Back To School Lunch Box Ideas

Kids Lunch Box Kids Love

Are you sending your child to school with a lunchbox like THIS?

We raise our hats to the talented parents with too much time on their hands. As the summer holidays draw to a welcome close, weary parents nationwide are rejoicing at the prospect of their children are finally heading back to school.

However, can we all just agree this is the most insane school year ever? This year, we’ve started the year distance learning, so we’re all still finding our footing, but one of the things I really LOVE about the start of school is routines. I really love the predictability of routine and our most prominent school routine is school lunch packing.

We are here to take the morning rush a little easier with Back to School Lunch Ideas!

Join me and Oliver, my son who is now a Junior Kindergarten on our journey on making fun and healthy lunch boxes who is now very excited about going to JK this coming month!

We found these 20 totally unique, HEALTHY school lunch ideas for your little ones that they will surely love! They’re easy to make, kids love ’em & you can feel good about what you packed up!

YOGURT AND GRANOLA PARFAIT

Choose a lunchbox that keeps your yogurt contained and cold!

RECIPES TO TRY:

MEATBALLS AND VEGGIES

Don’t forget to add veggies, and whatever fruit is in season.

RECIPES TO TRY:

HUMMUS & PITA DIPPERS

Add a little fresh fruit and your favorite veggies

RECIPES TO TRY:

TURKEY ROLL-UPS

Add a little fresh fruit and your favorite veggies

RECIPES TO TRY:

Cut a little wedge of cheese and wrap some turkey or ham around it, then fasten it with a toothpick. Just roll up the turkey or ham, but you could totally wrap the turkey around pickle slices, bell pepper strips, etc. if you like.

Serve this with a little pickle wedge, some fruit and veggies, and something crunchy, like almond flour crackers, sweet potato chips, or even something like popcorn!

WAFFLES OR PANCAKES

On the side, don’t forget to go with veggies, fruit, and something crunchy. 

RECIPES TO TRY:

I love waffles. My kids are in the same boat!

Use this Mickey Waffle Iron that makes the perfect packable-sized waffles, but you can use any kind you have. Round out the lunch with some fresh fruit, a protein (like a hard-boiled egg or some yogurt), and something fun, like fruit leather or some trail mix.

If you don’t want to pack a syrup or jam since it’s so messy. Instead, you can add flavor to the waffles themselves a bit, or by adding cinnamon or a little extra syrup to the batter or using a flavored waffle (like pumpkin, berry, or gingerbread).

PASTA SALAD

RECIPES TO TRY:

BAGELS & (VEGAN) CINNAMON CREAM CHEESE

On the side, a simple combo of fruits, veggies, and something crunchy (in this case, plantain chips!) makes for a delicious lunch.

RECIPES TO TRY:

Sometimes keeping things interesting is as simple as swapping out bread for bagels. Use them for a bagel sandwich, or schmear them with your favorites–nut or seed butter & honey, a bit of jam, or cream cheese. For a dairy-free version, we like to recommend Kite Hill almond cream cheese mixed with a tiny drizzle of pure maple syrup and a sprinkle of cinnamon. It’s will be sure your favorite too!

FRUIT DIP & DIPPERS!

This is fun, easy school lunch.  Start out with a little fruit dip then pack the rest of the box with ALL the things to dip in it! Sliced apples, fresh strawberries, and some gluten-free graham crackers or animal crackers.

RECIPES TO TRY:

FOR THE DIP: Use 1/2 cup of your favorite plain or vanilla yogurt (dairy or non-dairy). Mix in 1 Tbsp nut or seed butter and 1/4 tsp cinnamon. If your yogurt is unsweetened, you’ll probably want to add a little pure maple syrup (or your favorite sweetener) to taste.

So again, that’s 1/2 cup yogurt + 1 Tbsp nut/seed butter + 1/4 tsp cinnamon + sweetener to taste.

MUFFINS & YOGURT 

Kids love breakfast foods, so this healthy school lunch is a no-brainer. Use your favorite yogurt (dairy or non-dairy), some fresh fruit, a little trail mix, and then some little muffins. You can halve or quarter traditional-sized muffins to fit, or use a mini muffin pan to make mini ones.

The muffins don’t even need liners!

RECIPES TO TRY:

ANTIPASTI SNACK BOX

For extra treats, add chocolate-covered almonds or raisins to go with it.

