A week of easy and healthy school lunch ideas for kids.Read More
Here are five - another whole week - of easy lunch packing ideas for you! These are some of my favorites, they are quick and easy and generally popular with my kids. All of these lunches could easily be made the night before and stored in the fridge overnight, which can really make your school day morning even easier.
These lunches are all packed in EasyLunchboxes. I use silicone muffin cups as dividers. A pack of bamboo skewers and a few bento picks and forks can also make lunch packing a little more fun, but still quick and easy.
A homemade "lunchable".
This is a homemade version of a "lunchable".
For this one I used a round cutter to make the cheese and ham into circles, just like in the real lunchables. You certainly don't have to do that, and I usually don't, but this day I had a little extra time so I went for it. I think varying the shape just makes things a little more fun.
They have crackers, cheese, fruit, and cookies. Two have ham, and the two that don't like ham got some almonds for extra protein.
The stars are little yogurt covered cookies from Trader Joe's.
Making strawberry hearts is the easiest thing ever, and it looks so great! You just use a knife to cut out the stem at an angle from each side, and it looks like a heart.
Pancake breakfast for lunch.
If you've read my posts you'll know that I love sending breakfast for lunch, and one of my kids' favorites is pancakes. Whenever I make pancakes I make lots extra. They are great leftover.
This is just two pancakes, spread with either butter or cream cheese, cut into quarters and put on a bamboo skewer. I also included fruit, cheese, and some Chex cereal.
A lot of people ask about the bananas when I send them like this - do they get brown, and do the kids eat them? I cut the ends off and cut a slit so it's easy to peel. So they get a little brown on the ends, but my two banana lovers don't seem to mind it at all, the bananas always get eaten.
Burgers are another thing I make extra of. We think they are great leftover.
For this lunch my three meat eaters each got half of a cheeseburger. The one who doesn't eat meat got a toasted cheese sandwich - on an inside out hamburger bun! This is what she calls a cheese burger - a burger bun with cheese. They all have sugar snap peas, potato chips, grapes, and a cookie.
Do they eat the burgers cold, you are wondering? Yes. Well, at room temperature. My philosophy on this is that most kids don't actually eat their food when it's hot anyway. Mine certainly don't. They mess around and talk at the table until their food is basically cold anyway. So sending them a cold food for lunch that most of us think should be eaten warm doesn't seem like any difference to me.
Muffins are another favorite lunch for us. I love them because they make for a super quick and easy lunch. And my kids just love muffins.
Every now and then I will make a couple of big batches of muffins and stick them in the freezer. Making the lunch is as simple as pulling them out of the freezer, and sticking them in the lunch box with a little protein and fruit. Here they have a cheese, some apple bites, and Chex.
Set the muffins out of the freezer the night before to that - or better yet, make the lunches the night before with frozen muffins and put them in the fridge, and they will be thawed and ready to eat by lunch time.
Tortilla rolls / Pinwheels
Pinwheels are a great alternative to a sandwich. You can put anything in them that you would put in a sandwich, but it's an easy way to bring a little variety into the lunch box.
You just lay out a big tortilla, layer the ingredients you like, roll up, and slice. I usually end up snacking on the little end bits myself, and just pack the nice evenly sized slices for the kids. Running a bamboo skewer through them helps hold everything together as the lunch box gets tossed around.
Two of these have cream cheese, ham, and sliced cheddar. The other two have butter and cheese. They have some veggies, a quarter of an apple, and a cookie.
Happy lunch packing!
Simple burritos are one of my favorite things to make for school lunch. I like that they are easy to make and easy to eat.
Burritos may just be the perfect meal - you can put anything you want in them, you can eat them with one hand, and you can eat them basically anywhere. I like packing them for lunch, and I think they are especially great for field trips. I make them on the weekends a lot for our ski lunches in the winter - you pack a really hearty meal in a handy package.
Two of these have just refried beans and cheese. I lay out the tortilla - the biggest ones I can find - spread out some cold refried beans and shredded cheese, and warm it in the microwave just enough to melt the cheese. Then I roll it up. I always let them fully cool before putting them in the lunch box, that way the tortilla does not get soggy.
One of these - the one with the toothpick - also has chicken. I put the toothpick in as soon as I made it, so I knew which one it was.
I added a little extra protein on the side - two have turkey and two have cheese. Everyone has some fruit, and three have cheese crackers.
One of these lunches is not like the others though. I think this was a case of having just enough of the little muffins left for one lunch. So one child got muffins and yogurt instead of the burrito. Everybody wins!
We had a birthday on a school day, so I took one of my favorite easy lunch ideas and made it just a bit more fun!
These are my pancake sandwiches which I've talked about a lot in the past. This time I put them on these pretty skewers with a little fancy jewel on one end, with a strawberry in between. The two birthday kids got a Happy Birthday cupcake pick in theirs. On the side they have cheerios with a few chocolate chips, cheese, and a little maple whipped cream.
The jewel skewers can be found here - but I will note that the bead is not on their very tight, so I wouldn't use these with small children that might swallow it.
This is another easy lunch made up of dinner leftovers. The dinner gets packed up into lunchboxes before the food is even put away, so it makes both dinner clean up and lunch packing a little easier.
We have bowtie pasta and a skewer with meatballs, and a few tomatoes from the garden. They also have grapes, and some fun little educational butter cookies with states & capitals on them. I found the cookies here, my kids loved them but I like that they're not super sweet. The child who didn't like the meatballs got some cheese in her lunch.