Don’t sweat school lunch! Get fresh ideas from our huge list of healthy, simple, and packable lunches.
Packing a school lunch: how hard can it be? Slap together a sandwich, add a piece of fruit and some baby carrots, and you’re done. Easy, right? At least in September, it’s that easy.
But a month or two into the school year, packing lunches starts to feel like a slog. The food starts to come back uneaten. Your kids are complaining about their umpteenth turkey sandwich on wheat. And most troubling of all, there’s no end in sight.
Don’t sweat it. And avoid the lunch-packing burnout with our huge list of packable school lunch ideas to keep you ticking all year long.
Before we get to the list, we’ve got two tips for packing lunches:
First, we recommend including a fruit and a veggie with every packed lunch. Consider rounding out the lunch ideas below with easy options like whole fruits, baby carrots, frozen edamame, or cherry tomatoes.
Second, try packing lunches the night before school. Trust us: you’ll be able to make quick use of dinner leftovers in the evening time. And you’ll free up precious time in the morning.
Now, to the lunches!
50 Packable School Lunch Ideas
- Cream cheese and deli meat pinwheels.
- Tomato soup in a thermos with grilled cheese
- Kid-friendly green salad topped with chopped eggs and/or deli meat
- Veggie-packed Pizza Rolls
- Muffins with a cheese stick
- Waffle sandwiches with cream cheese and raisins, or PB and J
- “Finger Food” lunch: trail mix, cheese cubes, and raw veggies
- Egg salad sandwich
- Lemony Quinoa with Spinach, Feta, and Beans
- Bean and cheese burritos
- Tuna and crackers
- Homemade “Luncheables” with crackers, meat, cheese, a fruit, and veggie
- Quick pita pizza
- Egg and cheese sandwich on a whole wheat roll
- Pasta salad
- Peanut butter and jelly on leftover pancakes
- Egg cups
- Chicken nuggets
- Cold bean salad with vinaigrette and tortilla chips
- Pasta and meat sauce in a thermos
- Leftover Butternut Squash Soup in a thermos.
- Almond butter and honey sandwich
- Cheese quesadillas with guacamole
- Pizza kebabs
- Homemade “Uncrustables”
- Ham and cheese inside leftover crepes
- Meatballs on toothpicks
- Cold sesame noodles and veggies
- Black bean and turkey salad
- Chicken salad wrap
- Veggie Lunch Wrap
- Yogurt and granola
- Turkey, cheese, and spinach on a bagel
- Banana bread with a hard-boiled egg
- Quick Mac and Cheese in a thermos
- Pita filled with hummus and shredded cheese
- Rice cakes with nut or seed butter
- Spring rolls
- A thermos of chili
- “Bistro Box” with fruit, veggies, cheese, crackers, and hummus
- Buffalo Chicken Wrap
- English muffin pizzas
- Lunchbox Taco Salad
- A thermos of Homemade Spaghettios
- Apple and cheddar grilled cheese
- Tuna salad in a whole wheat hot dog bun
- Brown rice balls
- Cucumber and cream cheese sandwiches
- The easiest packed lunch of all: leftovers from dinner