Healthy Summer Lunch and Snack Recipes for Kids

Sloppy Joe Cups
Diana Rattray

Summertime lunches have to be quick and easy, especially if your kids are busy with swimming lessons, camp, and other summer activities. Keep fresh salads, vegetable sticks, and fruit in the fridge along with deli meats for sandwiches. And keep choices varied and interesting to keep the kids from becoming bored with hum-drum lunches. Instead of loaf bread, consider making wraps or sliders. A cold noodle salad is an excellent choice for active kids, and it can be made a day in advance.

Here are several recipes for snacks and lunches that are quick and easy to make or can be made ahead of time, and they're sure to please even the pickiest kids.

  • 01 of 20

    Tex-Mex Taco Beef Sliders

    tex mex taco sliders with beef and cheese
    Diana Rattray

    Make these party sandwiches and wrap them individually to heat up any time.  Or use pulled pork or shredded chicken to make the tasty sliders.

  • 02 of 20

    Sloppy Joe Biscuit Cups

    Sloppy Joe Cups
    Diana Rattray

    Kids love sloppy Joe sandwiches, so they're sure to love these easy little all-in-one biscuit cups. Add chips, fries, or salad for a tasty meal.

  • 03 of 20

    Luncheon Tuna Salad Recipe

    tuna sandwich and chips
     Diana Rattray

    Prepare the tuna sandwich mixture and refrigerate it along with lettuce leaves and sliced tomatoes. Older kids can easily make their own sandwiches.

  • 04 of 20

    Easy Meatloaf Sliders

    Meatloaf Sliders
    Diana Rattray

    The kids will love these little meatloaf sliders. Top them with cheese and bacon if you'd like, or leave them plain and let the kids add their favorite toppings.

    Continue to 5 of 20 below.
  • 05 of 20

    Deep Fried Corn Dogs

    deep fried corn dogs with mustard
    Photo: Diana Rattray

    These corn dogs can be made with regular or mini hot dogs or mini smoked sausages, and they make a fantastic lunch for kids. Make them ahead of time and freeze them. To reheat, place a corn dog in the microwave, cover with a sheet of paper towel and heat on high power for about 1 minute.

  • 06 of 20

    Baked Ham and Cheese Quesadilla

    ham and cheese quesadilla
    Envision/Getty Images

    A cheese and ham quesadilla is a fun and tasty alternative to the everyday grilled cheese sandwich. Serve quesadillas with salsa or guacamole on the side.

  • 07 of 20

    Hot Tuna and Egg Salad Rolls

    Hot Tuna and Egg Salad Rolls
    Diana Rattray

    Tuna and egg sandwich buns are a snap to fix ahead. Wrap the tuna salad buns in foil and refrigerate them until it's time to bake. Melted cheese and sliced olives make the hot tuna sandwiches extra special.

  • 08 of 20

    Pigs in a Blanket With Crescent Roll Dough and Cheese

    Crescent Roll Hot Dogs "Pigs in a Blanket"
    Diana Rattray

    These little crescent dough-wrapped hot dogs are always a hit, and they're super easy to fix. Just wrap the mini hot dogs—or cut-up standard hot dogs—in crescent roll dough and bake!

    Continue to 9 of 20 below.
  • 09 of 20

    Mini Crustless Spinach and Mushroom Quiches

    Mini Quices
    Diana Rattray

    These mini crustless quiches make a delicious breakfast or lunch, and they're quite versatile. Use other vegetables for the filling or add some bacon or diced meat.

  • 10 of 20

    Macaroni and Cheese

    macaroni and cheese, individual serving.
     Diana Rattray

    You can't go wrong with macaroni and cheese! Bake it in individual ramekins, or for extra kid appeal, bake the mac and cheese in greased muffin cups. Use your favorite homemade macaroni and cheese recipe or the kids' favorite store-bought brand. 

    To freeze small portions of macaroni and cheese, wrap them individually in foil. Reheat the frozen mac and cheese in the oven or microwave.

  • 11 of 20

    Pulled Pork Barbecue Biscuit Cups

    Pulled Pork BBQ Cups
    Diana Rattray

    If you make pulled pork from time to time, you probably have leftovers in the fridge or freezer. Here's an excellent way to make use of leftover pulled pork. These biscuit cups make fabulous lunches for kids and grownups.

  • 12 of 20

    Easy Tuna Melts

    Tuna Melts
    Diana Rattray

    This open-faced tuna sandwich has long been a favorite lunch for kids. The sandwiches are easy to assemble with tuna salad, sliced tomatoes, and cheese.

    Continue to 13 of 20 below.
  • 13 of 20

    Classic Egg Salad

    Simple Egg Salad Sandwiches
    Diana Rattray

    This egg salad is another favorite sandwich spread the kids will love. Spread the egg salad on toasted bread lined with lettuce leaves or serve it on split buns or biscuits.

  • 14 of 20

    Crescent Roll Pizza Pinwheels

    Pizza pinwheels
    Diana Rattray

    Crescent roll dough, marinara sauce, and cheese are all you need to make an instant baked pizza snack. Add a bit of finely chopped onion, some pepperoni, bell pepper, or mushrooms if you'd like.

  • 15 of 20

    Chili Biscuit Cups Recipe

    chili biscuit cups
    Diana Rattray

    Leftover chili serves as the filling for these delicious biscuit cups, and a can of refrigerated biscuits make them super easy. The chili cups bake in muffin tins in just 12 minutes.

  • 16 of 20

    Classic Chicken Salad Sandwiches

    Basic Chicken Salad
    Diana Rattray

    Chicken salad is an excellent choice for sandwiches, and it's super easy to prepare. Use a store-bought rotisserie chicken or bake a few chicken breasts to make the salad.

    Continue to 17 of 20 below.
  • 17 of 20

    Meatloaf Muffins

    meatloaf muffins
     Diana Rattray

    Meatloaf baked in muffin cups make a nutritious lunch or dinner for kids. Any meatloaf recipe can be used to make these yummy treats, and you can "hide" grated carrots or other finely chopped vegetables in the meat mixture. 

    The muffins cook quickly, and they can be baked ahead of time and frozen to provide lunches throughout the week. 

  • 18 of 20

    Easy Tuna Melts

    Tuna Melts
    Diana Rattray

    Tuna melts have long been a favorite with kids. This basic tuna salad snack bakes in just 10 minutes, and the recipe can be scaled up for a crowd.

  • 19 of 20

    Cinnamon French Toast Sticks

    Cinnamon French Toast Sticks
    Diana Rattray

    French toast sticks aren't just for breakfast! The fun little strips of French toast make an excellent snack or lunch as well. Serve them plain or add a few links of sausage.

  • 20 of 20

    Crispy Baked Sriracha Chicken Fingers

    crispy baked chicken strips
    Diana Rattray

    A coating of Sriracha and honey along with crispy panko crumbs makes these chicken strips next-level. Feel free to tone the spicy coating down a bit if the kids aren't fond of hot foods.