30 Back-to-School Lunchbox Ideas

Back-to-School Lunch Ideas | Very Culinary

by Amy Flanigan on August 7, 2013 · 21 comments

When I was a kid, we returned to school after Labor Day. Now my kids go back August 21st. It seems to get earlier and earlier every year…pretty soon all they’ll get is a 2 week break.

Part of me relishes in the idea of them going back. But then, of course, there’s the part that wouldn’t mind summer going on endlessly. I love not having to wake them up and scream to get ready, no schedules, no homework battles, and no agonizing over what to pack for lunch. 

Let’s face it, while these lunchbox ideas are crazy adorable, who the hell has time to prep them? I mean, really? DO YOU? ‘Cause if you do, I want to trade lives. Right now.

And if I could draw worth a lick, I might be able to pull off this awesome sandwich bag art. But I can’t. So I don’t.

Let’s keep it real, shall we?

Here are a few simple ideas – maybe you’ve thought of, maybe you haven’t – that Haley will be getting this year (or for the first month until I get the inevitable eye-roll and heavy sigh), along with some other favorites that my fellow bloggers sent my way!

Back-To-School Lunch Ideas | Very Culinary

1. Plain or chocolate chip waffles (made in advance), with blueberries, and a mixture of chocolate chips and pistachios – I already know this one’s going to be popular.
2. Salami, Ritz crackers, and cheese (sliced or string), and cherry tomatoes – basically a homemade lunchable. Kids love to build and play with their food, so let them!
3. Puzzle sandwich, chips, and grapes – I bought the puzzle cutter on Amazon for $3. Totally fun.

BREAKFAST

Back-to-School Breakfast Ideas | Very Culinary

1. Breakfast Cookies (Very Culinary)
2. Sweet Chocolate Flecked Muffins and Savory Tomato and Olive Muffins (The Spiced Life)
3. Gluten-Free Almond Blueberry Mini Muffins with Maple Cream Cheese Drizzle (Cupcakes & Kale Chips)
4. Sunbutter Waffles (Alida’s Kitchen)

SANDWICHES AND WRAPS

Back-to-School Sandwich and Wrap Ideas | Very Culinary

1.  DIY Uncrustables Frozen Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwiches (Unsophisticook)
2. Hummus and Veggie Turkey Wrap (Very Culinary)
3. Tortilla Pinwheel Lollipops (Home Cooking Memories)
4. Maple Teriyaki Salmon Sushi Rolls w/ Apple and Carrot (Farm Fresh Feasts)
5. ABCLT Wraps (Very Culinary)

SNACKS

Back-to-School Snack Ideas | Very Culinary

1. Cinnamon Apple Fruit Leather (Savory Simple)
2. Peanut Butter & Jelly Cookie Dough Dip (Cupcakes & Kale Chips)
3. Pastry Jam Twists (Very Culinary)
4. Chili-Lime Roasted Chickpeas (Willow Bird Baking)

GRANOLA BARS

Back-to-School Granola Bar Ideas | Very Culinary

1. Chewy Chocolate Chip Granola Bars (Very Culinary)
2. S’mores Granola Bars (I Heart Eating)
3. Banana Nut Bread Granola Bars (Cupcakes & Kale Chips)
4. Biscoff Granola Bars (Dinners Dishes & Desserts)

COOKIES AND CRACKERS

Back-to-School Cookie and Cracker Ideas | Very Culinary

1. Buttery Toffee Walnut Cookies (Simply Southern Baking)
2. Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies (The Lemon Bowl)
3. Basil & Sun-Dried Tomato Crackers (Oh My Veggies)
4. Healthy Banana Cookies (Alida’s Kitchen)
5. Triple Chocolate Oreo Cookies (Crazy For Crust)

BARS AND KRISPIE TREATS

Back-to-School Bar and Krispie Treats Ideas | Very Culinary

1. Peanut Butter Krispie Treats with Peanut Butter Fudge and Ganache (Liv Life)
2. Chocolate Raisin Crunch Bars ( All Day I Dream About Food)
3. Butter Pecan Caramel Rice Krispies Treats (Simply Southern Baking)
4. Peanut Butter Marshmallow Popcorn Bars (Diethood)
5. Whoppers Snack Bars (Inside BruCrew Life)

Also, check out what Haley got in her lunchbox last year!

lunches_blog

Whew. That should keep you busy for a while! Well, this and clothes shopping. HA.

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{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Candice September 23, 2013 at 6:46 pm

I’ve been running out of good lunch ideas so this post is very helpful, thanks! I hope it’s fine that I linked to this from my blog.

