Back to school lunch ideas

Back to school lunch ideas

Back to school lunch ideas

It’s almost time for school to start, which means it’s time to start thinking about back to school lunches! I prefer to pack my daughter a healthy lunch every day instead of having her buy school lunch, but sometimes that is not an option due to time. I try to keep it simple so here are some of my ideas.

Now that my daughter is getting older, I’m encouraging her to help me pack her lunches. I take care of her main dish every morning, and she packs the extras. We’ve made space in fridge specifically for lunch stuff, so it’s very easy. Every morning, she grabs her lunch box and tosses in a fruit, a vegetable, and a snack. She’s also in charge of filling up her water bottle. Then I prepare her main dish and stick her lunchbox in her backpack.

Here are some of our go-to lunch ideas:

Main Dishes:

  • Pasta with sauce
  • Tacos
  • Cheese quesadillas
  • Yogurt & hard boiled eggs
  • Salad with grilled chicken
  • Homemade lunchable
  • Last night’s dinner leftovers


  • Apple slices
  • Banana
  • Grapes
  • Blueberries
  • Applesauce
  • Fruit smoothie


  • Carrot sticks
  • Cucumber slices
  • Celery
  • Edamame
  • Sliced bell peppers
  • Cooked peas and carrots


  • Granola bar
  • Yogurt
  • Crackers with hummus
  • Pretzel sticks
  • Trail mix


Now that I’m a veteran lunch packer, I’ve learned a lot of tips and tricks over the years. I used to pack my daughter sandwiches every day, but then I discovered how amazing Thermos containers are… and then, I discovered this awesome tip from Momables about preheating the Thermos ahead of time so it will keep food warm even longer. Now I pack her all kinds of hot foods knowing they will be nice and hot when she eats lunch! I even sometimes pack her steamed veggies in a thermos container.

I discovered this amazing guide to packing lunches for kids from Rage Against the Minivan and printed it out to hang on our refrigerator as a reminder to both myself and my daughter about what we to pack in her lunch everyday. Another lesson I’ve learned along the way is how important it is to do a little prep work before the week starts. My daughter and I spend a little time on Sunday evening prepping our fruits and veggies and making a plan for the week. And my favorite and newest trick is packing her a green smoothie in her lunch. I had no idea that you could keep a green smoothie cold AND good until lunchtime until I came across this article from Simple Green Smoothies.

So those are all my favorite tips and tricks and back-to-school lunch ideas! If you have any ideas to share, I’d love to hear them! Leave a comment below.