10 scrumptious lunch box recipes for kids

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Try these delectable lunch box recipes for kids and be showered with kisses and compliments later

lunch box recipes for kids

Change the boring food into a wowsome experience with these lunch box recipes for kids

As you declutter the kitchen for the day, you suddenly realise that you did not see your child's lunch box. You dig it out from the bag only to see that it's still full. 'Why didn't he eat?,' you probably think. 'Did he eat from someone's else lunch box?,' are your second thoughts. You sigh.

These thoughts are more than enough to keep you mentally occupied for the entire day now. So what can make his tiffin box more exciting yet healthy? Fret not, some help is ahead, mums.

Lunch box recipes for kids

Here are some unique lunch box recipes for kids, coupled with some important tips to make the dabba a yummy yet wholesome experience.


Pasta in creamy pumpkin sauce

lunch box recipes for kids


  • 1½ cup penne pasta
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 cups of chopped yellow pumpkin (skin peeled off)
  • 1 cup vegetable or chicken stock
  • A pinch of nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp chilli flakes
  • ¼ tsp freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh cream
  • 2 tablespoons of grated cheese
  • Salt to taste


  1. Boil the chopped pumpkin pieces in little water until cooked. Once cooled, blend them into a purée. Set aside.
  2. Boil a large pot of water. Once the water has achieved a rolling boil, add pasta and boil until cooked. Drain and keep aside.
  3. While waiting for the water to boil, prepare the sauce. Heat a large pan and add butter. Once it melts, add crushed garlic and sauté for two minutes.
  4. Now, add pumpkin purée, vegetable stock and stir to combine. Add nutmeg, chili powder, salt and pepper. Stir in the spices and let the sauce simmer over medium-low heat.
  5. Reduce the heat to minimum and add the fresh cream little by little. Add the cooked pasta and mix. Now garnish with sprinkled cheese.

Tip: Add a teaspoon of fresh or dried herbs to enhance the flavour

Packing suggestion: Pack some cut apples or watermelons in your child’s mini box as an accompaniment to complete the meal.


Paneer paniyaram with tomato chutney

lunch box recipes for kids


For paneer paniyaram:

  • 2½ cups of dosa batter
  • ½ cup onion, finely chopped
  • 1-2 green chillies, finely chopped
  • 1 ginger, finely chopped
  • 3-4 curry leaves, chopped
  • Few coriander leaves, chopped
  • ½ cup paneer, crumbed
  • 1 small tomato, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ginger- garlic paste
  • 1 teaspoon chilli powder
  • ½ teaspoon coriander powder
  • ¼ teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • Salt to taste

For tomato chutney

  • 2-3 ripe tomatoes, pureed
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seed oil
  • ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • a pinch of hing (asafoetida)
  • 2-3 curry leaves
  • ¼ teaspoon chilly powder (optional)
  • Salt to taste


  1. Add onion, green chillies, ginger, curry leaves, coriander leaves and salt to the dosa batter. Mix well and keep aside.
  2. Heat oil in a pan. Splutter cumin seeds. Add half the quantity of onions and ginger-garlic paste. Saute until onions turn transparent.
  3. Now, add tomatoes and cook till tender. Add chilli powder, coriander powder, garam masala and salt. Mix well and add the grated paneer. Keep aside.
  4. Heat the paniyaram pan. Add few drops of oil to each hole. Pour the batter to about half of each hole. Now add half a teaspoon of filling to each of the batter-filled moulds. Pour some more batter to cover the filling. Cover and cook for a couple of minutes. Now slowly flip each paniyaram. Cook on other side too till it turns slight brown.
  5. Heat the sesame oil in small skillet over medium flame. Splutter mustard and cumin seeds. Add the chilli powder, curry leaves.
  6. Add in the pureed tomatoes, salt and hing. Stir well and cook until the raw smell of tomatoes disappears. Your chutney is ready.

Tip: You can add some sour curd to the dosa batter for a better flavour

Packing suggestion: Pack a small box of flavoured yogurt for a lip-smacking end to this lunch

Paniyaram recipe source: Shobagoodfood

Coconut tamarind rice

lunch box recipes for kids


  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • ¼ cup peanuts
  • ½ teaspoon coriander powder
  • ½ cup grated coconut
  • ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 2-3 dried red chillies
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • ¼ cup tamarind pulp
  • ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 4-5 curry leaves
  • ½ teaspoon hing (asafoetida)
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • Salt to taste


  1. Soak the mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds and chillies in some water for 20 minutes.
  2. Dry roast the sesame seeds till toasted. Now blend this with the soaked mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds and chillies to form a fine paste.
  3. In a thick bottomed pan, heat the oil and splutter some mustard seeds. Now add the turmeric, hing and curry leaves.
  4. Set the burner on medium flame and add the tamarind puree, coriander powder and salt. Combine well and simmer.
  5. Once the oil separates from the tamarind mixture, add in the grated coconut and cooked rice. Combine.
    Now add in the mustard seed and fenugreek paste, turn off the flame and cover.

