Who’s excited for back to school? Who’s looking forward to packing lunches?
Packing lunches doesn’t have to be a horrible chore!
There are trade offs with kids going back to school. You trade messy houses for neater ones. Carefree and idle time for routine and structure. Kids grabbing things to eat from the fridge or pantry for packing lunches. Ugh, sack lunches…how fun.
Do you roll your eyes like me because you have to come up with a new lunch five times a week, for the rest of the school year? What’s a parent to do? Make packing lunches a breeze with these six easy and healthy school lunch ideas that you can send to school with your child.
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Bento boxes are originally from Japan, and they are a very creative way to serve your child food with different compartments. There are containers especially made for this purpose. You can also save on plastic baggies because the containers keep the food divided. Meal Prep Containers 7 Pack, Bento Lunch Boxes are great for prepping lunch ahead of time too!
Bento box food is generally shaped to look like flowers, animals or cartoon characters. The sky is the limit as far as creativity. But you don’t have to go as far as carving a radish into a rose. Simply put a fruit or veggie in one section, sandwich in another, and dessert in the third. My kids also like “homemade Lunchables” where they get meat, cheese, and crackers in their box. Throw in a water bottle or juice box and lunch is done.
Pasta or Noodle Bowls
Pasta and noodle bowls are an easy and quick lunchbox idea. Make a batch early in the week and then load it up with various vegetables and sauces to make many different options. You can pair spaghetti noodles with green peas and parmesan, add broccoli and a simple yet delicious tomato sauce to pasta shells, or mix rice, avocado, bell peppers, tuna and soy sauce together. Left over mac and cheese is great too. For further inspiration checkout these ideas here!
Typically pasta and noodle bowls are an all in one meal because you combine the starch, protein, veggies. Again, no worry about having to package up multiple foods in baggies or plastic wrap. Doing that takes a lot of time. Simply store it all in a great to-go bowl like
Elacra Baby Food Storage Airtight Containers Set, Freezer & Microwave Safe, 6 Pack. Even though these are for baby food they work great for right portion sizes for kids lunches and are leak proof. You know how kids are with swinging their lunch boxes around!
Sandwiches have been an old lunch standby for as long as most of us can remember, but they are not to be scoffed at. There is almost nothing you cannot add between two pieces of bread that does not automatically become delicious.
You pretty much can make a meal out of sandwiches too. Add bananas to peanut butter sandwich. Dice up a variety of veggies to a standard cold cut combo. My son likes to combine cheese, meat, pickles and potato chips.
Keep them fresh by storing any vegetables or other moist food in a separate container, so your child can put it all together directly before consuming it. Add new tastes to expand your child’s palate and prevent boredom, such as wasabi or sriracha mayo.
Why not turn an old favourite into a new lunch idea for your school-age child? Veggie burritos are easy to make and easy to store. What’s not to love about that? Simply choose a type each of beans, veggies, cheese and sauce, and then wrap it up. Your child will never get tired of all the options and combinations available.
Soup is another great lunchbox standby. With all the thermoses and container options out there, it is easy to find something to keep it in, even keeping it warm until being eaten. Simple Modern Rover – 16oz Rover Food Jar is a great leak proof option that fits in a lunch box.
Make soup for dinner and send it to school the next day for an easy lunch. Simply add a piece of bread and a few cheese sticks for a healthy, well-rounded meal.
Salad is a great lunch option, and it does not have to be boring. Load it up with chickpeas, nuts, seeds, and top it off with a healthy dressing for a lunch your child will thank you for. There are now salad storage containers sold like Fresh Salad Container Serving Cup Shaker (Set of 2) that have special compartments to fit all the components of the salad. This set also comes with a salad recipes for extra meal ideas!
Additional Tips to For Easy And Healthy Back-to-School Lunches
- Hot lunches are perfectly okay if you don’t have time to pack a lunch!
- If want to send sack lunches most of the time but need a break look at your schedule and reserve hot lunches for days you’re busy. When I worked out of the home one day a week, those were hot lunch days.
- Reserve one night a week for lunch prep for the week. Put together grab and go items. Make sandwiches ahead of time and put in the freezer. Salads can be stored in containers and stay fresh for several days too!
- If kids are old enough have them help pack lunches.
- To beat the morning rush put lunches together the night before.
- Don’t forget to send your kid’s lunches in fun packs like this or this
With all the options available, there is no reason for your child to get bored with their school lunches. Thanks to a variety of storage options, your child’s lunch can safely wait for lunch break and not even go bad. Fill up your child’s lunchbox with these six easy and healthy school lunch ideas to keep your child fueled all day long.