mustard seeds – ¼ teaspoon

–    Oil – 1 tablespoon

–    Green chilli (It is optional if your kid eats spicy)

–    Green coriander

–    Fried peanuts

–    Turmeric powder – ¼  teaspoon


–      Wash rice flakes in running water for 30 seconds

–      Keep it aside

–      Turn on the flame

–       Pour oil in a pan and let it get hot

–       Sprinkle salt, sugar, turmeric powder and green chillies

–      Crackle mustard seeds

–      Add curry leaves

–      Add onions and stir well till they get transparent

–      Now pour in the rice flakes and mix well.

–      Sprinkle some water and close the lid

–      Let it cook for  5 minutes

–      Open the lid

–      Squeeze some lemon and sprinkle coriander leaves and fried peanuts.

–      Serve in the lunch box

8. French toast

Egg french toast - A healthy lunch box food for Eggetarian kids


–      Eggs – 2

–      Chopped Tomato – 1

–      Chopped Onion – 1

–     Finely Chopped Capsicum- 1

–      Green coriander – ¼ cup

–      Salt- ¼ teaspoon

–      Black pepper – ¼ teaspoon

–      Oil – 1 teaspoon

–      Bread – 2 slices


–      Crack the eggshell and beat the yolks and egg white in a bowl

–      Now add the above ingredients to the beaten eggs

–      Mix all the ingredients properly, till the yolk breaks and get mixed finely with the vegetables

–      Dip bread slices in the batter and coat it properly on both sides along with vegetables.

–      Place it carefully on a pan greased with oil.

–      Fry it to golden brown on both sides

–      Serve in the lunchbox with ketchup

For the eggetarian kids, it is one of the nutritious lunch box recipes.

9.   Bread Pakoda


–     Besan /gram flour – 2 cups

–     Salt – 1 teaspoon

–     Water – As per requirement  or 1 cup

–     Red chilli  (a pinch  as you are preparing it for kids)

–     Bread slices – 2 (cut the slices in triangular halves or any shape that you like)

–     Carom seeds – ½ teaspoon

–     Oil – For deep frying


–    In bowl mix gram flour, salt and carom seeds

–     Add water to make a ribbon flowing consistency from this batter

–     Once the batter is ready

–     Dip bread slice and coat it properly with the batter

–     In hot oil, put the coated slice carefully and fry till it turns golden brown

  1. Vegetable cutlets

Delicious vegetable cutlets for kids - A healthy lunch box recipe for kids


–      Vegetables – carrots, green peas, broccoli, french beans and capsicum ( you can include veggies of your choice)

–       Boiled Potato – 2 big sized potatoes for binding

–      Salt – 1 teaspoon

–      Bread crumbs – 2-3 tablespoons (for binding)

–      Black pepper – 1 teaspoon

–      Crushed Ginger – 1 teaspoon

–      Green/ red chilly – ½ teaspoon ( if your child likes it)

–      Corn flour – 1 tablespoon

–      gram flour – 1 tablespoon

–      Oil – For  frying


–      Steam all the veggies in a pressure cooker.

–       Boil potatoes separately

–      Let the vegetables cool down

–      Mix boiled potatoes and green vegetables and ginger

–      Add gram flour, salt and pepper  and mix well

–      Keep the vegetable chunky and do not over mash them

–      Once all the ingredients get mixed give shape to the cutlets of your choice

Note: You can use a cookie cutter for giving shape to the cutlets

–      Dip cutlets in a cornflour slurry (mix cornflour with water to make it of flowing consistency)

–      Coat them well

–       In a frying pan, pour two tablespoons of oil and shallow fry the cutlets till they turn golden brown from both sides.

Special yet healthy lunch recipes

11.Vegetable Macroni

Lunch box recipe for kids - Vegetable macaroni for kids


–     1 cup macaroni

–    Chopped  veggies of your choice (Sweet corn, carrot, capsicum, onions, cabbage)

–     Oil – 1 tablespoon

–     Salt to taste

–      Black pepper – ¼ teaspoon

–      Tomato ketchup  – 1 teaspoon

–      Soya sauce – 1 teaspoon


–    Fill half a saucepan with water.

–      Adding one teaspoon of oil to it, boil one cup of macaroni pasta till it becomes soft.

–      Drain the water in a strainer and wash the boiled pasta in cold running water, so that extra starch gets removed.

–      Put oil in another pan.

–      Let the oil gets hot.

–      Add onions and saute them till they get golden brown.

–      Mix other veggies and add salt to them.

–      Cover and cook for Five to six minutes.

–      Now add tomato and soy sauces and mix again.

–       Sprinkle pepper from above.

–      Grate some cheese from above if your child likes it.

Note: you can add red chilli if your kid likes it.

12.Vegetable sandwich

Vegetable sandwich - a suitable and quick recipe for lunch box


–      Boiled Corns – 2 tablespoons

–      Finely chopped capsicum – 2 tablespoons

–      Finely chopped onions – 2 tablespoons

–      Grated carrot – 2 tablespoons

Note – You can add veggies of your kid’s choice


Mix all the vegetables with two teaspoon cheese spread or mayonnaise, whatever your child relishes. You can keep it in the lunch box with or without grilling.

