Lunch Box Recipes ideal for moms to prepare for school and work is featured in this post. It is suitable for school kids and office goers too. Lunch Box Recipes presented here are a combo of main course & side dish ideas that are nutritious & delicious and at the same time quick and easy to cook for moms.
I have categorized the extensive range of Lunch Box Recipes menu into Bread, Tiffin, Rice recipes which can offer a good menu variation from Monday to Friday and are completely vegetarian for a reason. Though pictures represent kids lunchbox you can very well make use of the same for elders and office goers too. I still have readers who mail me saying this menu is what I pack for my husband, uncle, mother, kids etc.
About Lunch Box Recipes
Lunch Box Menu decision is a challenging task than cooking the menu itself. We have thousands of options to choose from but what we can cook for the lunch box for that day is a thousand dollar question each day moms come across – that’s how I landed up writing this post.
The next puzzling factor is the likes & dislikes of each of the members in the family. Mittu and Gugu are different extremes in their choice of food – Mittu loves more of North Indian & Global cuisine while Gugu loves more of South Indian cuisine. School / Office timing, Recipe cooking time & easiness, our kitchen inventory / stock, occasions, healthy options, etc are other deciding factors for Lunch Box Menu for a day.
I have made an attempt here accommodating all the above factors to organise the lunch box menu ideas and presented Lunch Box Recipe Combos which are nutritious & delicious and at the same time quick & easy to cook for moms.
Have included 50 lunchbox ideas here :
Lunchbox Monday to Friday
I organise & plan for the week with Lunchbox ideas in the following way like how they categorize Movies in Sun TV. I keep this as a general outline and may not be strict to books (as here we need not be!)
- Tiffin & Leftover Monday – Morning Tiffin menu or Biryani, Gravy, other grand weekend menu leftovers – I try to make small variation or add an side dish and pack it for lunch for Monday as I wish to come out of the Monday blues. Idli Podi Toast, Kathi rolls with Sunday side dish, Vegetable Podi Idli, Mini Idli / Dosa / Oothappam and Tiffin Sambar/ Tomato Chutney are some of the options.
- Rice Tuesday – Ideal rice meal with white rice, sambar / gravy and curry I plan on Tuesdays. Menu like Rasam Rice, Curd Rice and Potato Fry Combo, Rice, Dal and Kadai Paneer Combo, Rice, Carrot Sambar, Beans Poriyal Combo, Rice and Vegetable Gravy Combo, Rajma Chawal and Rice Combo.
- Bread Wednesday – Roti, Phulka, Flat Bread, Bread are my choice on Wednesdays. Options are Aloo Paratha, Capsicum Raita & Sprouts Stir Fry Combo, Triangle Roti, Dum Aloo & Chana Sundal, Veg Bread Sandwich, Fruits and Nuts Combo, Chapathi & Chana Masala combo, Gobi / Rajma Paratha & Peas Masala Combo, Methi Thepla, Sauce & fresh veggies Combo, Chapathi & Paneer Butter MasalaCombo, Carrot Cheese Paratha, Phulka & Matar Mushroom / Capsicum Gravy Combo, Phulka with Aloo Matar Subji / Aloo Bhindi Combo, Lachha Paratha with Green Gram Dal.
- Variety Thursday – Variety rice which can be extended for lunch at home I plan for Thursdays! Options include Peas / Beetroot Pulao and Baby Corn Toast Combo, Lemon Rice and Raw Banana Curry Combo, Peanut Rice, Carrot Stir Fry and Vadam Combo, Coconut rice, Potato fry and Papad Combo, Carrot Rice and Peanut Sundal Combo, Jeera rice and Mushroom Do Pyaza Combo, Capsicum / Curry Leaves / Ghee / Tamarind Rice with Carrot Kootu.
- Kids Favorite Friday – Kids choice predominantly on Fridays. Chapati Noodles, Vegetable Fried Rice, Sauce and Papaya Combo, Vegetable Bread Upma with Cucumber Salad, Sweet Corn Pulao with Aloo Gobi Masala, Chana / Veg Pulao with Veg Kuruma, Pasta meal, Baby Corn Rice, Veg Biryani, Onion Raita.
- Festive / Occasions Menu – On Birthdays, Anniversaries and during festivals I choose one among the kids favourite menu or festive menu like Sweet Corn / Paneer Fried Rice, Mini Poori and Potato Masala, Pasta meal, Veg Biryani & Raita.
Kids Lunchbox Short Videos – This is what I pack for kids lunchbox today:
I have a good collection of lunch boxes – Round, Square, with & without inside partition / boxes.
I use only steel containers for packing mittus lunch box.I use them based on the menu – Like I pack rice and gravy in different compartments of the layered carriers, use partition steel containers for roti & sabzi. I accompany the lunch box always with spoon & a towel, so that it comes handy for a clean dining. I use to send small chits / post-it when I wish to remember them for paying fees, meet teacher, special wishes or sometimes puzzles too which they are excited about.
Mittu and Gugu are the architects of this lunch box series as their preferences, leftovers, craving, asking for repeat has shaped up the content of this post. That’s why you will see kids friendly touch in pictures, shapes and choice of menu in this lunch box series.