Tip: If you wish to tone down the heat of the chillies, do not blend them in the paste. Temper them with the hing and curry leaves, instead.

Packing suggestion: Team this mouth-watering rice with some stir-fried potatoes, curd and some multi-coloured fryums or papads. Yum!


Babycorn jalfrezi rolls

lunch box recipes for kids


  • ¾ cup baby corn, cut into long strips
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • ¼ cup capsicum, julienned
  • 1 tablespoon tomato sauce
  • 2 medium sized tomatoes, puréed
  • 1 teaspoon ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 teaspoon red chilli powder
  • ¼ teaspoon garam masala powder
  • ¼ teaspoon coriander powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon kasoori methi, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • Salt to taste


  1. Heat the oil in a pan. Splutter the cumin seeds. Add the onions and ginger-garlic paste and fry till the onions are slightly browned.
  2. Now add the tomato puree along with red chilli powder, corainder powder ,garam masala and mix well.Let it cook in low flame till raw smell of tomatoes reduces.
  3. Now add chopped baby corn,salt, a teaspoon or two of water and let it boil till baby corn turns soft yet crunchy.Then add the capsicum along with tomato sauce. Give a quick mix. Cook for 5-7 minutes. Garnish with kasoori methi and turn off flame.
  4. Heat two phulkas or chapatis with a little ghee over low flame.
  5. Place a teaspoon of the jalfrezi vegetable at the centre of the phulka and roll it tight. Hold it in place with aluminium foil.

Tip: You may add some chopped paneer or julienned carrots in the roll as well
Packing suggestion: Delight your little one a bit more by adding a small box of custard along with this delectable jalfrezi roll

Recipe  source:Sharmispassions, Image source:Sailusfood

Palak paneer lasagna

lunch box recipes for kids


  • 1 bowl of pre-cooked palak paneer or 2 cups of spinach leaves, blanched
  • 1 cup paneer, crumbled
  • 1 cup mushrooms, chopped and sautéed
  • 1 small tomato, chopped
  • ½ cup tomato sauce/red pasta sauce
  • 4-10 lasagna sheets
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, grated


  1. Preheat the oven upto 350 degrees. Grease a baking tray with some oil.
  2. Blend the palak paneer or the blanched spinach leaves, tomato sauce and paneer in a food processor until combined. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Boil a large pot of water. Carefully drop few lasagna sheets and into it and cook until flexible.
  4. Remove the cooked pasta sheets with a pair of tongs and drain them over a towel.
  5. Spread a thin layer of tomato sauce on the baking tray. Place a layer of the cooked sheet over it. Now add some of the mushroom spinach and paneer mixture over it.
  6. Now add another layer of lasagna sheet over the mixture and add the sauce and spinach mixture. Repeat.
  7. Top the lasagna with tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese. Cover the baking tray with aluminium foil and bake for 30 minutes.

Tip: The lasagna can be prepared in advance and refrigerated with a plastic cover. All you have to do in the morning is to replace the plastic cover must be with aluminium foil and pop it in the oven to bake

Packing suggestion: Pack some simple cookies to go with the lasagna so that your child can end his meal with a bang

Recipe contributed by theIndusparent reader Dipica Dias, Navi Mumbai.

Continue Reading for more delicious lunch box recipes for kids

Chicken avocado quiche

lunch box recipes for kids


For the base:

  • 1 cup flour (white)
  • ½ tablespoon baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons butter, cut into cubes
  • ½ cup milk

For the filling:

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup boiled, shredded chicken meat
  • ¼ cup cream
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon, pepper powder
  • ½ teaspoon coriander leaves, chopped
  • 3 tomatoes, peeled and deseeded
  • 1 avocado, peeled, pitted and sliced
  • ½ cup cheese, grated


  1. For the base, combine the flour, baking powder and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse several times to mix the dry ingredients.
  2. Next, add the cold butter cubes and pulse until the mixture looks like coarse breadcrumbs.
  3. Finally, add the milk and pulse 3-4 times until the dough just begins to clump together.
  4. Remove the mixture out onto a large piece of plastic wrap and knead slightly to help it stick together.
  5. Wrap up the dough and refrigerate for half an hour. You can make the dough the previous day to quicken save time in the morning.
  6. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  7. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream, salt, pepper and coriander until combined.
  8. Roll out the dough into an 9 inch circle and place in a 7 inch pie plate, crimping the edges.
  9. Now place a layer of sliced tomatoes. Now add the avocado slices and shredded chicken.
  10. Pour the egg mixture over the layered veggies, and finish with the cheese sprinkled across the top.
  11. Bake at 350 degrees until a knife inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Tip: You can choose to omit the eggs and chicken and add crumbed paneer and heavy cream for a vegetarian quiche

