Fun Ideas to Kick Off Back-to-School Lunches

3 years ago

The worst part about returning to school is returning to the lunch time struggle. Every morning, we look through the pantry and refrigerator, trying to find something for the kids to bring to school. It doesn't help that my twins are picky eaters, and it seems like the only things they enjoy eating requires heating in a microwave.

We also don't have a lot of time in the morning to make elaborate meals. I've been spending the summer months rounding up some cool ideas for back-to-school.

Image: Steve Depolo via Flickr

Salad in a Jar

I am more than a little bit in love with the whole salad-in-a-jar thing. I first encountered it on Pinterest, and the pictures are always so pretty that they make me want to eat vegetables. Plus, you can pack a few at a time and have lunch set up for most of the week on Sunday night.

  • How to Pack Your Salad: This post with 30 salad recipes also teaches you how to pack the salad so nothing gets soggy.
  • Mason Jars 101: This post also has a lot of good advice for packing salads ahead of time as well as fun salad ideas.
  • Greek Salads in a Jar: Easy Greek salads that you can grab and go.
  • Spinach Apple Salad: I love this idea of combining fruits and vegetables into one salad.

DIY Oodles of Noodles

Why would you ever buy Oodles of Noodles again when you can make your own noodle soups and salads and tailor them to your tastes?

DIY Lunchables

Lunchables are very convenient, but they're not really vegetarian-friendly. I've been hunting down DIY Lunchable recipes so they fit my childrens' palates.

  • Pac Man: Totally cute Pac Man-themed lunch!
  • Halloween Themed: Use Halloween cookie cutters to shape the bite-sized pieces into ghosts and bats.
  • Winter Themed: Similarly, you can use snowflake cookie cutters on a peanut butter sandwich to give it a festive feel.

Off-the-Beaten-Path Sandwiches

If I'm going to pull together a sandwich in the morning, it needs to be quick. These sandwiches can be prepped the night before and then slapped together quickly. They also look like they'll hold up well sitting in a lunch bag for a few hours.

  • Green Sandwich: I love the idea of using mashed avocados as the spread. It really does sound like a salad on bread.
  • Baked Pizza Sandwich: This looks really good, and if you make it the night before, it can come to room temperature in the lunch bag.
  • Hummus Sandwich: This sandwich looks so pretty. It feels a little more festive than our usual plain, old peanut butter.

Nut Butters

We don't have a peanut allergy in our house (knock on wood), but we've still been making our way through various nut butters including almond and soynut butter for a little variety.

Breakfast for Lunch

When in a hurry, I've been known to throw a few pancakes in a bag and provide a little maple syrup in a container for dipping. Also good on the go? Leftover waffles and hard-boiled eggs.

What are some of your favourite creative things to pack in a school lunch?

Melissa writes Stirrup Queens and Lost and Found. Her novel about blogging is Life from Scratch.

More from health

Health & Wellness
by Katie Smith | 11 hours ago
Health & Wellness
by Laura Bogart | 2 days ago
Health & Wellness
by Krissy Brady | 2 days ago
Health & Wellness
by Elizabeth Yuko | 2 days ago
Health & Wellness
by Elizabeth Yuko | 2 days ago
Health & Wellness
by Sara Lindberg | 3 days ago
Health & Wellness
by Caitlin Flynn | 3 days ago
Health & Wellness
by Elizabeth Yuko | 3 days ago
Health & Wellness
by Katie Smith | 4 days ago
Health & Wellness
by Brianne Hogan | 4 days ago
Health & Wellness
by Ashley Jankowski | 5 days ago
Health & Wellness
by Elizabeth Yuko | 5 days ago
Health & Wellness
by Elizabeth Yuko | 5 days ago
Health & Wellness
by Jen Jones Donatelli | 5 days ago
Health & Wellness
by Caitlin Flynn | 6 days ago
Health & Wellness
by Caitlin Flynn | 6 days ago
Health & Wellness
by Katie Smith | 8 days ago
Health & Wellness
by Charlotte Andersen | 8 days ago