Kids Tips

10 New School Lunch Ideas

school lunch ideas

It’s been awhile since I’ve shared packed lunch ideas, and given that we’re almost to Spring Break – I think it’s high time!

Below are 10 of the lunches I’ve packed for Lucy lately.

You might notice they’re a little low on veggies, a little high on refined carbs, and don’t include any mixed dishes. Well, that’s because Lucy…

  • Is more of a veggie-eater at dinner time, so I don’t send her with tons of veggies at lunch time (when I do, they often come back home uneaten) and instead amp them up later in the day.
  • Is really into white carbs right now (Who isn’t?). I’d love for her to eat more sprouted, in-tact grains, but I don’t have the energy for Carb Wars at the moment.
  • Loves cheese and yogurt. These are her favorite (or only?) sources of protein, along with the occasional beans.
  • Doesn’t care for foods when they’re mixed together. Sigh.

Rather than fight the above, I’m just going with it. I notice that when I don’t make a big deal out of stuff, it tends to taper off and she starts trying new foods again or eating more of a variety. In the meantime I’m continually offering lots of veggies, plant-based proteins, and new combinations whenever I can.

What school lunch foods have your kids been loving?

school lunch ideas

Nature’s Path flax waffle with butter, mango, strawberries, and a Colby jack cheese stick.

healthy school lunch

Annie’s Shells with White Cheddar, organic/fair trade golden tomatoes, pink lady apple slices, Pamela’s fig cookie.

healthy school lunch

Olive bread with butter, raspberries, golden tomatoes, organic string cheese, Stonyfield Greek & Chia yogurt.

easy school lunches

Seaweed snack, pear slices, YoBaby vanilla yogurt, honey wheat pretzel sticks.

easy school lunches

Ham & cream cheese wrap, organic kefir pouch, purple carrots, orange slices.

easy school lunches

Pita bread with homemade pesto for dipping, almonds & pink yogurt raisins, white beans, strawberry slices.

easy school lunches

Cream cheese & honey sandwich, Fork in the Road ham, Bosc pear slices, trail mix.

easy school lunches

Annie’s mac & cheese, trail mix, grapefruit slices, white beans with olive oil, rainbow carrot “coins.”

easy school lunch ideas

Applegate turkey, Colby cheese, strawberry slices, snap peas & tomatoes, pita bread stars with hummus & olive tapenade.

easy school lunches

Heart-shaped quesadilla, refried beans, brown rice, raspberries, Honest Kids drink (b/c it was so hot out!).


  • Allison
    March 10, 2015 at 7:29 pm

    Great post! My daughter is loving hummus with veggies and whole wheat pita chips. My son is in more of a pb&j rut. I like your tapenade idea! Bet it would be good in a sandwich with 1/2 cream cheese 1/2 tapenade. Your post also reminds me there are more lunch veggies besides carrots and celery! Thanks!

  • christa gadola
    March 11, 2015 at 8:26 am

    you are THE BEST mom! lucy (and ben) is so lucky!

  • Sonali- The Foodie Physician
    March 11, 2015 at 2:03 pm

    Thanks for all the great ideas! Sienna will be starting preschool in the fall so these will really come in handy. Happy birthday 🙂

  • Amelia Winslow
    March 12, 2015 at 12:58 pm

    I personally think preschool lunches are really fun to pack. When you can pack little nibbles of lots of different foods, it’s easy and kiddos seem to love it!

  • Amelia Winslow
    March 12, 2015 at 12:59 pm

    <3 Thank you, Christa!

  • Amelia Winslow
    March 12, 2015 at 1:01 pm

    Thanks, Allison! Lucy loves olives and I think your cream cheese & tapenade idea would be a big hit! Thanks for the idea 🙂

  • E.M.
    April 7, 2015 at 4:19 pm

    I want these lunches for myself- so yummy! Just wondering- does the school warm up foods like mac & cheese or does she eat it cold? Also- things like ham don’t get too warm in the lunch box? Thanks! 🙂

  • Amelia Winslow
    April 8, 2015 at 9:31 pm

    Yes, the teachers warm up the foods that are normally served warm. I guess in preschool since they eat in the classroom they can! Many elementary & middle schools do have microwaves. As for keeping foods cold, I put a big ice pack in her lunchbox everyday to keep food cold.

  • E.M.
    April 9, 2015 at 10:45 am

    Thanks for the reply!!

  • Carleigh
    April 9, 2015 at 9:23 pm

    More awesome ideas– thank you!!!

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