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A+ Lunch Ideas for Your Kindergartener

These school lunch ideas for kindergarten will get rave reviews from your 5-year-old. Whether you're packing their lunch for a full day of fun or welcoming them home from their first half-days, your little learners will gobble them up.

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Cheeseburger Mini Muffins

I invented these cute little muffins so I could enjoy the flavor of cheeseburgers without resorting to fast food. I often freeze a batch and reheat however many I need. They’re also great as appetizers. —Teresa Kraus, Cortez, Colorado

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Arts and Crackers

A bit of fun with some cookie cutters and a tasty fruit topping transform simple cheese and crackers into a treat kids will love. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Cheesy Pepperoni Buns

A pizza version of the sloppy joe, this hot and melty open-faced sandwich is a surefire kid pleaser. Adults love them, too! —Tanya Belt, Newcomerstown, Ohio
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Raspberry-Banana Breakfast Tacos

My sweet take on breakfast tacos swaps in pancakes for the tortillas! They're so easy and absolutely delicious. Pick your choice of fruits and berries depending on what's in season. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas
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Peanut Butter, Apple and Raisin Sandwich

Tart, sweet and crunchy, these open-faced sammies are a perfect after-school (or after-work) snack. —James Schend, Taste of Home Deputy Editor
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Mac 'n' Cheese Dinner

Don’t settle for ordinary mac and cheese. This version is my kids’ favorite, so I always make a huge pot. It’s an easy recipe to cut down or double (or triple!). It can also be made into a low-fat recipe if you use nonfat milk, reduced-fat cheeses and lean ham. —Raymond James, Port Orchard, Washington
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Cheddar Corn Dog Muffins

I wanted to riff on hot dogs, so I made corn dog muffins. I added jalapenos to this kid-friendly recipe and won my husband over, too. —Becky Tarala, Palm Coast, Florida
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Rainbow Fruit Toast

Nothing will brighten up your morning more than one of these colorful and tasty toasts. —Shannon Roum, Taste of Home Food Stylist
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B Is For Book Sandwich

To fix this ham-and-cheese pleaser, just take a page from our creative food editors. You also can use a cutout of your child’s initial. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Mini Pizza Muffin Cups

I just baked these mini pizzas and the kids are already demanding more. The no-cook pizza sauce and refrigerated dough make this meal a snap. —Melissa Haines, Valparaiso, Indiana
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Apple and Peanut Butter Stackers

The best way to get kids interested in cooking and eating right is to let them help. These apple and peanut butter "sandwiches" are one fun way to pique their interest and kitchen creativity. —Shirley Warren, Thiensville, Wisconsin
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Marshmallow Fruit Dip

You can whip up this sweet and creamy dip in just 10 minutes. I like to serve it in a bowl surrounded by fresh-picked strawberries at spring brunches or luncheons. —Cindy Steffen, Cedarburg, Wisconsin.
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Corn Dog Twists

Kids will have as much fun making as they will eating these cute twists on hot dogs and buns! Set out bowls of relish, mustard and ketchup for dunkable fun. —Melissa Tatum, Greensboro, North Carolina
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Ham Muffinwiches

I concocted this fun recipe when looking for something to pack for lunch. I had leftover ham but no bread, so I got creative with cornbread mix. They freeze well and are handy for an on-the-go breakfast or lunch. —Jenny Wiebe, Villa Hills, Kentucky
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Fruity Peanut Butter Pitas

My kids ask for these pita sandwiches all the time. They haven’t noticed that as good as they taste, they’re also good for them. —Kim Holmes, Emerald Park, Saskatchewan
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Peanut Butter, Honey & Pear Open-Faced Sandwiches

I work a 12-hour night shift at a hospital, and when I come home in the morning, I don't want to cook a big breakfast. I love these sandwiches because they're versatile; sometimes I use apples instead of pears and different cheeses, such as Brie or grated Parmesan. —L.J.Washington, Carpinteria, California
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Chocolate-Hazelnut Fruit Pizza

You can prepare this snackable pizza in just 10 minutes! It's a fun way to sneak in those daily servings of fruit. —Dalynn Dowling, Grand Forks AFB, North Dakota
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Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon Chips

I first made this fresh, fruity salsa for a family baby shower. Everyone wanted the recipe. Now, someone makes this juicy snack for just about every family gathering—and I have to keep reminding everyone who introduced it! —Jessica Robinson, Indian Trail, North Carolina
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Mini Grilled Cheese

If you're looking for a fantastic make-ahead snack, try these miniature grilled cheese sandwiches. They're nice to have in the freezer for lunch with soup or a salad. My family loves to nibble on them anytime. —Anita Curtis, Camarillo, California
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Peanut Butter Granola Pinwheels

I came across this easy and tasty snack while searching online for healthy munchies for kids. Great for after school, it's really quick to make and filling enough to hold the kids until dinner. To satisfy heftier appetites or to serve as a power lunch, cut each tortilla into fewer pieces or provide one per child. The recipe is easy to increase as needed. —Mary Haluch, Ludlow, Massachusetts
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French Toast Fingers

Kids love anything on a stick. Bite-sized French toast skewers make a fun breakfast for them to munch before heading out the door. —Mavis Diment, Marcus, Iowa
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Sprinkle Fruit Dip

Making this creamy mixture especially festive are its bright candy sprinkles. An assortment of fresh fruit "dippers" adds even more goodness. —Leslie Miller, Butler, Pennsylvania
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Lunch Box Pizzas

When you have these fun-to-make mini pizzas, it's no challenge finding lunch fare that the kids enjoy. Plus they pack nicely in sandwich bags and travel well, so there's no mess. —Rhonda Cliett, Belton, Texas
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Mini Mac & Cheese Bites

Young relatives were coming for a Christmas party, so I wanted something fun for them to eat. Instead, the adults devoured my mini mac and cheese. —Kate Mainiero, Elizaville, New York
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Pasta Salad in a Jar

If you're planning a picnic, make this pasta a day ahead. For my husband's lunch at work, I sometimes tie a plastic fork on the jar. —Pat Neiheisel, Leetonia, Ohio
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Muffin-Tin Tamale Cakes

We needed snack inspiration beyond peanut butter and jelly. These muffin tamales have all of the flavor without the fuss. Pair with skewered fruit. —Suzanne Clark, Phoenix, Arizona
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Seasoned Chicken Strips

These strips are designed for kids, but tasty enough for company. The tender strips are moist and juicy and would also be great on a salad. —Becky Oliver, Fairplay, Colorado
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Chocolate Chip, PB & Banana Sandwiches

I love finding new ways to combine peanut butter, chocolate and bananas. I was shocked when my nephews (who are very picky eaters) loved these sammies. —Charlotte Gehle, Brownstown, Michigan
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Turkey Ranch Wraps

Here's a cool idea that's ready to gobble up in no time. It's a terrific use for deli turkey. Just add lettuce, tomato, green pepper, shredded cheese and ranch dressing for a flavorful blend. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Parmesan Fish Sticks

I wanted a healthier approach to fish sticks and developed a baked tilapia with a slightly peppery bite. My husband and sons love the crispy coating. —Candy Summerhill, Alexander, Arkansas

Cathryn Jakicic
Cathy Jakicic has written about everything from business and bacteria to beads and baking in her career —but she greatly prefers the last two. She is a baker and a crafter and loves to try new recipes for both.

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