A month of kid-approved school lunches – easy & creative ideas!

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Aside from just getting used to Big Brother being gone all day (he’s a 1st grader this year), my biggest source of “back-to-school mom stress” this year was planning for & packing his lunches. My goals for his lunches are moderately healthy (ie. something he would actually eat), sometimes fun/creative, relatively quick & easy to make, and not the same ‘ole pb&j or sandwich day after day. We’re only two weeks in, but so far so good! Between what I’ve already made and the others “on my list”, I’ve got at least a whole month of kid-approved lunches!!A month of school lunch ideas!So, for the past two weeks, here’s a list of Big Brother’s lunches (there’s only 9 because he tried the hot school lunch one day) in the order of the pictures above:

  1. Mini ham & cheese sub sandwich served with sweet potato Pop Chips, carrots & baby dill pickles, and no sugar added natural apple sauce.
  2. Ham & cheese tortilla roll-up (deli ham & cream cheese rolled up on a whole wheat tortilla), with black olives, grape tomatoes, Fig Newtons, and some Cheetos.
  3. “Nacho Bar” – corn chips, plain greek yogurt (or you could use sour cream), black olives, grape tomatoes, and cubed cheddar cheese.
  4. “Breakfast for lunch” – bagel & cream cheese, with a cup of nuts & yogurt raisins, and some yogurt.
  5. Dino-mite lunch (click the link for full details)
  6. “Homemade lunchable” – sliced cheddar, ham cut in squares, Wheat Thins, grape tomatoes, no sugar added natural apple sauce, and a Fig Newton
  7. PB&J bites (make a sandwich and use small cookie cutters to cut out fun shapes) with baby dill pickles, tomatoes, black olives, cheetos, and a Fig Newton.
  8. Star Wars themed lunch (his first day of school request). Full details & free printable lunch notes in this post —> Star Wars lunch
  9. Turbo Snail themed lunch (click the link for full details).

So, you can see those are all in-line with my goals! So far, so good! 🙂 But, I can see where it can definitely be hard coming up with new ideas day after day. And, that’s where all my other creative blogging friends come in! So, here are some other great lunch ideas from around the blogosphere that would be fun to try!

  1. Sandwich Kabobs
  2. Disney Frozen Olaf Themed Lunch
  3. School grade bento
  4. Back to School Themed Bento
  5. ABC lunch
  6. Chemistry experiment lunch
  7. Kids Bear Bento
  8. Lunch with a personality!
  9. Star sandwiches
  10. Lego lunch
  11. Despicable Me Minion Lunch
  12. Out of This World Lunch
  13. Homemade Uncrustables
  14. Piggy Cupcakes
  15. Waffle Sandwich Bites
  16. Banana burritos
  17. PB&J Sushi bites
  18. Submarine Lunch
  19. Ninja Turtles Lunch Idea

Right there, you’ve got about 5 weeks of unique lunch ideas with a good variety! Fun! We’re still experimenting with what works for us at school and different ideas, but I’ll be sure to do another list of ideas sometime soon! In the meantime, if you’d like to spruce up lunch with some fun printables, you can check out these different options:

Also, below is a list of some my favorite lunch-making supplies and the lamintor I use for the lunch box notes (might as well laminate to reuse them!). The con­tain­ers I use for a lot of his lunches (includ­ing the one shown above) are the Easy Lunchboxes. They are my absolute favorite. We’ve had the one set for two years and they are still hold­ing up well!! You can pur­chase on Ama­zon below via my affil­i­ate link:

What are YOUR favorite school lunch ideas?

If you liked this post, you might enjoy:

Disney Bento Lunch IdeasDisney Bento Lunch Ideas

School Lunch Box Ideas
Tips for Adding Variety to School Lunches

Simple Back to School PartySimple Back to School Party

20+ Back to School Make Ahead Breakfast Recipes
Make Ahead Breakfast Recipes – Great for busy school mornings!



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I’m Sara, a mom to three adorable boys living in the Arizona desert. As a former teacher, I love sharing my passions with others. So, have a look around for creative inspiration about cooking, creating, celebrating, traveling with kids, and more everyday mom endeavors!


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20 Responses

  1. How do u handle keeping food cold? Since there’s no fridge and u serve cheese and other things that must remain cold. I don’t want my twin boys to get sick. Thank you.

    1. The containers go with him in an insulated lunch box. We can add an ice pack to it too for lunches that we think need a little extra cold! 🙂

      1. Sara,,,where did you find those containers and what brand are they? Can you please email me your response as well so I don’t miss your response. Thanks so much and great website…!!! 🙂

        1. Hi Stacy,
          It’s listed in the post. Sorry if that wasn’t clear. They are the Easy Lunchboxes and we LOVE them. My husband even takes them for his lunches too! 🙂 You can buy on Amazon – http://amzn.to/1loPBMs

  2. This is absolutely FANTASTIC!!! My son is in all-day, every-day kindergarten and I have been struggling with trying to find somewhat healthy ideas, while making it fun. With the year almost over, I am looking toward next school year already and I now have some great ideas!! Thank you! Thank you!

    1. Hi Monique –
      Cold, yes. He will eat them cold (weird, I know, but he says he likes them). So, they aren’t soggy, because they come out of the refrigerator & straight into his lunch container. He actually hasn’t ever come home with any left, so it was an option that worked for us last year!

  3. Pingback: School Lunch Ideas
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  5. Hi,
    Do you use the cooler bags from easy lunchboxes as well? Looks like you pack yogurt, etc & have no problems with leaks? Other product reviewers say the lids come off if in a lunchbox that will be on its side instead of laying flat. Thanks! I can’t wait to start packing healthy lunches, love your ideas!

    1. Hi Michelle! Thanks so much for the kind words! My son has an inexpensive flat, Star Wars lunchbox (Thermos brand) that he loves and the Easy lunchboxes fit in. Some days I add a flat frozen cool pack, other days I don’t.
      We have haven’t a problem with leaking. Occasionally I will put a rubber band over the lunchbox just in case. And, if I have yogurt in one of the side containers, sometimes I do add a piece of press ‘n seal wrap over that compartment just to help prevent any leakage. The lids still fit well with the cling wrap on there!

      Hope that helps!

  6. Hi I was wondering if someone can help me. I am looking for Dino nuggets? I can’t get them anywhere in St. Johns newfoundland. Anyone know we’re I can get some too?

  7. LOVE the lunch ideas. I struggle with the packing part. They look great when i put them in the box in the mronign but by the time they open it it just looks like a bit of a mess (imagine little boys running from car to class up the stairs/ fling the bags etc and the box gets tossed around!!!) The little sistema boxes are cute bu then occupy so much space in the lunch case (and get lost with so many to handle)

    1. With the Easy Lunchbox containers we use, we really don’t have too much shifting or too much mess. They are the only thing we use and absolutely love them!

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