Back to School Lunches for Picky Eaters

Finding the perfect kid’s back to school lunch ideas for picky eaters to eat at school, daycare, or home can be challenging. I have a couple of ideas that work for my picky eaters with Tyson Chicken.  

Back To School Lunches For Picky Eaters

If you are like me, you are dreading the thought of the 5:30 am blaring alarm waking you up after sleeping late all summer long. I will have to get up and get my three kids off to school, all three with lunches in hand.

It's almost back-to-school time, which means, I'm gearing up for back-to-school lunches. None of my children have ever attended a school that offered hot lunch, so I have always needed to pack a lunch for them. This year my son will be attending a school that offers hot lunch and this will be our first experience with school lunches.

I took my son to his new high school this week to purchase gym uniforms, pick up his bus schedule and to take a look at the lunch program. As my son and I were listening to the lunch program and what the options were, I knew right away there was no way my son would ever eat anything this new school offered. Thankfully, Tyson Foods has my back to school lunches covered.

Back To School Lunches For Picky Eaters

Packing school lunches is not one of my favorite activities, especially since I have a child who is the world's pickiest eater. For years, my son would eat the exact same lunch, every single day. The same things, day in and day out, for years. It drove me bonkers.

Last year he actually started to eat a ham sandwich for lunch, but that only lasted a few months and he was back to snacks for lunch only. I have literally begged him to try anything and everything to take to school and he refuses every time.


My goal this year is to provide lunches that all my children will eat and like and with minimal effort from me. I needed some inspiration on what to pack in my kids' lunchboxes so I turned to some of their favorite foods. How could I turn what my kids love to eat into delicious lunches? More importantly, what can I give my picky-eater son that will boost attention span, concentration and memory as he enters the Math, Science and Engineering Academy this year.

In preparation for back to school, I am sharing two delicious recipes that will give my super picky eating son, and my easy going daughters, the protein and energy they need to succeed in the classroom. At the same time, it gives me money saving solutions with minimal effort and less food waste.

Back To School Lunches For Picky Eaters

Pack Foods Your Kid Likes

Having a picky eater has been a blessing in disguise because I now only pack what I know my kids will actually eat. Let's face it, if your kid doesn't eat peas at home, they are not going to eat them at school if you pack them in their lunch.

Since my son only eats about 5-10 food items, I have few things that I can actually pack in his school lunch. His lunch at home, everyday this summer, has been Tyson® Crispy Chicken Strips, with buffalo sauce. I decided to search for a container where he could take this protein rich lunch to school as well. This is something I know he will eat and it will fuel his brain and keep him alert during the long hours of high school.

Back To School Lunches For Picky Eaters

When my alarm wakes me at very early o'clock on school mornings, I head downstairs, turn the oven on, brew some coffee, pop some Tyson® Crispy Chicken Strips and Tyson® Grilled & Ready® Chicken in the oven and head back upstairs for a shower. By the time I head back down for a second cup of coffee, the chicken is ready and the kids can help me finish making their lunches.

Back To School Lunches For Picky Eaters

My son puts his chicken in his tin with a small squeeze bottle filled with buffalo sauce and he is ready to go with a water bottle. Yes, that is all he eats. Remember, picky eater!

Back To School Lunches For Picky Eaters

My girls love the Tyson® Crispy Chicken Strips (sans the buffalo sauce), but they love Tyson® Grilled & Ready® Chicken even more. At my daughters' school, there are not any tables for lunch, so everyone has to sit on the gym floor during lunch period. Having their lunch all in one container just makes lunch time so much easier for them. 

In the morning, I set out a variety of bowls of veggies for my daughters to pile on top of quinoa and the Tyson® Grilled & Ready® Chicken goes right on top of everything. We call it our own version of a bibimbap. This is a great way to get rid of leftovers as well. So, how do you make a bibimbap?

Back To School Lunches For Picky Eaters

Tyson® Grilled & Ready® Chicken Bibimbap


Tyson® Grilled & Ready® Chicken

sliced cucumbers

grape tomatoes

hard boiled eggs



snow pea pods


hearts of palm


Back To School Lunches For Picky Eaters

Cook the quinoa the night before per the instructions. If your kids don't like quinoa, my favorite tip is to add a chicken bouillon cube to the water when boiling.

Use leftover veggies from dinner or pre-cook small bags of veggies and refrigerate for lunches. I usually have a variety of veggies on hand for our bibimbap bowls.

Prepare the chicken while you are in the shower or drinking your morning coffee. You could also pre-heat this the night prior as well. You simply follow the instructions on the bag.

Put the cooked quinoa into a bowl and add the assorted vegetables on top, and the heated Tyson® Grilled & Ready® Chicken. Pack it in a lunch bag. Mix the ingredients well in the bowl at lunch and enjoy!

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Back To School Lunches For Picky Eaters

I can pick up all my ingredients for school lunches at my local Walmart, even all my veggies. The Tyson chicken is in the frozen foods aisle. I pass right by Walmart on my way home from school, so it is a quick pop in and out with all my back to school lunch foods for my picky eating son and not so picky girls.

I hope I have given you some inspiration on what to pack in your kids’ lunch boxes as they head back to school. Everyone is different and has different likes, dislikes and eating habits. Sometimes you are lucky and have a kid who will eat anything and sometimes, like me, you have a super picky eater.

How do you make sure your picky child eats well at school?