Packing suggestion: You can team the quiche up with some pineapple and grape skewers

Recipe source:Mycupisfull

Egg curry

lunch box recipes for kids


  • 4 eggs
  • ½ cup onion, finely chopped
  • 3-4 medium sized tomatoes, blanched and skin removed
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 4-5 curry leaves
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • a sprig of coriander leaves, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala powder
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • Salt to taste


  1. Heat oil in a a pan and add mustard seeds. When they start popping, add the curry leaves.
  2. Now add ginger, garlic and onions. Sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add the garam masala powder, chilli powder and salt.
  3. Chop the tomatoes and add it to the onions. Fry till the tomatoes become a paste. Add ½ cup water and cook for a min.
  4. Break the eggs and and add it to the curry. You can add boiled eggs as well. Cover and cook for five minutes and garnish with coriander leaves.

Tip: You can add pureed tomatoes instead of chopped tomatoes

Packing suggestion: Couple this curry with fluffy white rice mixed with ghee. Add a handful of potato chips in a smaller tiffin and it’s a lunch to die for

Recipe contributed by theIndusparent reader Vijaya Naik, Mumbai

Soya pulao with mint raita

lunch box recipes for kids


  • 200 gms basmati rice
  • 1 cup soya chunks
  • 1 cup boiled peas
  • 2 tablespoons ghee
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 inch piece ginger, grated
  • 1 teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 2-3 cloves
  • 1 piece cinnamon
  • 2 cardamoms
  • Salt to taste
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1 tablespoon coriander leaves, chopped


  1. Wash the rice and soak for half an hour.
  2. Boil 2 cups water in a pot. Put ¼ teaspoon of salt in it and add soya chunks to it. Cover and cook for 20 minutes.
  3. Heat some ghee in a cooker. Put cumin seeds into it and let it splutter. Keep the flame low. Now add the whole spices and chopped ginger to it.
  4. Take out the soy chunks from the water and put them into the roasted masala and mix well. Strain the water from the rice and mix with the spices. Add the boiled peas and mix well.
  5. Pour water(twice the quantity of rice) into the rice along with salt and lemon. Mix well and close the lid of the cooker. Pressure the cooker for upto 2 whistles and then turn off the flame.

For the mint raita


  • Few sprigs of mint leaves, finely chopped
  • 2 cups of beaten curds
  • ½ teaspoon of sugar
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper powder
  • Salt to taste


  1. Add the beaten curds, sugar, salt and pepper to a bowl and combine well.
  2. Mix in the finely chopped mint leaves and serve with the pulao.

Tip: You can boil the soya chunks in water infused with salt, turmeric and tomato juice for more flavour
Packing suggestion: Garnish the raita with pomegranate kernels for a dash of colour

Chapati masala noodles

lunch box recipes for kids


  • ½ cup onions, sliced
  • ½ cup capsicum, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • ½ cup tomatoes, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ½ teaspoon chilli powder
  • ½ teaspoon pav bhaji masala
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Salt to taste
  • 10 leftover chapatis, cut into long strips
  • 2 tablespoons chopped coriander for the garnish


  1. Heat the butter in a pan, add the onions and capsicum and sauté till the onions turn translucent.
  2. Add the garlic, tomatoes, turmeric powder and chilli powder and sauté for for five more minutes.
  3. Add the pav bhaji masala, and salt and mix well.
  4. Add the chapati strips and toss well.
  5. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

Tip: Add crispy fired paneer and a teaspoon of lemon juice to the noodles to make it even more delicious

Packing suggestion: Add a handful of dried fruits and nuts for your little one to snack on after this healthy lunch

Spring onion and moong dal parathas

lunch box recipes for kids


  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3 tablespoons yellow moong dal (split yellow gram) , soaked, boiled and drained
  • ¼ cup finely chopped spring onions (whites and greens)
  • 1 tablespoon chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds powder
  • ¼ tsp hing (asafoetida)
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 teaspoons oil


  1. Combine the wheat flour and salt in a bowl and knead into soft dough using enough water.
  2. Divide the dough into 6 equal portions. Keep aside.
  3. Roll out each portion of the dough into a circle.
  4. Place one portion of the stuffing mixture in the centre of the circle.
  5. Fold the paratha over and seal the edges.
  6. Roll out again into a circle dusting it with a little whole wheat flour.
  7. Heat a non-stick tava and cook each paratha using ¼ teaspoon of oil till both sides turn golden brown in colour.
  8. Repeat with the remaining dough and stuffing to make 5 more parathas.

Tip: Soak and prepare the moong dal the previous day to save on cooking time

Packing suggestion: Pack these healthy, filling parathas with a bit of curds and a tangy pickle or fruit preserve

Recipe source: TarlaDalal

Do you have interesting lunch box recipes for kids? Share in the Comment box below.

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Written by

Preeti Athri

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