You can mix and match just about any of the components, but think of this as a little cheese board. 

You could use anything here–salami or pepperoni, ham or prosciutto, cubes or slices of cheese (if it fits your dietary needs), any color of olives, nuts (if they fit your diet), crackers or breadsticks, apples or pears, etc. Then, for a treat, use chocolate-covered almonds or raisins to go with it.

RICE & BEANS (GLUTEN FREE & VEGAN)

It’s a simple combination of rice and beans (you can jazz it up with a spoonful of salsa if your kids like it!) that feels fun and different paired with some fresh, bright sides.

CREAM CHEESE & JAM SANDWICH (GLUTEN FREE & VEGAN)

Use Kite Hill dairy-free almond-based cream cheese and raspberry jam, but you can certainly mix and match different combinations. (You can also make your own dairy-free cream cheese or use the regular stuff if you tolerate dairy!)

WHAT’S IN THE BOX:

  • CREAM CHEESE & RASPBERRY JAM SANDWICH 
  • PLANTAIN “CHIPS” like these
  • KIWI. (Try golden kiwi for variety–it’s awesome!)
  • SLICED BELL PEPPERS

PANCAKES FOR LUNCH! (GF + PALEO-FRIENDLY)

Breakfast for dinner is Kid’s favorite, so why not have breakfast for lunch!? Pop in some yummy pancakes then serves with berry sauce or jam (less messy than syrup!) and some fresh fruit.

WHAT’S IN THE BOX:

  • PANCAKES. Make your favorite gluten-free pancakes or regular ones. (Or paleo ones!)
  • BERRY SAUCE. Thaw some fresh strawberries or raspberries and mash them with a drizzle of honey and a bit of water to thin it out & strain the seeds as needed. It makes a yummy dip!
  • BLUEBERRIES AND MANGO. Mix and match whatever fruit sounds good!
  • CHOCOLATE COVERED RAISINS. SUCH a fun treat! Make homemade or pick up some store-bought ones. Sprouts sells some yummy dark chocolate ones!
  • POPCORN CHIPS OR RICE CAKES. Not totally necessary, but a fun addition if your little one craves something crunchy.

TOMATO SOUP & CROUTONS (GF + VEGAN + PALEO-FRIENDLY)

Croutons take the place of a sandwich to dip and can be made ahead of time. They’re fun to dip or stir in!

WHAT’S IN THE BOX:

  • TOMATO SOUP. 
  • CROUTONS.
  • APPLE CHIPS.
  • ENERGY BITES.

A “DIPPING BOX” (GF + VEGAN-FRIENDLY, PALEO-FRIENDLY)

Gluten Free Dairy Free School Lunch with Dairy Free Ranch, Fresh Veggies, Popcorn, Strawberries, and Chocolate Covered Almonds

Sometimes kids just want something snack-y or fun. This healthy school lunch is PERFECT for something fun, and it’s still a pretty well-rounded meal.

WHAT’S IN THE BOX:

  • RANCH DRESSING.
  • VEGGIES TO DIP. Celery, carrots, baby tomatoes, cucumber slices, bell peppers–whatever!
  • POPCORN. Did you know popcorn is a whole grain? It is! You can serve it plain, buttered, salted, or flavored. Whatever you like! Or, swap in some cassava chips or almond flour crackers for a paleo option.
  • STRAWBERRIES. They’re always a kids favorite and hold up well in a lunchbox.
  • CHOCOLATE COVERED ALMONDS for a fun treat. Target sells these ones without dairy and Trader Joe’s and Sprouts also have options.

YOGURT WITH BERRY SAUCE (GF + VEGAN + PALEO-FRIENDLY)

Gluten Free Vegan School Lunch with Dairy Free Yogurt, Berry Sauce, Fresh Berries, Carrot Chips and Granola Bar from One Lovely Life

Kids love mixing things up themselves, so a little plain or vanilla yogurt with some homemade berry sauce always feels fun to them. Put the yogurt in the thermos compartment, then make a berry sauce for them to swirl in. Fun, delicious, easy! (The perfect healthy school lunch!)

WHAT’S IN THE BOX:

  • PLAIN OR VANILLA YOGURT. 
  • BERRY SAUCE. Thaw some frozen raspberries with a tiny drizzle of honey and a splash of water and give it a rough mash. Or, puree and strain the seeds out with a sieve for a smooth version, as pictured.
  • FRESH BERRIES. Blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries. Whatever looks good!
  • CARROT CHIPS. These carrot chips are literally just carrots and sea salt!
  • GRANOLA BAR. 