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Carissa Bonham August 19, 2013 at 1:55 am

thanks for the great ideas! I linked to you in my post on “Tips for Packing Better School Lunches” on Creative Green Living (http://www.creativegreenliving.com/2013/08/tips-for-packing-better-school-lunches.html)

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Kristie Lee August 17, 2013 at 7:34 pm

Love your ideas! Where did you find your divided tupperware?

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Amy August 17, 2013 at 7:35 pm

Target!

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Kristin August 18, 2013 at 1:26 pm

Ziplock makes a divided “lunch able” type of container. Check your grocery store, Target or Wal-mart.

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Alida August 16, 2013 at 9:00 pm

These are such great ideas! And I love that puzzle cookie cutter. So fun!

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Ashley Smith August 16, 2013 at 9:23 am

You had me cracking up! Seriously though…aint no body got time fo’ dat! I work full time and have 0 desire to draw a mural on my kids sandwhich bag. Your idea’s looks super yummy and extremely do able! Thanks for the tips.

(btw email address is not the one i normally use, it wouldnt let me enter my current one. )

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Sara August 14, 2013 at 11:33 pm

I’m starring my first day of college tomorrow and for the first time I have to pack a lunch for school (I always ate school-provided lunch) I had no idea what to bring. Thanks for all the great ideas! Even college students get excited for fun-shaped sandwiches :)

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Amy August 15, 2013 at 4:53 am

Yes, yes they do! That’s awesome, Sara. Thanks for stopping by and good luck. College is great.

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Lesley August 13, 2013 at 6:49 am

There are a few nut recipes there, i’d check your school policy on bringing nuts to school . I worked in a nut free school and we confiscated any nut items .. But there are so many other great choices here too

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Robin @ Simply Southern Baking August 9, 2013 at 7:11 am

Thanks for including my Buttery Toffee Walnut Cookies and Butter Pecan Caramel Rice Krispies Treats in this great collection! :)

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Christine Ann Keith Easton August 9, 2013 at 6:15 am

Dear LunchMakers-in-arms,
My solution was to play “The Color Game”!
On “RED DAY” it was small gouda cheese wrapped in red wax with crackers;
a red apple; any cookies packaged in red, a “RED” drink [tomato juice or cranberry juice [e.g.]; cherries; & a red candy treat.

On “Yellow Day” it was a banana….Let UR imagination go wild…

On “Orange Day” it was an orange plus Cheddar Cheese Sandwich; Carrots; Apricot cookies, etc..

Then there is “Green Day”; “Purple Day”…etc…

See the kids book, “Mr. Rabbit & the Lovely Present” for further ideas.. That’s where I got mine {;0)

CAKE

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Amy August 9, 2013 at 6:21 am

Clever and fun!

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Tara @ Unsophisticook August 8, 2013 at 5:53 am

Great roundup of ideas here! My kids start the 21st, so I really need to start thinking about this stuff. Thanks for including my Homemade Uncrustables, Amy!

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Kate August 7, 2013 at 9:21 pm

Even though my kids aren’t in school yet, I have to get creative when it comes to feeding my three year-old. There are some really great ideas here! Thanks for sharing these and for including my granola bars!!

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Joanne August 7, 2013 at 4:13 pm

It’s still the week after labor day in NYC…but your lunch boxes are so cute I might have to start bringing some of them to work! Especially the jigsaw puzzle sandwiches….too adorable.

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carrie@bakeaholicmama August 7, 2013 at 1:49 pm

Summer should go through Labor Day Weekend. I always hate sending them for a couple of days then having a long weekend. It makes the first two weeks of school kind of pointless. We start on the 27th and it’s sneaking up on me! I will need some of these fun lunch ideas because Owen is quite picky ;)

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Dana August 7, 2013 at 1:38 pm

I’m going to have my picky eater check out your pics so he can pick out what he likes to give me ideas for lunches this year. I’m stressing out about it already. Two more weeks…

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Kirsten@FarmFreshFeasts August 7, 2013 at 10:57 am

Amy,
Thanks a bunch for using my sushi! I too started back after Labor Day and after we moved to Ohio the kids have to start in August. On the plus side, they get an hour long lunch break and my daughter walks home for lunch!

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Cher August 7, 2013 at 8:34 am

My kids LOVE and beg for the chewy chocolate chip granola bars often. I can’t keep enough made before they eat them all. Best thing about them, I can put them in their lunchboxes and they don’t have peanut products in them like other granola bars. Plus, they are healthier, I’m sure!

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sandra August 7, 2013 at 8:21 am

Ugh! Lunches are the bane of my existence. Thanks for these tips – I have the puzzle sandwich cutter and love it. Heart shapes are a good idea.

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