Are you tired of coming up with new lunch ideas for school every morning? Is the hunt for matching lids making your morning routine take way longer than it needs to? Are you starting to realize you’re throwing away way too many plastic sandwich- and snack-size chip bags? Then, read on, my friend. I have solutions for you! In fact, I have two weeks of school lunch ideas and some eco-friendly storage solutions for you.
Why Healthy Lunch Matters
If you’ve snooped around my site even a little bit, then you’ve probably figured out by now that I’m a big believer in using foods to fuel our bodies. Food shouldn’t be a punishment, nor should we take for granted how powerful it can be. And in many cultures, lunch is seen as one of the most important meals of the day. I know I feel my best when I make lunch one of my larger meals. But these days, most United States public schools give our kids very short windows to eat their lunches, which means we need to pack in as many nutrients as possible to ensure their bodies and minds are getting the fuel they need to get through the day and learn all the things. If you’re struggling to come up with new ideas, I’ve got you.
2 Weeks of Lunch Ideas: School Edition
Bonus: They’re healthy. Double bonus: there’s only one sandwich on this list. I couldn’t in good conscious make a list of lunch ideas for school and list mostly sandwiches. One, there are plenty of kids out there who don’t really love sandwiches. And two, there are so many fun, delicious, and healthier foods to eat that pack a more nutritious punch than a sandwich. I’m not saying sandwiches are back, but they can be boring. And there are so many new flavors out there that are worth exploring!
The List of Healthy School Lunch Ideas
- Rice + tofu/peas + broccoli (sub your kiddo’s fave clean protein and veggies). If you’re looking for a simple guide on how to make rice bowls, head here.
- Veggies + hummus wrapped in rice paper with fruit. This is fun because the rice paper is clear, so if you place the veggies down first and then add the hummus, your kids will have a colorful main course.
- Homemade “Lunchables” (aka: charcuterie board to go): whole-grain crackers or bread + cheese + prosciutto/salami + olives with grapes or berries.
- Egg muffins with salad and fruit. Prepping crustless quiches in a muffin tin and storing them in the freezer is an easy make-ahead lunch that helps get lunch together quickly.
- Banana + nut/seed butter + a drizzle of honey wrapped in a coconut wrap. Serve with veggies + dip.
- Whole wheat pasta + cannellini beans + sauce with fruit for dessert.
- Veggies + whole wheat mini pita bread + hummus with jerky and fruit.
- Sandwich + fruit + veggies with dip. Choose your kid’s favorites for here (see below for an easy way to pack this meal).
- Soup or chili with corn muffins.
- Smoothie bowl or yogurt parfait topped with this homemade granola.
How to pack a healthy lunch for school
Here are my favorite tools for making these lunch ideas for school come together quickly and effortlessly:
Planetbox bento boxes
These stainless steel bento boxes are eco-friendly, easy to clean, and show kids all their options at once (so you don’t get the “Oh, I didn’t see the salad in my lunch box” excuse when they get home). Planetbox also makes smaller stainless steel containers great for individual salads, salad dressings, and dips for veggies. They come with non-reactive silicone lids. Use for school lunch ideas above #’s 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8 & 10
We love these silicone bags because they’re sturdy and don’t leak. Reusable silicone bags are a much better option when you’re looking to reduce your use of disposables. They’re also really lightweight, so if your kid has a heavy backpack, silicone bags help keep their lunchbox light.
Use for school lunch ideas above #’s 2, 3, 4, 5, 7 & 8
Perfect for hot lunches – use a thermos for soups, pasta, and rice bowls. Make sure it’s lined with stainless steel to avoid plastic seeping into your kid’s food. Pro-tip to keep the contents of your thermos hot until lunchtime: while making lunches in the morning, fill the thermos with boiling water for 3-5 minutes to heat it, and then dump the water just before adding hot contents. Use for school lunch ideas above #’s 1, 6, 9 & maybe 10
Ice Packs and Lunch Boxes
Obviously, we need somewhere to store these goodies and make sure they stay fresh until lunchtime (and make it home at the end of the day). It’s a good idea to have multiple ice packs on hand and a lunch box that can be wiped clean.
I hope you find these lunch ideas: school edition helpful. Prepping healthy lunches for school doesn’t have to be stressful, and you CAN provide meals that your kids will love. I can’t wait to hear which school lunch idea above becomes your kid’s new favorite!