MUFFIN MANIA (GF + VEGAN-FRIENDLY + PALEO-FRIENDLY)

Gluten Free Dairy Free Muffins School Lunch with Pretzels, Trail Mix, and Cherries

Who is a mega muffin fan over here? Pair it with some fruit and other munchies, and your muffin lover will be a happy camper!

WHAT’S IN THE BOX:

  • SOME MUFFINS! 
  • GLUTEN-FREE PRETZELS. A perfect little crunch to go on the side!
  • TRAIL MIX. Any combination you like will do. Here are 6 of Our Favorite Trail Mix Combos.
  • CHERRIES. Whatever fruit is in season, really!

PIZZA PASTA (GF + VEGAN-FRIENDLY)

Gluten Free Pizza Pasta School Lunch with Ants on a Log and Applesauce Pouch from One Lovely Life

Try this Pizza pasta. Use gluten-free pasta with marinara, then add pizza toppings like diced pepperoni and olives. It feels fun and satisfies the pizza craving all in one go.

WHAT’S IN THE BOX:

  • PIZZA PASTA. Use brown rice spiral gluten-free noodles, red sauce and things like pepperoni and olives. Feel free to add whatever pizza toppings your child likes–pineapple and ham, peppers and sausage, cheese, whatever!
  • AN APPLESAUCE POUCH. Sometimes you need a good grab ‘n’ go option and these applesauce pouches are always a win for kids. You can also make your own using these reusable pouchesThey’re dishwasher safe and pretty easy to fill!
  • ANTS ON A LOG. Spread nut or seed butter (or even cream cheese!) onto celery sticks and add raisins on top. It’s a classic for a reason!

BEAN DIP & CORN CHIPS (GF + VEGAN-FRIENDLY)

Gluten Free Vegan Bean Dip School Lunch with Tortilla Chips, Grapes, and Rainbow Baby Carrots from One Lovely Life

This one’s a fun take on a taco box with less mess! You can make this into an actual 7 layer dip or you can just do refried beans with cheese or dairy-free cheese, or whatever floats your boat. Then, let your kiddo scoop up the dip with tortilla chips. Add a little fruit and now you’re the fun mom/dad!

WHAT’S IN THE BOX:

  • BEAN DIP. (Refried beans plain or topped with any combination of guacamole, salsa, sour cream (dairy-free or regular), cheese (dairy-free or regular), tomatoes, olives, lettuce, etc. Can be served warm or cold!
  • TORTILLA CHIPS – for dipping! Swap in grain-free tortilla chips (like Siete brand) for grain-free!
  • GRAPES. Try new colors for a fun change of pace. (Have you ever tried the Cotton Candy grapes? So good!)
  • RAINBOW BABY CARROTS. They taste JUST the same as the orange ones but look so much cooler! I can find these at Sprouts and Trader Joe’s.

WRAP SANDWICHES (GF + PALEO-FRIENDLY)

Sometimes, just tossing your regular sandwich into a tortilla or wrap is enough to keep things interesting! Surely kids like BLT wraps, turkey wraps, and even peanut butter (or almond butter, etc.), and banana wraps. Mission makes the best gluten-free tortillas we’ve found (they’re the most flexible). Siete is another good brand that’s gluten-free and often grain-free (great for paleo!).

WHAT’S IN THE BOX:

  • A TURKEY WRAP SANDWICH with lettuce, mayo, and tomato.
  • PURPLE POTATO CHIPS. They’re these ones from Jackson’s Honest–cooked in coconut oil.
  • WATERMELON
  • CUCUMBER SLICES

WE HOPE OUR SCHOOL LUNCH PLANNING RECIPES AND IDEA MAKE IT EASY ON YOU!

WE ALSO LIKE TO HEAR YOUR KIDS FAVORITE SCHOOL LUNCH BOX. PLEASE FEEL FREE AND WELCOME TO SHARE YOUR FAVORITE SCHOOL LUNCH IDEAS AND WE WILL ADD THEM TO OUR NEWSLETTER LUNCH BOX IDEAS.

Filip Hajduk
Filip Hajduk

Sales Representative

Related Articles

Featured Properties

Compare listings

Compare