Back to School Lunch and Snack Ideas


Back to school means back to routine. And a regular part of a daily school routine includes packing lunches and preparing after school snacks.

Let’s face it – packing lunch boxes can be a daunting task, and it’s hard to come up with endless ideas for things your child will eat at school – so we did some work for you and came up with 10 creative school lunch ideas that your child will actually look forward to eating! As an added bonus, all of these lunch ideas require little prep work and many of them would also make for a great after school snack.

Check out these simple ideas that are nowhere near boring.

Lunch Time Tips:



You can send your child the most amazing lunch to school, but it they can’t open it up – cue the stress! Realistically, lunch rooms are filled with kids, and waiting for a lunch teacher to help your child open up their lunch items drastically cuts down on the time they have to actually eat their food. Be sure to give your child time to practice opening their packages at home by packing a school lunch (even though you aren’t going to school on this trial run day) so they can learn how to open their own food items and gain independence before they are in the lunch room.

Work Together

Involve your child as much as you can in packing (at least parts) of their own lunch. Grab two baskets – one for the pantry and one for the fridge, and fill them with prepackaged side items that your child can add to their main course. Kids love to help – and getting them involved in packing lunch is an easy way to encourage independence and responsibility.  

Add an Encouraging Note

Add a little love to your child’s day by leaving a note inside their lunch box! Grab a pad of Post-It’s, and spend 15 minutes writing notes on each Post-it in the stack. Each pad of Post-It notes contains 100 pieces of sticky paper – so 15 minutes of work can give you 100 days worth of lunch notes ready to go.


Yummy Lunch Ideas:


Peanut butter and jelly sushi rolls

Spread peanut butter and jelly on a large flour tortilla. Place a peeled banana on top of the peanut butter and jelly and roll it up. Cut the roll up into smaller circles to look like “sushi” slices.

Cut a regular sandwich with cookie cutters

Make your child’s favorite sandwich but cut it into a fun shape using a cookie cutter.

Skewer cheese cubes, lunch meat, and cherry tomatoes

Everything is more fun to eat on a stick right? Skewer a sandwich without the bread.

Apple and chess quesadillas

This may sound like a strange combo, but it is absolutely delicious! Simply add thin apple slices inside a standard cheese quesadilla. It’s really yummy and a great way to sneak in more fruit.

Make your own tacos

Here’s a DIY Lunchable idea – pack some tortilla chip scoops, diced chicken, and any other taco toppings your child might like into separate compartments. At lunch your child can assemble their own “tacos” using the tortilla scoops in place of the shells.

Make your own pizza

Another DIY Lunchable idea – pack your child with an English muffin or bagel, a small container of pizza sauce, cheese, and any other toppings. At lunch time they can make their own mini pizzas.

Turkey, cheddar, and apple sandwiches

Swap the bread for apple slices! Simply place a slice of turkey lunch meat and cheddar cheese in between two apple slices.

Fruit and yogurt parfait

Have your child help you make a yummy fruit and yogurt parfait using Greek yogurt, berries, chia seeds, and granola.

Grilled cheese sticks

Make a grilled cheese sandwich, but cut the cooked sandwich into strips (easy for dipping). Send your child with some tomato soup or marinara sauce to dip the grilled cheese strips into.

Breakfast for lunch

I don’t know about you, but breakfast tastes good at any time of day. Pack French toast sticks and a small container of syrup to dip them in.

Let us know – what are some packed lunch ideas your child loves?

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