As back to school approaches, I find myself dreading coming up with back to school lunchbox ideas. “What the heck am I going to pack in their lunch today?” is one dilemma I find myself in on a regular basis. (I do have a few other back to school tips up my sleeve though!)
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Coming up with a new lunch five times a week can be a little nerve-wracking.
So we’ve come up with a list of ideas for creative and healthy back to school lunchbox ideas that you can send your kid to school with and avoid “I gave them Lunchables again” guilt.
Check out these 7 Back to School Lunchbox Ideas
Bento Boxes for kids
Originally from Japan, bento boxes are a very creative way to serve your child food. There are containers especially made for this purpose like this bento box, or you can even use whatever storage containers you already have such as Tupperware or Rubbermaid.
Bento box food is generally shaped to look like flowers, animals or cartoon characters. The sky is the limit if you’re the super creative type (which I’m not, just for the record). There are plenty of websites and articles dedicated solely to bento box lunches, so that might help. There are a huge variety of ideas out there, be sure to check them out and make your child’s lunch a little more entertaining.
Okay so despite being Italian, I can honestly say that I’ve never sent my kids to school with Pasta at lunch. For one thing, we like our pasta HOT, and they don’t have microwaves for the kids to use where my kids go to school
But pasta is an easy and quick lunchbox idea if your kids will eat it cold. Make a batch early in the week and then load it up with various vegetables and sauces to make many different options. For cold pasta, I like the idea of shaped noodles (maybe spiral or ziti) with an Italian-style dressing, then dressed up with olives, tomatoes, cheese, and what have you. You could even throw in some broccoli if you can get your kids to eat it.
Find a few more cold pasta ideas for lunch here.
Sandwich Ideas for Lunch
Sandwiches are our old standby and as boring as they sometimes get, there are ways to make them fun and fresh for your kids.
The newest things are sandwich cutters, they can turn any kind of sandwich into an amusing meal.
You can store the veggies separately and have your child add them at lunchtime to avoid having a soggy sandwich. There is almost nothing you cannot add between two pieces of bread that does not automatically become delicious. From peanut butter to BLTs, sandwiches filled the lunch boxes of our own childhood and continue to do so for our children.
My kids love using sandwich storage containers like these in their lunches, it keeps their sandwich from getting squished.
Why not turn an old favorite into a new lunch idea for your school-age child? Veggie burritos are easy to make and easy to store…and who doesn’t love easy? Simply add veggies, cheese, sauce, and beans (if your kids will eat them) and then wrap it up.
Your child will never get tired of all the options and combinations available. Check out this grilled veggie burrito recipe from The Pioneer Woman.
Wraps for Kids
My kids aren’t big on veggies, but they do love the idea of wraps. Wraps are pretty much like veggie burritos, minus the veggies! My daughter loves to eat turkey, cream cheese and bacon bits. Another favorite is turkey, Swiss or American cheese, and mayo. (Can you tell we like our turkey around here?)
Soup is another great lunchbox standby. With all the thermoses and container options out there, it’s easy to find something to keep it warm until your child’s lunchtime. Whether it’s a homemade soup like broccoli and cheddar or good old fashioned tomato, it’s great to give your kid something hot to eat, especially on cold days. Add a piece of bread and a few cheese sticks for a healthy, well-rounded meal.
Salad is a great lunch option, and it doesn’t have to be boring. Load it up with cheese, hard boiled eggs, ham, and sunflower 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 even at the big box stores that have special compartments to fit all the components of the salad – even tiny squeeze bottles for the dressing.
With all the options available, there is no reason for your child to get bored with their school lunches. We hope these 7 back to school lunchbox ideas will help you fill up your child’s lunchbox with healthy meals to keep them fueled all day long.
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