Back to School Lunch Ideas includes lunch recipes, tips and tricks to organizing and preparing school lunches, and a free lunch ideas printable!

Back to School Lunch Ideas, tips and tricks!

Can you believe a new school year is already almost here?! I know most people dread the end of summer, but I absolutely love this time of year. I love the excitement that comes with kids going back to school. The changing seasons, new school clothes, school supplies, class lists and friends to make.

As a parent I’ve just begun to experience a tiny bit of the craziness that also comes with this time of year–Preparing for your kids to head out on their first day can be a lot of work!

One thing that always makes life easier for me is staying organized with my kids school lunches. I’ve included tons of recipes, tips and tricks below to make preparing school lunches a breeze, and also fun and exciting for your kids.

Don’t miss the FREE PRINTABLE at the bottom of the post that includes a list of school lunch ideas. Print it off and keep it on your fridge so you never run out of ideas!


Makes lunches at night, not in the morning:

Keep sandwiches fresh by placing the cheese slices directly on the bread, and then the mayo and mustard on top of the cheese. This will keep the bread from getting soggy–especially if you’re making the sandwiches the night before!

Back to School Lunch Ideas, tips and tricks! (Top lunch: Cottage cheese and cherry tomatoes, banana, applesauce oat muffin, pasta salad. Bottom lunch: Whole grain bagel sandwich, carrot sticks, Cheese Sandwich Crackers)

Keep your fridge and freezer full of grab-n-go snacks

Here is a list I compiled of 50+ Healthy Snack Ideas, including some of my personal favorites:

Back to School Lunch Ideas, tips and tricks!

Keep a separate drawer for grab-n-go packaged snacks

There are tons of great packaged snacks out there that you and your kids can agree on! Snacks with real, recognizable ingredients, for families that like to live a healthy lifestyle.

Back to School Lunch Ideas, tips and tricks!


Use different types of bread and lunch meat.

Everyone gets tired of PB&J’s day after day.  My family loves wraps and bagel sandwiches. Other ideas include:

Back to School Lunch Ideas, tips and tricks! (Top Lunch: Hummus and veggies, grapes, wrap, Cinnamon Snack Grahams, Bottom Lunch: Berries, hard-boiled egg, whole wheat crackers, beef summer sausage)

Think outside the sandwich!

Make homemade “lunchables” with whole wheat crackers, and whatever cheese and lunch meat you have on hand.

Muffins, yogurt, or even leftover breakfast items like waffles and pancakes make great, hearty lunches.

Include leftovers!

Soups and pastas leftover from dinner can taste great in a lunch the next day!  You can even re-heat the soup before school and send it in a thermos to keep it warm until lunch!


Choose a lunch box with divided compartments. It will help you remember to include all the components of a balanced meal: grains, protein, fruit and veggies and a snack.

Insulated lunch boxes work great to keep food cool. I especially like the lunch boxes with freezer packs in them.

Good lucks Mom’s! And if you have other ideas I didn’t cover, I’d love for you to share with us below!


(Right click to save the image to your computer, and then print)


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About The Author

Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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  1. Thank you for posting this as I struggle with making lunches and you just made it easy💕😁💕
    Such good ideas😍 NO more stress🥳

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