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12 Make-ahead school lunches

Mary Fetzer is a freelance writer and marketing consultant with a marketing degree from Penn State University and 15 years of international business experience. Mary specializes in writing about parenting, children, pregnancy, college, h...

Cook now to pack later

School mornings are busy enough without fretting over what to give your child for school lunches. Preparing food ahead of time ensures that your child will have something good and healthy to eat at school.
1

Homemade healthy granola bars

Homemade Healthy Granola Bars

Store-bought granola bars are a lunch staple for kids — but they're often loaded with high-calorie sugar and other less-than-healthy ingredients. Instead, pack a nutritious homemade whole wheat granola bar, bursting with almonds, raisins and honey, to give your child a lunch snack you can be proud of.

Get the recipe at Little Chef Big Appetite >>

2

Egg salad sandwich with dill

Egg Salad Sandwich with Dill

Many kids find egg salad sandwiches so comforting. Give this traditional recipe some added zest with green onions, Dijon mustard and tasty herbs. Make the egg salad tonight for tomorrow's lunch and pack the sandwich in a GladWare Entrée container for a convenient grab-and-go option.

Get the recipe at Recipe Doodle >>

3

Asparagus toast with garlicky tomato spread

Asparagus Toast with Garlicky Tomato Spread

Win your kids over with the coolness factor of this asparagus toast. It is really filling and incredibly delicious, which will keep your children from hitting that mid-afternoon slump. This unique dish contains many of the ingredients you likely already have on hand, making it a great option for super-busy days.

Get the recipe at The Crispy Sage >>

4

Peanut butter and jelly muffins

Peanut Butter and Jelly Muffins

PB and J sandwiches are so last year! Skip the white bread and whip up a dozen of these healthy muffins instead. They're made with whole wheat flour and are filled with creamy peanut butter and your child's favorite jelly.

Get the recipe at Little Chef Big Appetite >>

5

Roasted chicken and vegetables

Roasted Chicken and Vegetables

Take some time on a Sunday afternoon to roast a whole chicken and you'll be left with plenty of chicken for easy lunch-making throughout the week. You'll love Jennifer Fontaine's herb-crusted roasted chicken recipe. Refrigerate the roasted chicken until you're ready to add it to a yummy take-to-school lunch, like chicken with vegetables, chicken and pasta or kid-approved chicken wraps.

Get the recipe at MommyHiker >>

6

Rotisserie chicken and pecan salad

Rotisserie Chicken and Pecan Salad

Paul Sidoriak shared a simple, yet mouthwatering, chicken salad recipe on his blog Grilling Montana. Pick up a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store — or use leftover roasted chicken from above — to create this salad that kids will love by itself, on a sandwich or with a side of roasted asparagus.

Get the recipe at Grilling Montana >>

7

Slow cooker chicken tacos

Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos

Tacos for lunch? Kids will love 'em! When boneless, skinless chicken thighs cook all night long with green chilies, salsa and seasonings, the result is tender, mouth-watering chicken that's perfect for taco filling. In the morning, build the taco and put it in a GladWare To Go lunch container. At lunchtime, your child can pour salsa or taco sauce right from the To Go cup!

Get the recipe at Spoonful >>

8

Gluten-free pasta salad

Gluten-Free Pasta Salad

When you have to pack a gluten-free lunch for your child, you don't have time to fuss over ingredients every morning. This make-ahead pasta salad is a simple, delicious solution! And since it uses frozen vegetables, bagged shredded cheese and leftover ham, it's super-convenient to prepare.

Get the recipe at Gluten-Free Family Food >>

9

Paprika cauliflower pita pockets

Paprika Cauliflower Pita Pockets

The Recipe for Success foundation is a non-profit organization that is fighting childhood obesity by changing the way our kids eat. On its What's for Dinner? column, professional chefs and nutritionists share kid-approved recipes that are delicious and nutritious. Your children will be nourished and satisfied with these scrumptious cauliflower pita pockets.

Get the recipe at Recipe for Success >>

10

Chicken, broccoli and almond frittata

Chicken, Broccoli and Almond Frittata

If you're looking to give your child a protein-packed lunch, you've found it! Cassie Celestain experimented for her first frittata recipe and it's a hit that's sure to please even picky eaters. Send kids to school with a container of salsa to pack in even more vegetables!

Get the recipe at True Agape >>

11

Corn and tomato salad

Corn and Tomato Salad

The beauty of the corn and tomato salad recipe from the Wassner Twins' Athlete Food blog is that you can make it ahead of time and there's no cooking involved! Make it as a side dish for your family's evening dinner and send leftovers to school with your child for a scrumptious light lunch.

Get the recipe at Wassner Twins >>

12

Pretzel-crusted chicken

Pretzel-Crusted Chicken

Kids love chicken nuggets and they love pretzels. Putting them together is genius! A crushed pretzel coating gives these nuggets a crunchy texture that kids can't get enough of! Pack them in your child's lunch with a zesty dipping mustard and your kid will be the star of the cafeteria!

Get the recipe >>

More school lunch recipes

Dinners that double as tomorrow's school lunch
Packable salad ideas
8 Dippable lunch box ideas

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