Packing lunch for school is no easy task. Moms everywhere know how it feels trying to pack a meal that is tasty but also fun to eat. That is why I love having so many different options. Having some peanut free ideas is great to have as well when it comes to creative school lunch ideas.
I am sharing with you many different school lunch ideas you can choose from your child no matter what grade they are entering!
School Lunch Ideas
Having a variety of choices when it comes to healthy school lunch ideas can help make packing lunches a success in your home. When packing my kids lunchboxes I make sure they have at least one thing in their lunchbox I know they will eat.
I also suggest including your child in the packing of their lunches. That is because one week they may love strawberries and then the next week they do not touch them.
If your child helps with the packing they will more likely eat what has been packed because they were part of the choice.
Here is a useful list of suggested items you can choose from when you are shopping for lunch box ideas each week!
Read over the list with your child and see what sounds yummy to them this week before you do your grocery shopping and add them to your grocery store checklist!
This list will help you include your child in decision making of what will be packed in their lunchbox.
Main Meal Ideas
- Hard Boil Eggs
- Pita Chips and Hummus
- Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich
- Pasta salad
- Chips and Guacamole
- Kabob (Meat and cheese)
- Veggies and Hummus
- Bagel and Cream Cheese
- Turkey and Cheese Sandwich
- Ham and Cheese Sandwich
Fruits and Vegetable Ideas
- Baby Carrots
- Red and Orange Pepper Sticks
- Trail Mix
- Fruit Snacks
- Rice Krispie Treats
- Capri Sun
- Apple Juice Box
- Milk (Chocolate or White)
Non-Sandwich School Lunch Ideas
If your child doesn’t like sandwiches then packing a healthy school lunch for your kid can get challenging. But good news! There are a lot of non-sandwich creative school lunch ideas out there!
Below you will find a list of non-sandwich kids school lunch ideas to help you save time on searching for what to pack!
Kabobs-stack meat and cheeses on a toothpick.
Pizza Bagels-use bread or mini bagels and toast with cheese and pepperoni on them.
Banana Muffins-great way to get rid of those bananas going bad. Bake up and freeze and pull out as needed for lunchboxes. You can place it in a frozen lunch box and it will be thawed by your kids lunchtime.
Mini Corndog Muffins– take a box of corn muffin mix and bake them in a mini muffin pan.Cut up hot dogs and press in the center before placing in the oven to bake.
Quesadillas- flour and cheese tortilla cut into triangles, no need to be hot to be enjoyed!
Nutella & Banana Sushi- spread nutella on a whole wheat tortilla, wrap and roll up around a whole banana. Slice into little sushi rolls.
Chicken & Waffle Sliders- cook chicken nuggets in the oven and toast mini eggos. Place chicken between the eggos and wrap in foil to keep heated but also yummy served cold.
Pepperoni Sticks– Fold pepperonis into quarters and stick on toothpicks. Alternate pepperoni and cheese cubes.
Cold Noodle Salads- easily made ahead and in bulk so can be served multiple days of the week.
Bean Salad – green lettuce with black beans, whole corn kernels, fritos for a crunch and ranch dressing for added flavor.
School Lunch Ideas for Kindergarten
If this is the first year you have a child in school what to pack in your kids lunch box that they will eat can be a bit overwhelming. Lunch should be a time when your child can feel at home when still at school.
Packing lunch bento boxes are a great way to help you simplify your school lunch ideas for kindergarten this year.
Here are some of my favorite bento boxes I love packing for my Kindergartener.
- Granola Bento Box: yogurt, chopped fruit, granola topping, dried fruit
- Deli Meat Roll up Bento Box: Meat rolled up with cheese, pretzels, cucumber slices
- Breakfast Bento Box: Eggos, fruit, bacon, dry cereal
- Fresh Garden Bento Box:Half a sandwich, snap peas, hummus and pretzels, bell peppers
- Mexican Food Bento Box: Mexican Rice, black bean, avocado, cheese quesadilla
- Peanut Butter and Jelly Bento Box: Peanut Butter and Jelly cut into circles, cheese cubes, cut up fruit
- Rainbow Bento Box: Cheerios, purple or blue trix yogurt, multiple pieces of fruit of different colors. (Kiwi, strawberries, mandrain oranges, blueberries, blackberries)
- Apple and Peanut Butter Bento Box: Apples cut into rings covered with peanut butter, mixed nuts, white chocolate chips, mixed fruit
School Lunch Ideas for Teens
Teens need to make sure they are eating a healthy balanced diet due to their energy needs and to meet the calorie count they need to make up for all the activities they are involved in. Finding good protein sources and whole grain products to add in their lunchbox. Whole grain products contain more fiber and will give your teen more nutrients and allow them to stay fuller longer.
Here is a list of great proteins your teen would love that you could start adding to their daily lunch.
- Black Beans
- Nuts (Cashews, Peanuts, Almonds)
- Cheese sticks
- Boiled Eggs
- Grilled Chicken Strips
- Greek Yogurt
Here are a list of some whole grain foods you can add to your teens lunch:
- Whole wheat pasta
- Brown rice
- Dry whole grain cereal
- Oatmeal Bars
- Whole Grain Snack Crackers
- Peanut Butter and Jelly on Whole Wheat Bread
- Oatmeal Raisin cookies
- Whole Grain PRetzels
Teens should be eating 3 to 6 whole grain servings each day and by adding from the list above to your teens lunchbox daily you can help them reach their whole grain servings they need each day.
What other school lunch ideas do you have that your kids love to eat at school? Share in the comments below!