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20 School Lunch Ideas That Offer Something New Each Day


By Vicki Little

In a typical month, your child will eat about 20 lunches at school. Twenty bologna and cheese sandwiches is a lot to stomach, even for the biggest fans. Keeping things interesting will help keep food in your child’s belly rather than in the trash, but standing in front of the deli section at the store is not the time to brainstorm. Here is a list of 20 (imagine that!) school lunch ideas to add some variety to your student’s lunchtime routine.

  1. BLT Wrap — An oldie and a goodie.
  2. Hummus and veggies/pita chips –– This new lunchtime trend offers many combinations to keep it from getting boring.
  3. Homemade lunch-ables — Cut up their favorite lunch meat and cheese, throw in some crackers and you are good to go!
  4. Meat and cheese rolls with pretzel skewers — Easy-peasy, just wrap cubes of cheese in lunch meat and secure with a pretzel stick.
  5. Peanut butter and banana roll-ups — I am not a fan, but my daughter loves when I spread peanut butter on a tortilla, slice a banana on top and roll it all up.
  6. Ham and Cheese Croissandwich — Prepare the night before by rolling up a slice of thin ham and cheese in croissant dough and bake as directed. So good!
  7. Bagel and cream cheese — No need to get fancy.
  8. Popcorn trail mix — Who says you can’t have popcorn at lunch? Add some pretzels and raisins to make it even better!
  9. Tuna fish pita pocket — Not every kid will be a fan, but my daughter loves it with some alfalfa sprouts and tomatoes.
  10. Parfaits — A cup of yogurt with some granola or dried fruit to mix in.
  11. Muffins — The varieties are endless.
  12. Pizza bagels — Just put the ingredients in the lunchbox and let them create their own with some pizza sauce, cheese, and pepperoni on a mini bagel.
  13. Pasta salad — A side for dinner and lunch the next day.
  14. Pancake strips –– If you have leftovers on the weekend, cut into strips, throw in the freezer and then add to lunches with some syrup!
  15. Cucumber sandwiches — Thinly sliced cucumbers on bread with some cream cheese = YUM!
  16. Mac and Cheese muffins — I used this Pinterest recipe. Turned out pretty yummy!
  17. Peanut butter apple sandwich — Put some peanut butter (or almond butter) between two thick slices of apple.
  18. Protein or cereal bar — If you are really motivated you can even make your own!
  19. Something warm–If you have a thermos, the possibilities are endless. Soup, rice, even leftovers become a different lunch. While you are warming up the food, put hot water in the thermos with the lid on to get it warmed up. The food will stay warm longer.
  20. Plain old sandwich — With all the other choices, this is no longer boring!

What is your child’s favorite thing to find in their lunch box?


Vicki Little is a work-at-home mom with two young kids.  A Colorado native, she is the Publisher and Editor of Macaroni Kid Aurora and Downtown Denver. In her free time, she enjoys volunteering, reading, camping, or enjoying a bottle of wine with friends.


Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links and we may earn a small commission from them when you click on the links with no additional cost to you.


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