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Easy School Lunchbox Ideas for Kids

School lunchbox ideas were often a challenge for me when my girls were growing up. I wanted them to be well nourished, but I also wanted them to eat their lunch.

School lunchbox ideas with 2 lunchboxes

It turned into a balancing act and a bit of negotiation. I usually promised I’d give them some chips if they ate their sandwich.

After a while, I figured out that I didn’t have to put the traditional sandwich, veggies, fruit, and chips in their lunchboxes. There were other foods that were just as good, if not better than the same old, same old.

By the way, school lunchboxes come in so many different styles and colors. Get one your kids love, and they’re more likely to eat what’s inside. Check out these Toy Story lunchboxes on Amazon.

Make It to Friday

Now my older daughter has to come up with school lunchbox ideas for her kids. I have to admit she’s doing a better job than I did.

In fact, she seems to have it down to a science. Maybe that’s because she’s super organized in every aspect of her life.

Divided containers with a variety of food for children's lunch
Lunchbox Ideas

She even posted about it on her blog Make It to Friday. Fortunately, my granddaughters like nutritious food.

My daughter puts the kids’ lunches in these divided containers by Ziploc, which are nice. A lot of kids don’t like their foods touching, and this keeps everything all nice and neat.

Another option is the Bento Box that you can get from Amazon. Those links will take you to the products on Amazon.

Super Simple School Lunchbox Ideas

Sometimes the simplest options are the best—especially on those days when you’re in a hurry. It really helps to have prewashed and precut fruit and veggies in the fridge. If you prepare them on Sunday, all you have to do is divvy them out for your kids’ lunches.

Cheese and crackers - school lunchbox ideas
Cheese and Crackers

Your kids might also enjoy some cheese and crackers. Since I have to follow a gluten-free diet, I’ve searched for tasty options.

I’ve discovered some wonderful crackers that even my granddaughters like.

Another thing you can do is make roll-ups using thinly sliced meat, lettuce leaves, and cheese. A lot of kids love roll-ups—especially if you involve them in the process.

It’s super easy—something even tiny hands can do with very little trouble.

Ham and cheese roll-ups - school lunchbox ideas
Ham and Cheese Roll-Ups

These ham and cheese roll-ups are delicious. Put them in a lunchbox with some veggie sticks, some fruit, a handful of chips, and a cookie.

Your kids will give you the biggest hug when they get home from school.

Other items you can roll into thinly sliced meat are pickle spears, olives, and carrot strips. Ask them what they want, and they’re more likely to eat it.

Julia’s Simply Southern Lunchbox Ideas

Julia has some amazing recipes that my husband and I have enjoyed. If you don’t already follow her, check out some of her tasty offerings.

I asked her if she had any school lunchbox ideas. When she sent me a link to her fried bologna sandwich, I felt a little tug at my heart.

This was one of my mother’s favorite foods. It’s southern, it’s basic, and it’s super delicious.

Fried bologna sandwich with mustard, tomatoes, lettuce, and bread - school lunchbox ideas
Fried Bologna Sandwich

Your kids don’t have to know it’s a throwback. In fact, they’ll think you came up with something brilliant when they see it in their lunch. This will be our little secret.

Ham salad in a bowl
Ham Salad

Another delicious school lunchbox idea from Julia’s blog is this ham salad that can be prepared 3 ways.

Once you see this post, you’ll want to try all three. You’ll love it on crackers, as a sandwich filling, and as a salad.

School Lunchbox Ideas from Back to My Southern Roots

Buttermilk biscuits
Buttermilk Biscuits

After you make Julia’s ham salad, you’ll need something to put it on. Try these delicious buttermilk biscuits from my friend Julie’s blog. She has taken country cooking to a whole new level with these melt-in-your-mouth delights.

Texas cowboy cookies on a plate
Texas Cowboy Cookies

Julie is a champion dessert maker. For that reason, I have to share a couple of her treats that your kids will be so happy to see in their lunchboxes.

You’ll love her Texas cowboy cookies! Don’t be surprised when you hear your kids hollerin’, “Yeehaw!” as they walk in the door. It’s also probably a good idea to make extras for their after-school snack.

