Better School Lunch Ideas for the Entire Year

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The Best Back to School Lunchbox Ideas

Are you planning, preparing, and scrounging the internet for school lunch ideas for back to school this year? School lunches can become mundane awfully quick.

With 180 days of lunches to pack you’re wise to be looking for new ideas.

This list is loaded with hundreds of healthy school lunch ideas made with real food so that you will have the resources all in one place, to prepare you for the entire school year.

school lunch ideas for back to school

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What is a healthy lunch for school?

A healthy school lunch is comprised of a balanced meal featuring real foods. Avoid most pre-packaged and processed foods and lean toward a Bento Lunch Box type meal.

What do you put in your child’s lunch box?

Choose whole foods in a variety of colors for the most nutritional diversity. A healthy school lunch will contain vegetables and/or fruits, protein, healthy carbohydrates, and a nutritious sweet treat.

By creating a balanced and creative school lunch (including a healthy dessert) your child will be less likely to trade it for junk food that is readily available from friends.

How to make school lunches easier?

Creating school lunches day after day can quickly become mundane and tiresome. The school year is long and exhausting for parents as much as their kids!

Waking early, making school lunches, driving to school, picking up and heading to extra curricular activities, dinner, homework, and a bedtime routine. 5 days a week are busy from sun up, until sun down.


To make creating school lunches easier, more enjoyable, and more well liked by your kids there are some actionable steps you can take!

1. Involve the kids in shopping for their foods.

Kids’ tastes and preferences change week to week. It is much more time-consuming to go shopping with kids, but they are a lot more likely to actually eat their lunches when they have some say in what goes into them.

2. Involve the kids in making their lunches.

If you involve your children in more than just making lunch choices at the store but also in creating their lunches, the process becomes much easier. Allow them to search on Pinterest or Google (or come back to your bookmark of this page).

Perhaps they could fill plastic baggies with snacks. Or even build a sandwich or wrap. Any time a child is more engaged in the creation of their meal, they are more likely to consume it. In addition, you will be instilling healthy eating habits as you spend this time together.

3. Have a solid organization plan for making school lunches.

There are many ways to keep your lunches organized. Organization in the fridge, as well as in the cabinets goes a long way. Mornings are often rushed and having everything set up and organized is a huge sanity saver. Here are some of my best tips for keeping back to school lunches fast, fun, and organized that we use at home.


How to organize school lunches for easy preparation.

1. Color Coded Bento Boxes

Bento boxes are a phenomenal way to keep a meal clean and organized in a lunchable type fashion. This cute set is perfect for creating meals for the whole family. Each can pick their favorite colors of bpa free, dishwasher and microwave safe bento boxes to ensure smooth mornings.

2. Color Code Your Pantry

Fruit and veggies snacks in one color, protein packed snacks in another, sweet treats in a different color. Imagine the ease when your kids are involved in packing their own school lunches and you can simply say, “Pick one orange and one green snack.”

3. Organize Lunches and Snacks in Clear Plastic Containers

Keeping healthy snacks and main courses for school lunches in snack bags in clear containers in the fridge makes for easy organization and readily available choices.

When you take a little time and money to set yourself up for organization for the upcoming school year, continually creating healthy school lunches day after day becomes immensely simplified! You might even begin to enjoy it.

RELATED: Back to School Lunch Ideas 2017 Edition

                     100 Cold School Lunch Ideas to Please Even Picky Eaters

Now that you’re organized and prepared o build healthy school lunches let’s see:

100’s of Better School Lunch Ideas

1. Back to School Lunch Ideas for Kids

back to school lunch ideas for kids

Back to School Lunch Ideas for Kids from Modern Honey

This is a great list of back to school lunch ideas that are all healthy and delicious. There are 10 different easy lunchbox ideas to keep it fun, healthy, and delicious! Plus an awesome printable option!


