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10 Lunch Ideas That'll Send Your Kids Off to School With Love

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#1/13:

School lunch ideas

Image: Getty Images/Design: Gabriela Arellano/SheKnows
#1/13:

School lunch ideas

School is here, and that means it's back to routine, homework, and for parents, a lot of school lunches to pack. It can be hard to keep up with kids' ever-changing taste buds, especially when you're trying to keep their meals balanced. Last week, they couldn't get enough of ham sandwiches. This week, they'd like to live exclusively on cookies... we get it. But don't worry. These lunches are tasty and balanced and provide a variety of fruits and vegetables.

We've also made sure they're simple to prepare and pack since the last thing parents need is to spend hours crafting meals that are just going to get tossed around in a backpack. Even if your child has dietary restrictions, this list provides options that can easily be made vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy-free and more. We can't, however, guarantee they won't swap with the kid who brings candy for lunch. You're on your own there.

This post was sponsored by Smucker's® and Jif®.

#3/13:

Pasta salad + cherry tomatoes + string cheese

Images: Getty Images/Design: Gabriela Arellano/SheKnows
#3/13:

Pasta salad + cherry tomatoes + string cheese

Pasta salad can be made in bulk and served as a side dish during weeknight lunches too. And it’s a good place to sneak in more veggies.

#4/13:

Chicken salad wrap + PB&J dip + pretzels

Images: Getty Images/Design: Gabriela Arellano/SheKnows
#4/13:

Chicken salad wrap + PB&J dip + pretzels

For a sweet treat that will keep kids full with hunger-busting fat, try this simple recipe for a PB&J dip from Jif® and Smucker's®. Serve with pretzels for a nice crunch.

#5/13:

English muffin 'pizza' + baby carrots + yogurt dip

Images: Getty Images/Design: Gabriela Arellano/SheKnows
#5/13:

English muffin 'pizza' + baby carrots + yogurt dip

Everyone loves pizza, and you can make the dip sweet or savory depending on your child’s tastes.

#6/13:

Hard-boiled egg + cucumber slices + cheese cubes + crackers

Images: Getty Images/Design: Gabriela Arellano/SheKnows
#6/13:

Hard-boiled egg + cucumber slices + cheese cubes + crackers

Prep hard-boiled eggs, and they keep for up to a week in the fridge. Slice cucumbers the night before or in the morning. Protein, fat, carbs — a quick, simple, balanced meal.

#7/13:

PB&J sandwich + apples + carrots

Images: Getty Images/Design: Gabriela Arellano/SheKnows
#7/13:

PB&J sandwich + apples + carrots

A classic sandwich kids adore that will keep them full and energized.

#8/13:

Quesadilla slices + bell peppers + avocado cubes

Images: Getty Images/Design: Gabriela Arellano/SheKnows
#8/13:

Quesadilla slices + bell peppers + avocado cubes

Try coating the avocado cubes in olive oil or lemon juice to keep them fresh until lunchtime.

#9/13:

Caprese skewers + pretzels + blackberries

Images: Getty Images/Design: Gabriela Arellano/SheKnows
#9/13:

Caprese skewers + pretzels + blackberries

Kids love the “pop” of the skewered cherry tomatoes. You can even try growing the basil at home and letting kids pick the leaves the night before.

#10/13:

Tuna salad + celery + saltine crackers

Images: Getty Images/Design: Gabriela Arellano/SheKnows
#10/13:

Tuna salad + celery + saltine crackers

Kids can have fun piling the tuna salad onto the celery sticks or the saltine crackers.

#11/13:

Salami + provolone + whole-grain crackers + grapes

Images: Getty Images/Design: Gabriela Arellano/SheKnows
#11/13:

Salami + provolone + whole-grain crackers + grapes

If it’s good enough for a dinner party, it’s good enough for a school lunch. Kids can have fun building their own cracker sandwiches.

#12/13:

Hummus + grilled chicken + pita bread + kale chips

Images: Getty Images/Design: Gabriela Arellano/SheKnows
#12/13:

Hummus + grilled chicken + pita bread + kale chips

Chicken and hummus make for a filling lunch that will help keep their brain engaged for the rest of the school day.

#13/13:

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Design: Gabriela Arellano/SheKnows
#13/13:

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