Muddy Buddies in a bowl
Muddy Buddies

Another treat Julie makes is her scrumptious muddy buddies. Make batches of these in advance so you’ll always have a sweet treat for the lunchboxes.

Since these are so easy to make, you might as well enlist the kids to help out. It’s a fun activity that they’ll always remember.

Delicious Lunchbox Ideas from Miz Helen’s Country Cottage

Even the sound of the phrase “country cottage” warms my heart. Once you taste any of the delicious foods you’ll make from Miz Helen’s recipe box, you’ll be so happy.

Honey-baked chicken on a platter
Honey-Baked Chicken

After serving this honey-baked chicken for dinner, set aside some leftovers for your kids’ lunchboxes. They’ll be delighted as they dig in. And I’m willing to bet they’ll eat every last bite.

Berry Salad

Another tasty treat from Miz Helen is this berry salad. It not only looks appetizing but it is also very nutritious.

You can certainly feel good about giving this to your kids, and they’ll be happy to see it when they open their lunchboxes.

School Lunchbox Ideas from My Recipe Box

Fruit on a skewer next to a bowl of vanilla yogurt
Fruit Kabobs with Yogurt

I’ve always loved fruit, and I made sure my daughters had plenty of it as they were growing up. For that reason, I’d like to recommend adding fruit kabobs with yogurt.

If you’re concerned about your little ones being injured by the skewers, don’t use them. In fact, it’s just as good to dip them into the yogurt by using a fork or even your fingers.

Macaroni salad with celery
Creamy Macaroni Salad

Many kids love macaroni, so give them what they want. This creamy macaroni salad has the perfect combination of chewy pasta, crunchy celery, and a creamy base. Serve it on lettuce or with cherry tomatoes for a pop of color.

Chicken salad sandwich with lettuce on a plate
Chicken Salad Sandwich

Another thing you can put in Julie’s biscuits is this delicious chicken salad. It’s also good wrapped in a large leaf of lettuce. Or you can spread it between slices of bread.

Vegetable soup in a bowl
Homemade Vegetable Soup

If you don’t already have a container that keeps soup warm, check out this Thermos from Amazon.

You’ll need it to pack this delicious and delightful homemade vegetable soup. This is something you can whip up for supper the night before.

And then heat it up and pack it for your kids the next day. The Thermos will keep the soup warm until lunchtime.

More Desserts Ideas for a School Lunchbox

Although most parents want to cut back on the amount of sugar their kids eat, dessert is still fun. It’s a great way to end any meal, and school lunch is no exception. So go ahead and put a little sweet treat in the lunchboxes.

Oatmeal chocolate chip cookie - school lunchbox ideas
Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie

These oatmeal chocolate chip cookies are actually pretty nutritious. In fact, they’re even good to serve for breakfast if you’re in a hurry. So you should feel good about putting it in their lunch.

Flourless peanut butter cookie - school lunchbox ideas
Flourless Peanut Butter Cookie

Another delicious cookie is this flourless peanut butter cookie. Yes, it has sugar, but it also has a lot of protein-packed peanut butter.

There’s no need to feel guilty about putting that in your child’s lunch. One thing you do need to check on is whether or not anyone in your child’s class has a peanut allergy.

If someone does, wait until the kids get home and make it their after-school snack.

Make Lunch Fun

These ideas should give you a good start on making your child’s lunchtime fun. In fact, it’s sort of like finding treasure each time they open their lunchboxes.

Of course, they’ll also need something to carry their lunchbox in, so check out this Jansport backpack or this Amazon Basics backpack. Both are from Amazon.

Note: If you make a purchase from any of the links to products on Amazon, I’ll receive a small commission, but it won’t cost you anything extra.

Please feel free to share!

Marilyn Lesniak

Friday 16th of August 2019

Thank you for sharing at #OverTheMoon. Pinned and shared. Have a lovely week. I hope to see you at next week’s party too!

Miz Helen

Friday 9th of August 2019

What a great post full of ideas to give our kids a really good start to their school year. Thanks so much for including my Honey Baked Chicken and Berry Salad, I really appreciate it and you have a wonderful week! Miz Helen


Friday 9th of August 2019

Hi Miz Helen! The kids will love your delicious recipes and be excited when they see them in their lunchboxes!