Packing lunches gets old really fast, especially when you do it five times a week. Instead of sticking to just the basics, day after day and week after week, let’s jazz it up with a list of easy lunch box ideas!
Stick around until the end and grab a printable list of all these ideas for your fridge!
Your Ultimate List of Easy Lunch Box Ideas
Let’s make this school year easy with simple ideas for quick and easy school lunches. If you set up a system, your kids could even help themselves!
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Easy Lunch Box Ideas: Breakfast
If you’re dropping your child off early or trying to streamline your morning, use these ideas for easy breakfast ideas.
- Hard-boiled eggs: cook up a bunch at once on Sunday night, then grab and go during the week
- Yogurt & granola and/or fruit: pre-portion a bulk container of yogurt into single-serve containers, repeat with your toppings of choice; buy enough single serve yogurts and pair with single-serve containers of toppings
- Overnight hot oatmeal: combine oats and water or milk in your slow cooker, then set it and forget it; you could add in fruit, nuts, and other toppings to suit
- Overnight cold oatmeal: combine a single serving of oats and your milk of choice with fruit, nuts, and other flavorings; cover the containers and let them “cook” in the fridge overnight
- Breakfast sandwich: use a bread of your choice, but make it a hearty one, like a bagel, English muffin or baguette; layer eggs, meat, and cheese inside of the bread; wrap in cling wrap or place into a resealable container, then grab and go
- Dry cereal and milk: put dry cereal into one resealable container, make sure to save a little extra room; add milk, maybe from a single serve container
- Bagel plus _____: toast a bagel and dress it up with the toppings of your choice – nut butter, peanut butter, honey, cream cheese, whatever
- Protein smoothies: pre-pack your favorite smoothie ingredients into containers – leafy greens, fruit, bananas, peanut butter, protein powder, or any other supplements; then just add liquid like milk or water in the morning for a mix and go breakfast
Easy Lunch Box Ideas: Lunch
Quitting the same old-same old doesn’t mean you need to get all fancy or Pinteresty with your lunches. Use these simple, but no-nonsense ideas to create filling lunches your kids will love!
- DIY Lunchable: use a bento box container and fill each compartment with a different item – squares of lunch meat and cheese, crackers, pickles, olives, grapes
- Hummus & Veggies: in a bento box, add a generous scoop of hummus plus lots of sliced up veggies like cucumbers, celery, carrots, and bell peppers
- Hot soup: use an insulated Thermos to keep soup hot, pack up extras like Goldfish crackers, shredded cheese, and croutons
- Leftovers: when you’re cooking dinner, make a little extra and keep it aside; portion it out to be lunch for a few days, just make sure it’s something that will work hot or cold
- Vegetarian Sammie: spread hummus or avocado onto hearty bread, then add sliced veggies
- Nachos: pack separate containers of nacho chips, cheese, salsa, and toppings; your child can combine them at school
- Cold leftovers: pack up things that taste good cold – pizza, cooked chicken leftover Chinese food
- Sandwiches: remake a classic with tuna, cold cuts, cheese, veggies, nut butter, peanut butter
Easy Luch Box Ideas: Snacks
Beyond the main course, your child might need a little bit extra. Plus, lots of classrooms also have snacktime built in. Or maybe your child goes to after-school activities and needs some extra fuel? Whatever the case, add these yummy snacks to your child’s lunch box!
- Fruit: a piece of whole fruit, simple as that
- Fruit & dip: slice hard fruit, like apples, or use small fruit, like grapes or kiwi, to dip into peanut butter, Nutella, hummus, or yogurt
- Granola bars: use store-bought options or make your own
- Celery & cream cheese or peanut butter plus raisins
- Meat & cheese crackers: make a mini-lunchable with sliced cold cuts, cheeses, and crackers
- Yogurt & granola or fruit: repeat your breakfast routine in the afternoon
- Popcorn: portion microwave or store-bought popcorn into individual servings; you could add surprise toppings like salt, pepper, cheese, cinnamon, sugar, or leave it plain
- Pretzels & dip: pair a small bag of pretzels with Nutella, cream cheese, nacho cheese, or nut/peanut butter
- Trail mix: combine dried fruits with nuts and maybe something sweet, like M&M’s or chocolate chips
Which yummy meals and snacks are you going to add to your plans? Or tell me your kid-friendly food faves in the comments!