I have fond memories of my brown bag school lunch days – bologna, cheese, and mayonnaise on white bread sandwich, small bag of chips, and fruit was my favorite. As a parent with two children in school, I quickly learned they don’t like the same types of school lunch that I do. We don’t begin the new school year for a few more weeks, but many children are already setting off for their first days around the country. If you’re stumped on what to pack for lunch, here are 25 easy school lunch ideas.
Easy Sandwiches for School Lunch
- Nut Butter + Jelly – if your school doesn’t allow peanut butter, there are alternatives, like sun butter.
- Pita Bread + Hummus + Veggies
- Meat + Cheese Roll-Up
- Bagel + Favorite Condiment (cream cheese, jelly, peanut butter)
- Egg Salad on a Slider Bun
- Chicken Salad Sandwich
- My girls love all of the deli-meat-free sandwiches I am eating in this post!
- Nut Butter + Honey + Banana
- Jelly + Cream Cheese (a kid favorite while I used to be a Nanny)
Don’t forget about HEALTHY snack choices for your school lunchbox. Check out this post: How to Pack a Well-Balanced School Lunch
Thermos Lunch Ideas
If you have a picky eater or child who doesn’t like sandwiches, invest in a thermos. They are so easy to use and the lunch possibilities are endless. Here are some of my daughters’ favorite school lunch ideas for the thermos.
- Turkey Chili
- Chicken Noodle Soup
- Spaghetti + Meatballs (or any type of pasta – raviolis, tortellini, etc.)
- Chicken Nuggets + Dipping Sauce
- Other kid friendly soups, example: Squash Spinach Turkey Sausage Soup, Tortellini Soup
- Grilled Cheese Sandwich (cut into bite size pieces)
- Pizza (cut into strips)
- Breakfast: eggs, waffles, pancakes, bacon – don’t forget a side of syrup!
- Leftover Dinner – Chicken Parmesan, Kid Friendly Chicken Burrito Bowl
Note: To warm a child’s thermos, fill it with hot or boiling water. Put the lid on. Let it sit for 5 minutes while you prepare the rest of lunch and then pour out the water. Once the thermos is warm, quickly add the hot food and tightly secure the lid.
More Easy School Lunch Ideas
- Pasta Salad
- Cheese Quesadilla
- Pita Chips + Hummus
- Tortilla Chips + Salsa + Guacamole
- Sliced Cheese + Crackers
- Breakfast Egg Muffins or Quiche (can be enjoyed cold)
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