Easy Back-to-School Lunch Ideas

It’s time to gear up for another school year and that means figuring out easy back-to-school lunch ideas to pack for school lunches. Here are four…

This blog post is sponsored by Crunch Pak, but all thoughts and words are my own. Thank you for your support!

As a mom of four, packing three lunches every day currently, I’m heading into this school year *knowing* that simple is key. School lunches are a marathon, not a sprint for me. I’ve gone through phases of trying to go all out on themed bento lunches for different holidays and special homemade treats. It can be a lot of fun to get into lunches like that! But for my life currently, it’s just not practical. I need lunch ideas that don’t take me all night to create and will also fill the bellies of my kids, preferably with something they all enjoy!

Here are four easy and adjustable lunches to get your first week started with your kids this year:

1. Classic PBJ School Lunch

A peanut butter and jelly sandwich is a classic staple for us. We swap in a sunflower butter or allergy-friendly option if there’s a classmate with an allergy (or if your school is nut-free) and it’s still just as great! Add in a side of fruit with an apple and some cheese crackers and that’s lunch!

A handy hack for slicing the apple and sending it in a lunch box is to squeeze a little lemon juice over it to avoid browning.

If you want to get really fancy, using a simple cookie cutter shape can turn your PBJ into a fun pumpkin for Halloween or a football for homecoming.

2. Crunch Paks Lunch Kitz

We love Crunch Paks around here– and there’s a new Space Jam Crunch Pak with my kid’s favorite foods all packed inside. All three of the boys love basketball, so they get a kick out of seeing the cover of these when they open up their lunch box!

My favorite thing about Crunch Pak Lunch Kitz is that there is zero prep or cooking that I need to do. Just grab them from the fridge and put them into the lunchboxes. I can trust that the kids are getting a quality, nutritious lunch and they love everything inside! A real win-win.

3. Yogurt + Toppings

My kids love a DIY lunch. Anything that makes them feel in charge of what they’re eating. For a lunch idea, try putting some plain vanilla yogurt in a thermos and include mix-ins on the side. I’ve sent lunches with granola, blueberries, sliced fruit, or even a little special candy or sprinkle topping. I think that they’re always bound to eat more when they’re involved in a part of the “cooking” process.

If you send yogurt, make sure it’s in an insulated container to keep it cool until lunch time. If you don’t have an insulated container, you can always just put an ice pack in the lunch box for good measure.

4. Ham Roll-up Lunch

A twist on a regular sandwich; my kids love how little roll-ups can be bite-sized. Add some mayo or spreadable butter to a tortilla roll and put ham on top, roll, and then slice them into small bite-sized sandwiches. I always include cheese with these to balance it out. Throw in a side of fruit and a special treat for your final lunch idea.

For homemade cold lunches, we love to use lunch boxes with separated compartments.

Now you have four more super-simple lunch ideas to add into your lunch rotation for the upcoming school year! I used to subscribe to the belief that all lunches required a certain amount of time and effort. While it’s great if complex lunches are your jam, it’s perfectly fine if they aren’t. Remember, packing lunches are a marathon, not a sprint. The goal is that little learners are getting the nutrition they need. These four lunches ideas will be on repeat in our home!

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