50 Packable School Lunch Ideas

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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.

Second, try packing lunches the night before school

Now, to the lunches!

50 Packable School Lunch Ideas

  1. Cream cheese and deli meat pinwheels.
  2. Tomato soup in a thermos with grilled cheese
  3. Kid-friendly green salad topped with chopped eggs and/or deli meat
  4. Veggie-packed Pizza Rolls
  5. Muffins with a cheese stick
  6. Waffle sandwiches with cream cheese and raisins, or PB and J
school lunch idea waffles and peanut butter jam
  1. “Finger Food” lunch: trail mix, cheese cubes, and raw veggies
  2. Egg salad sandwich
  3. Lemony Quinoa with Spinach, Feta, and Beans
  4. Bean and cheese burritos
  5. Tuna and crackers
  6. Homemade “Luncheables” with crackers, meat, cheese, a fruit, and veggie
  7. Quick pita pizza
  8. Egg and cheese sandwich on a whole wheat roll
  9. Pasta salad
pasta salad lunch idea
  1. Peanut butter and jelly on leftover pancakes
  2. Egg cups
  3. Chicken nuggets
  4. Cold bean salad with vinaigrette and tortilla chips
  5. Pasta and meat sauce in a thermos
  6. Leftover Butternut Squash Soup in a thermos.
  7. Almond butter and honey sandwich
  8. Cheese quesadillas with guacamole
pizza kebabs lunch idea
  1. Homemade “Uncrustables” 
  2. Ham and cheese inside leftover crepes
  3. Meatballs on toothpicks
  4. Cold sesame noodles and veggies
  5. Black bean and turkey salad
  6. Chicken salad wrap
  7. Veggie Lunch Wrap
veggie wrap lunch idea
  1. Yogurt and granola
  2. Turkey, cheese, and spinach on a bagel
  3. Banana bread with a hard-boiled egg
  4. Quick Mac and Cheese in a thermos
  5. Pita filled with hummus and shredded cheese
  6. Rice cakes with nut or seed butter
  7. Spring rolls
  8. BLT
  9. A thermos of chili
  10. “Bistro Box” with fruit, veggies, cheese, crackers, and hummus
  11. Buffalo Chicken Wrap
  12. English muffin pizzas
  13. Lunchbox Taco Salad
  14. A thermos of Homemade Spaghettios
  15. Apple and cheddar grilled cheese
  16. Tuna salad in a whole wheat hot dog bun
  17. Brown rice balls
  18. Cucumber and cream cheese sandwiches
  19. The easiest packed lunch of all: leftovers from dinner
veggies and hummus in pita lunchbox


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