If you need some school lunch ideas that are quick to make, easy to pack, kid-approved, I’ve got some for you today!
These are all flexible enough to swap ingredients -like ham for turkey- to accommodate for taste preferences and use up what you have on hand. I’ve been sharing school lunch ideas on the internet since 2011 and wrote an entire cookbook dedicated to school lunches, The Best Homemade Kid’s Lunches on the Planet, so it’s safe to say that I’m full of lunch ideas to eat at home or at school.
If you love visuals, this video is like a visual menu for some of the easy cold lunch ideas you can pack for school.
See, I’m all about keeping lunches easy, achievable and tasty enough that kids will eat them!
If coming up with nutritious kid-friendly lunches daily has become a daunting task, my lunch and dinner meal plans make have been helping thousands of parents for years make delicious school lunches and dinners.
Now, if you need a quick dinner idea for tonight save this post.
All meal plans include a meal-prep sheet to get organized in the kitchen, the recipes, a full meal plan, and a completed shopping list.
I love my meal plans so much that I don’t think any mom should face this school year without them, so download a free week of my lunch and dinner meal plan so you can try it for yourself.
Got your free plan? Perfect. Now, let’s get started with today’s school lunch inspiration!
Best School Lunch Ideas
The best school lunches are filling, tasty and make sure the lunchbox comes home empty.
All lunches have a “main dish” and then the “sides.” Let’s work through some of the top ideas for the “main dish” part of the lunchbox.
- Taco Egg Cups
- Tortilla Pizza
- BLT Salad Lunchbox
- Homemade Uncrustables
- Copycat Chickfila Nuggets
- Gluten-Free Fish Sticks
- Egg Roll in a Bowl
- Bell Pepper Nachos
- Grilled Cheese – 5 ways + how to pack it
- No-Mayo Egg Salad
- Greek Flatbreads
- Parmesan Zucchini Savory Waffles
- Pizza Pasta Salad
- Apple Quesadillas
School Snack Ideas
You can use these tasty snacks as sides for the main lunch, or as “sides” or bonus snacks if your children have snack time at school. Here are some of our favorites.
- Spinach Bites – They’re cheesy & Delicious!
- Broccoli Tater Tots – hidden veggies!
- Zucchini Chips -hidden veggies!
- Homemade Doritos -much healthier!
- Strawberry Fruit Leather – easy to make!
- Banana Chips – so addictive
- Fruit & Yogurt Parfait – extra protein!
- Cheese Straws – hard to pass up!
Thermos Lunch Ideas
One of the best ways to pack a lunch so that it stays hot and delicious all day is in a thermos. Grab one of my favorite lunchbox thermoses here, and then you start packing these healthy and delicious lunches for your kids too.
- No-Bake Lasagna
- Tomato Soup & Grilled Cheese Dippers
- Chicken Noodle Soup
- Teriyaki Chicken Bowls
- Creamy Tortellini Soup
Because Everything goes better with dip! Try one of these healthy dip recipes as a companion for your child’s next lunchbox.
- Homemade Ketchup
- 5 Minute Ranch Dressing
- Greek Hummus
- Edamame Hummus
- Alfredo Sauce
- Pineapple Salsa
- 7 Layer Dip Cups
School Lunch Ideas for Kids + Avocado, Bacon & Cheese Pinwheels
Tired of trying to find school lunch ideas your kids actually want to eat? Here are the BEST recipes that are nutritious, simple and 100% kid-approved.
- Yield: 8 pinwheels 1x
- Category: lunches
- 1 8-inch flour tortilla
- ¼ avocado, mashed
- 2 slices (15 g) bacon, cooked and crumbled
- 2 tablespoons (15 g) of cheddar cheese
- 2 teaspoons (10 g) mayonnaise
- In a small bowl, mash avocado and mix with mayonnaise.
- Place flour tortilla on a flat surface and spread the mayonnaise avocado mixture evenly throughout the flour tortilla.
- Top with crumbled bacon and shredded cheese.
- Roll tortilla tightly. Cut tortilla roll in half, and then into 1-inch pieces.
- Serving Size: 8 pinwheels
- Calories: 457
- Sugar: 0.6g
- Sodium: 784.mg
- Fat: 32g
- Saturated Fat: 9g
- Trans Fat: 0.2g
- Carbohydrates: 31.2g
- Fiber: 3.9g
- Protein: 12.9g
- Cholesterol: 36.7mg
Keywords: school lunch ideas, easy school lunches, lunch for school, what to eat for lunch, lunchbox inspiration
Special School Lunch Ideas
If you are working with special dietary needs, I have you covered. You can always browse my recipe index and search by your particular dietary need OR, I’ve pulled together a few of. the top lunch ideas for a few of the main lunch restrictions I’m frequently asked about. Grab these lunch ideas below.