2. Practical School Lunch Ideas (Cold and Hot)

school lunch ideas

Practical School Lunch Ideas from Natasha’s Kitchen

A wonderful breakdown of how to pack a healthy and unique school lunch with a large list of simple ideas. Once again, there’s a free printable!

I think we should all make go to school lunch binders this year. Every day you feel stuck (because by January we are all out of ideas!) just flip to a new page!


3. 30+ Delicious Back To School Recipes for Lunch Boxes

30 back to school lunch box ideas

Over 30 Back to School Lunchbox Ideas from Simplify Create Inspire

This is an all encompassing delicious roundup of ideas you will adore! My personal favorite is the “sushi sandiwich rolls.” The most creative way to switch up a typical sandwich to create something new and fun. What your kids are really reaching for.

But this roundup doesn’t stop there. It’s loaded with great lunchbox ideas ranging from tasty muffins and bread to delectable bakes sneaking in veggies in creative ways!


4. Best School Lunch Ideas for Kids

Best School Lunch Ideas for Kids from Kitchen Fun with my 3 Sons

This is a huge roundup post that I had to include because it has some extremely cute and creative lunches I haven’t seen before, as well as tons of epic lunch organization hacks. You’re sure to find some ideas you like here as well as a perfect organization plan for your 2019!


5. 100 Days of Real Food School Lunches

100 days of real food100 days of real food

School Lunches from 100 Days of Real Food

I have come across an absolutely epic resource for parents! This website is complete with blog, books, and recipes with an entire section devoted to school lunches! You can sort them by dietary restrictions or keyword and there are currently 276 different options. Bookmark this one.


6. Healthy Wrap Lunch Box Ideas for Kids

back to school lunch ideas 1 week of healthy wrap recipes

Healthy Wrap Lunch Box Ideas from Vigor it Out

Sandwiches can get boring quickly. It is really easy to spice up those lunches by creating healthy wraps! This post has such versatile flavor options. There are savory, sweet, crunchy, and smooth wrap recipes to tempt every palate.


7. School Lunch Ideas

school lunch ideas for your bento box

School Lunch Ideas from Mama Natural

Mama Natural has created 30 simple and delectable school lunch ideas for you! That’s a month and a half with never serving the same meal twice. Good-bye boring PB & J! Not only is this post loaded with enough ideas to get you all the way to mid October, but she also shares wonderful tips and tricks for making school lunches more easy and enjoyable.


8. 41 Quick and Easy School Lunch Ideas to Pack for Your Kids

quick and easy school lunch ideas

Quick and Easy School Lunch Ideas from Bon Appetite

This inspiring roundup claims to be quick and easy. I actually find the recipes to be a bit more complicated and gourmet than quick and easy. However, they all look absolutely amazing! To bring out your inner chef and for the ultimate inspiration, give this list of 41 school lunch ideas a look. It may make it even simpler to create only one lunch for kids and parents this way.


9. How to Make Homemade Uncrustables

homemade uncrustables school lunch idea

Homemade Uncrustables the Easiest School Lunch Ever by Simply Well Balanced

This is an absolutely novel idea that simplifies school lunch beyond what I thought possible! This clever gal makes sandwiches (and the fun uncrustable kind) only once a month. For a truly unique idea for those rushed school mornings it will pay off the have this recipe in your arsenal.

back to school lunch b ox ideas

What family food recipes and tips are you looking for now? Are you already thinking about the holidays? Cool weather cooking? Let me know in the comments below and please pin this for later!



ingredient replacement guide

Because you don’t have to eliminate your family favorites to move in a healthier eating direction! You simply need to be aware of ingredients and with this substitution guide you can still have all of favorites! Just slightly altered to add in nutrients and eliminate empty calories and bad fats.

healthy snack checklist

With this free printable checklist you will always have ideas for healthy, satisfying, protein packed snack on hand. You deserve more than munching on leftover goldfish and pizza crusts between meals. (I’ve been there!) This healthy snack checklist will ensure that you always have the healthy snack on hand that you and your kids deserve.


The Best Back to School Lunchbox Ideas


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