Our mood during cooking is also reflected in the lunch box – a huge & 3 dish lunch box echoes happy me and a single dish dry item or lesser/over saltiness, spiciness echoes busy or tired me.
Memories of my Lunch Box
My Lunchbox memories reminds me of school days when friendship grew with the sharing of food & dining together. And there are days when my lunch box gets over in the breaks because of the hostel friends and I go to canteens for lunch. My mom used to send separate lunchbox during occasions and special menu days. She tried different menus as I was a very fussy eater. I still remember my friends were so excited to see my lunchbox and they loved each most of my menus, all credits to amma who was so keen in packing delicious and healthy food at the same time. As a kid I never understood the pain but now I realise it when I pack it for my kids.
Vegetarian Menu for a reason: There are some foods that bacteria can grow and multiply on more easily than others which may lead to food poisoning within 3-4 hours of cooking under normal packaged conditions. These include meat, poultry, dairy products, eggs, seafood and prepared fruit salads.
1.What is Lunch Box Recipes?
Lunch Box Recipes is a collection of main course & side dish ideas that are nutritious & delicious and at the same time quick and easy to cook for moms for school and work.
2.Name 3 easy and tasty recipes for kids lunch box?
Roti & Dal, Idli Toast and Fried rice are my 3 easy and tasty options. I prefer Carrot rice, Veg/Paneer Pulao and Phulka with Gobi Sabzi are my tasty and healthy options.
3.What kind of lunchboxes are best to pack?
Handsdown steel lunchboxes are the best according to me. I have used plastic tiffin boxes just for photo sake to make it look more colorful and appealing but I always use traditional steel dabbas for packing for kids. I feel even a small strip gf plastic in lunchboxes is not safe – as plastic and heat is a big no and also in the morning hurry burry attimes we are forced to pack food hot so it is always safe to use steel.
4.What is the lunchbox that you use?
Many keep asking about the details about the lunchbox and snackbox that I use for my kids(check shorts videos) so sharing the details. Right from the beginning of packing lunchbox one thing that I was very particular was to use only fully steel traditional dabbas a big no to colors / plastic / glass. Before I used to buy sambadams or square boxes(for main dish) and pair up with small dabbas(for curries)but mittu wanted a single lb to carry that’s when I started to buy this clip type.
a.Is it leak/spill proof?
No its is not spill proof for runny liquids like sambar, rasam, curd. For gravies it does not spill if its slightly thick and goey. I ask my kids not to swing the lunchbag and keep it erect so that it does not spill.
b.Does it keep food hot?
No its like our regular steel boxes. My kids are used to eat food that is not hot so its not an issue for me.
c.Where did you buy it?
Snackboxes both are from kaaleswara stores(Gandhipuram) mittud lunchbox is from sapna book store(RS Puram) and gugus lb is from Kamala Stores (Gandhipuram)..not sponsored.
d.What is the cost?
I don’t really remember as its been a long time since I bought them but sure the price ranges from 250-300 rs each.
5. Is it easy to clean? How do u clean them?
Yes very easy to clean. I use regular dishwashing liquid when I wash using hands. But the credits should go to my dishwasher to keep it shining and look as new.😃
6.Is this clip type tiffin box easy to open for kids?
Initially when it was new the clip was tight and gugu needed help but mittu could open it easily. After few months usage the clip has become a bit loose that even gugu can easily open it now.
Hope I have answered most of the frequently asked questions. Please let me know if you have any more queries.
4.Can I extend the Lunch Box menu for lunch at home?
Yes very much – We can make in sufficient quantities so that lunch box menu can be the same for lunch at home as well. Quick heat / steam it in stovetop or microwave before serving for lunch.
5.What are the tips to make the lunchbox fresh at school and work?
• When packing tiffin items for lunch box, it becomes dry – So make variations such that it could consumed without getting a dry feeling. For example, instead of plain idlies make it as Sambar Idli, instead of dosa make it as podi & onion othappam, instead of roti make it as ghee / butter roti or cook it ¾th of the usual time so that roti remains soft.
• When packing rice meal, pack rice and gravy separately so that when rice & gravy is mixed, it gives a fresh feeling. If you have no option but to pack it together use excess of gravy so that rice does not become rice cakes for lunch.
• Overcooked rice or if you add water more than the prescribed amounts it tends to get gluey at the time of cooking and becomes rice cakes for lunch. So cook it right and fluff the rice with 1 teaspoon of oil before packing.
• When packing curd or raita, it becomes extra sour so add a portion of fresh milk while packing
• Wrap roti / rolls / paratha / phulka in aluminium foil so that freshness is retained to an extent.
6.Can I send egg recipes as sides for lunchbox?
Eggs, meat, sea food all may tend to develop bacteria under normal packaged conditions resulting in food poisoning. Hence better to avoid them.
Tried this Lunch box recipes ? Do let me know how you liked it. Also tag us on Instagram @sharmispassions and hash tag it on #sharmispassions.
📖 Recipe Card
Lunch box recipes | 50 Lunchbox recipes | Kids lunchbox menu
- idli, dosa batter
- roti dough
- Refer each recipe for accurate measure and instructions.