Skip to Content

School Lunches for Picky Eaters

Sharing is caring!

If you’re looking to focus on healthy school lunches for picky eaters, then I’m sorry this isn’t the post for you.  It’s also not about cute shapes and other sneaky shenanigans to get your kid to eat.

Ain’t no one got time for ‘dat.  Seriously.

If you want to make sure your kid isn’t hungry while she’s at school then welcome, you’ve come to the right place.

My 12-year-old daughter is still incredibly picky.

If I let her, she would survive on pizza, goldfish, salad, and waffles.  There are a few other things but the list of things she doesn’t like is long and even the things she likes, she prefers a certain way.

Now we don’t cater to her whims or make extra meals and our other kids aren’t that way at all, so it’s not our parenting style that caused this.  But it is incredibly infuriating, especially since she’s teeny, tiny.  Although, our sons have huge appetites and still aren’t big either.

This post contains affiliate links. I will earn a commission at no additional charge to you if you make a purchase using my links. Click here to see my full disclosure policy.

I make sure she eats well for breakfast before leaving for school and has a great snack and a good dinner.

Looking for solutions to school lunches for picky eaters. Read on to find out you'll be surprised by the answer. Hint...I think you know already.

But what do you do about school lunches for your picky eater?

Never mind buying school lunches.  Especially if you keep hearing from all the negative Nancy’s that you need to make sure she eats healthy.  Because they aren’t finding that at school anyway.

My tweens both attend the local middle school.    This school serves fried mozzarella sticks as a lunch every other week.  They have donuts in the breakfast line and a school the next town over actually has energy drinks available for purchase!

Now lots of people like those…that’s not in question.

But fried mozzarella sticks for lunch isn’t healthy, so if that’s what the school lunch line is serving, you can’t do worse.

The problem is when people are all about giving their kids only healthy foods and never mind the organic only mommies.  And you’re being shamed into feeling you aren’t doing a good job.    Don’t worry about anyone else.  Just do what works for your family.

I was like that once upon a time too.  One of those mom’s that said, “I won’t feed them that”,  “I won’t let them watch that,” “I won’t let them…”blah, blah blah”

…that shit goes out the window when you need a real solution to a real problem that’s landed in your household. 

Or maybe you’re just too tired and gone too many times around the block for any of it to be important anymore.

**PRO TIP No one actually cares or notices what you do anyway…and if they do…so what.

I wish I’d learned this a long time ago.

Even healthy food can be crap.  Both my kids ate a lot of salads last year when they didn’t like the main school meal being offered.  On more than one occasion, they came home telling me they had either mold, a bug or hair in their salad.🤢

So again, this post isn’t on how to send your kid to school with the healthiest lunch.  This is how to make sure your picky eater isn’t hungry at school.

So here it is plain and simple.  Don’t listen to anyone telling you what to send.  Send what they like.  This isn’t about reinventing the wheel, this is about what works.

Yes, it may not be the best food, but the best for them is that they actually eat.  I can’t get over how many kids throw things away or they trade their lunches away because they don’t want it.

You can send cute cookie cutter sandwiches and grapes that look like butterflies, but if they throw it away what freakin’ good is that.  Cute doesn’t make them like it any better.  It’s a freakin’ waste of time.

The more hoops you jump through, just makes you more tired which doesn’t make your job easier or your kids happier.

They’re better off with a quick note that makes them smile.    Don’t have time for ideas…you can print these out and toss them in, easy peasy.  Just click here for a FREE instant download of these cute lunch notes.

Lunch Notes

Think they’re too old for that, try it and see them light up.  For other ways to keep communication open with your tween, try this post.

A hungry kid doesn’t learn well and is frankly a pain in the ass.  They get sleepy. They get crabby.  And it doesn’t help anyone. 

With the right supplies, you can send almost anything along with them to school.  If they eat, it’s a win.  If they do like anything healthy call it a bonus.

Here’s what we use to make it work for all of us.  These are the exact lunch boxes we have, right down to the patterns, and there are lots to choose from.  With two tiers we can keep items that might get weird, like bananas and sandwiches, away from the ice packs.

While it did come with a container, it’s not sectioned, so bento boxes are a nice reusable alternative to baggies.


With these items, we can send anything along that they like.

From oodles of noodles, mac and cheese, frozen, reheated pizza, make your own Lunchables or any other item your picky eater likes.

How about these super cool smoothie pouches.  Make it at home, seal and go.

Within some reason of course…I don’t recommend just filling it with m & m’s and gummi bears…that hidden stash is yours dammit.

Let them go to the store, let them pick it out, hell if they’re old enough let them make it too.  And honestly they are old enough…even 2 and 3-year-olds can help.

And if they eat the same thing all damn year?  So what!  They won’t be hungry or wasteful.  This isn’t their only meal of the day.

Know I wasn’t always like this…LOL.  I’m a perfectionist, control freak.  But the tired has taken over and forced me to realize, almost none of this really matters in the long game.

If you were looking for solutions from me, realize it’s often the way you’re looking at it that makes it more difficult. 

You had the answers all along you badass momma. 😉

Looking for more ways to make your life easier?

Here are some of my most popular posts…

What’s in your picky eater’s lunchbox?


Looking for solutions to school lunches for picky eaters. Read on to find out you'll be surprised by the answer. Hint...I think you know already.

Sharing is caring!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.