13.Vegetable Appe

Appe – Again a delicious semolina recipe having vegetables, taste and convenience in eating.

Ingredients ( For preparing three batches of appe)

–      Semolina – 1 cup

–      Curd- ½ cup

–      Chopped onions – 1

–      Chopped capsicum – 1

–      Tomato (optional) – 1

–      Curry leaves – 3-4

–      Green coriander- 5-6 stems

–      Salt – 1 teaspoon

–      Red chilli – ¼ teaspoon

–      Mustard seeds – 1/6 teaspoon

–      Eno – ½ packet

–      Oil – for frying (1/6 teaspoon in each mould)

–      Appe maker

Note: Since you are making appe for children, you can skip red chilli or you can replace it with black pepper.


–      Soak semolina in curd for about two to three hours (add a little water so that semolina gets completely immersed)

–      Once it is soaked, the better gets thicken.

–      Add water to get the semi-thick consistency of the batter

–      Now add chopped vegetables, curry leaves, coriander, salt to taste and pepper/ red chilli

–      Separate the batter that is required to prepare the first batch of appe and add Eno fruit salt to it.

–      Keep appe maker on a high gas flame

–      Add oil to each mould of appe maker and let it get hot

–      Crackle mustard seeds in it (all the moulds together)

–      Once, they are crackled pour the batter filling to 3/4th of each mould.

–      Let the appe turn golden brown

–      Once they leave the corners, flip them to the other side and fry from another side too on a medium flame.

–      When fried from both sides take the appe out on a plate and serve in the kid’s lunch box with ketchup.

What do experts say when your child doesn’t eat at all? 

It is quite exasperating when your child refuses to eat. It gets even annoying for mothers when the child does not even eat and keeps on becoming cranky. You serve varieties of food, but he or she rejects every bit of the hard work you do in the kitchen.

The situation gets worse when you are on the verge of hitting your child out of frustration. However, that’s not the solution. So, you have to go deeper into the analysis of the problem. You must consult your paediatrician right away when this rejection continues for longer.

Experts say that some factors generate reluctance from food in children. They are as follows

  • Force-feeding 

    Many parents think that if their child is not eating, feeding them forcefully would lend a hand in filling the child’s stomach. However, this strategy usually backfires and the child becomes more reluctant in eating.

Mother force feeding a baby

  • Food allergy

    A child might be allergic to a certain food ingredient. These ingredients may include milk, soy, egg, peanut, fish and sometimes wheat too. In this situation, we are bound to narrow down food options. However, mothers need to be more innovative in preparing food with limited ingredients in order to remove the boredom.

  • Disordered eating 

    This is more about inappropriate eating at an inappropriate timeMany children are habitual of untimely eating and munching which leads to fulfiling their stomachs with junks or non-nutritious food. Thus, they don’t eat sufficient meals as a consequence of this habit. These children usually get deficient in a certain nutrient. Besides this, obesity is commonly seen in children having disordered eating.

Disordered eating leaves children deficient of nutrition

  • A child is sick (mostly stomach related issues)

    Child unable to eat due to stomach related issues

  • Many times your child suddenly stops eating or becomes cranky. Also, you become more worried when you notice the loss of appetite in your kid. Besides this, when a child spends a major part of the day crying and remaining clung to you, it is a clear indication of some kind of sickness in the child.
  • Most of the time, children have stomach related issues. Some children before reaching the age of two suffer from frequent constipation or loose motions. So, when your child shows these signs, you must immediately consult your paediatrician.
  • Picky eaters

    All the above factors ultimately make your kid a picky eater. Further, this behaviour leads to the deficiency of essential growth nutrients in kids when not taken care of in time.

Thus, it is necessary to be tricky and innovative in preparing food for children. Trying new things in the kitchen makes them eat maximum things and develop a taste for different varieties. It would reduce their reluctance towards food and enhance their interest in trying new dishes.

What is the importance of good food?

Healthyeating ultimately makes a child happy

The answer to this question is that there is immense importance of food in human life. According to health experts, folic acid is recommended to mothers fourteen weeks before pregnancy as it stimulates better brain functioning in a foetus. Although it is a far fetched thing, it is of enormous importance for the upcoming years of life.

You don’t need a silver fork to eat good food – Paul Prudhomme.

Having good food takes just a good mood and a zeal to become healthy. Healthy food plays a significant role in all stages of human life.  During the first trimester of pregnancy, it supports the development of the eyes, brain and other vital organs. So, a portion of good food becomes an indispensable part of our lives, even before we arrive in this world.

Newly born

When a child arrives in the world, all a mother has to care about is his nutritional requirements. It is essential for a mother to have a balanced diet that includes all the minerals, protein, calcium and iron to breastfeed the baby well.

During growth years

Healthy food enhances better concentration in children

It does not matter that a child is eating his meals on time, but what matters is what is he eating? A school going kid is involved in several activities that comprise academics, sports or culture. Thus,  to maintain his or her enthusiasm for the accomplishment of these activities, intake of nutritious food is essential. Besides growth, it is required for

–      Enhanced immunity

–      Proper digestion

–      Repair of body cells

–      Better concentration

Cooking with kids is not just about ingredients, recipes and cooking. It’s about harnessing, imagination, empowerment and creativity – Guy Fieri




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