If your children hate sandwiches but love Cheerios and pancakes, give them what they want in their lunchboxes. Many breakfast foods are healthy, portable, and easy to prepare — in other words, perfect for packing. In the right combinations and with a few twists, they make fun and satisfying lunches. Here are a few ideas:

Mini Bagels: Most kids have enjoyed bagels from the time they were allowed to teethe on them. Use this familiar breakfast item to deliver nutritious filling combinations including cream cheese and jam; avocado, tomato and a strip or two of bacon; or peanut butter and banana. For freshness and convenience, preslice bagels and keep them in a zipper-lock bag in the freezer. Remove them as you need them to make sandwiches. They’ll defrost on the countertop and, at school, throughout the morning so they’ll be ready to eat at lunch.

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Oatmeal: The nutritional benefits of oatmeal — which contains protein, fiber and plenty of vitamins and minerals — are well-known. If your child likes it in the morning, he or she will like it at noon, especially if it is supplemented with milk, berries or chopped fruit, nuts and just a little bit of a favorite sweetener, such as brown sugar or honey. Pack the oatmeal in a good thermal container that you’ve preheated with some boiling water, so it stays warm until lunch. Pack fruit, nuts and sweeteners in separate containers. They’ll be more appetizing this way and are fun to mix in, along with some milk available in the lunch room.

Eggs: It’s not practical to pack a plate of scrambled eggs. Instead, whisk some eggs together with chopped frozen spinach, or any other omelet filling your child enjoys (ham and cheese, mushrooms and sausage, peppers and onions are all good), and bake in muffin tins. Egg muffins will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer, and are delicious and nutritious when eaten cold from the lunchbox.

Cereal and Yogurt: It’s not a crime to pack cereal for lunch, and have your child add milk at school. Nor is it against the law to send yogurt. Kick it up a notch by using your child’s favorite whole grain cereal to make cereal bars, adding nuts for extra protein. As an accompaniment, whirl up a smoothie in the blender with fruit, yogurt and some ice cubes to keep it cold in a thermos. Don’t forget the straw.

Waffles: Mini frozen waffles are a fun substitute for bread. Pack a couple in a container with dividers, along with some ham and cheese and let your child put together mini sandwiches with these ingredients. Include some mustard or maple syrup in a small container for dipping.