Easy and Healthy School Lunch Ideas

Kid-Approved School Lunch Ideas

Tis’ the season for back to school and lunch packing! Your kids are probably tired of the of the same ol’ PB&J Monday thru Friday, so let’s do something about it! I bet you’re on the hunt for some school lunch ideas for kids that will make it a bit easier on the morning routine… Trust us, here at The Dating Divas, we know all too well that packing the same school lunch day after day can get a bit boring (for you and your kids!) That’s why we wanted to inspire you to change things up a bit and think outside the “lunchbox” with these easy school lunch ideas.  

To help you out, we have come up with a whole lot of quick and easy school lunch ideas for kids! Not only will it be fun to switch up the norm, but you’ll have lunch ideas for days with this list!

Easy and Healthy School Lunch Ideas

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Your kids are going to LOVE you even more than they already do when they open up their lunchbox and find these awesome surprises! And guess what? Although these school lunches may seem over-the-top, most of them are SUPER easy to make! A win for moms (and dads) everywhere. We’ve mixed in a ton of quick lunch ideas along with healthy, fun and creative lunch ideas to help you get the most out of your time in the kitchen. And to make browsing easier, we’ve divided these awesome lunch ideas for kids into 6 categories:

We know you are going to LOVE these easy lunch ideas for kids, so here is a quick tip: Pin this baby right now! Trust us! Life gets crazy and you will want to save these awesome school lunch ideas for future reference!

Are you ready for some easy lunch ideas that are going to rock your world?!

Ready. Set. SCROLL…

Quick and Easy Lunch Ideas

When it comes to making school lunches for my kids, the most important thing in my mind is how quick and easy it is to throw together. Sigh…we know it can be a major rush to get the kids out of the door in the morning, PLUS make sure they have an awesome packed lunch. That is why we are here! We want to make your life a little simpler, in addition to making it a little healthier. Not only are these quick lunch ideas, but they are also easy lunch ideas! Save yourself a few minutes in the morning with these easy lunches that will take you hardly any time to prepare!

Kid Friendly Lunch Ideas for School

  • Turkey and Cheese On A Dinner Roll – Amp up the traditional turkey and cheese sandwich by putting it on a dinner roll! Not only delicious, but as simple as that!
  • DIY Easy Lunchables – Lunchables might have the whole easy lunches thing figured out already… but why run to the store when you can just make your own DIY Lunchables in a snap! Throw some cheese, crackers, and lunch meat in your kids’ lunchbox for a fun surprise! TIP: Use silicone liners to make your lunchbox packing a little easier! They are a great way to separate your Lunchable ingredients!
  • Hard Boiled Eggs With Homemade Hummus & Salsa – At the beginning of the week, hard boil a carton of eggs, then use the eggs as a simple ingredient for a quick and easy lunch for your kid(s) later in the week! Lastly, don’t forget to add some delicious salsa and hummus!
  • DIY Pizza Lunchables Using Bagels – Here is another genius, easy, school lunch idea! Quickly pack up your own version of a Pizza Lunchable {a favorite kids lunch!} with a bagel, pizza sauce, pepperonis, and grated cheese!
  • Easy “Sub” marine Sandwich – You can easily throw together this fun lunch idea in the morning! Add a bendable straw to a sub sandwich for a fun lunchbox surprise!
  • Quick and Easy Wraps – It doesn’t get much easier than these lunchbox wraps! Not only are they fast to prepare, but also healthy! Win, win!
  • Sandwich Sushi – Looking for a quick and easy way to spice up your kid’s lunch? Try making these clever Sushi Sandwiches! In addition to being adorable, they take hardly any time to prepare!
  • PB&J Kabob – When I think of easy lunches, the first thing that comes to mind is PB&J! Spruce up the traditional PB&J sandwich by cutting it up into pieces and putting it on a stick! Voila! You have yourself a Peanut Butter and Jelly Kabob!
  • DIY Uncrustable Sandwiches (Freezer Food) – Here is another of our favorite easy lunches that will save you a BUNCH of time in the morning! Check out this awesome recipe for DIY Uncrustables using a sandwich de-cruster. Make a bunch of these bad boys and freeze them for later! On those busy mornings, simply grab a sandwich and throw it in your kid’s lunchbox! So easy!
  • Cheese and Turkey Rolls – This one might LOOK like it takes a long time to make, but it’s one of the best quick lunch ideas out there!

Non – Sandwich Lunch Ideas

If you have a kid who doesn’t like sandwiches, these easy healthy lunch ideas are for you! The awesome thing about a lot of these lunch ideas for kids is that they are still easy lunch ideas… Just grab a divided Tupperware and throwing lunch together just got a little easier. In addition to changing up your routine, add a little variety by switching things up with these sandwich-free school lunch ideas! Your kids are going to love them!

Sandwich Free Easy School Lunch Ideas

  • Easy Pizza Buns – These pizza buns look delicious, and your kids will think so too! Try out this easy-to-make recipe for an original school lunch! You can even make them ahead of time and freeze them for later!
  • Delicious BLT Wrap – Wraps can be a great alternative to the typical sandwich! Check out this yummy BLT wrap filled with bacon, lettuce, and tomatoes!
  • DIY Teriyaki Chicken Bowls – Try packing a teriyaki chicken bowl for lunch! This recipe is quick, flavorful, and convenient!
  • Mini Corn Dog Muffins – These bite-sized goodies will have your kids licking their lips for more! Try out these Mini Corn Dog Muffins in place of the daily PB&J sandwich – I want to try it out!
  • Easy Nachos – Kids LOOOOOVE nachos! Check out this awesome school lunch idea! Not only will it change the daily routine, but it gives your kids a chance to have some independence in creating their own lunch.
  • Caprese Kabobs (with Balsamic Dressing) – Try out these quick Caprese Kabobs if you are tired of making the same ol’ sandwich day after day! This school lunch idea is PACKED with flavors your kids are going to love!
  • Ham, Apple and Cheese Wraps – Swap out bread slices with apple slices for an original school lunch! Your kids will LOVE it!
  • Cheese Platter – Say, “Queso!” Create a fun cheese platter for your kid’s lunch. You can use Laughing Cow cheese wedges, cheddar cheese, Swiss cheese, or mozzarella cheese sticks. Be sure to also include some fresh fruit for a complete lunch!
  • Breakfast For Lunch – Who says breakfast can’t be for lunch?! Your kids will be especially excited to find Greek yogurt with sprinkles!
  • Tuna Salad & Crackers – Instead of putting tuna fish on bread, pair it with crackers for a fun sandwich-free lunch!
  • Freezable DIY Hot Pockets – Make a huge batch of these DIY Hot Pockets and freeze them for later! They make for the perfect grab-and-go school lunch! {In other words – you now have lunch for you too!}
  • Easy Quesadillas – Quesadillas are another great alternative to the typical sandwich school lunch! Not only will your kids love them, but they are SO easy to make! Not to mention, this one is PIZZA flavored! 
  • Ramen Noodles – For another easy school lunch idea, check out how you can pack Ramen noodles! Genius! The kids are getting ready for school, meanwhile you’re boiling water and cutting up some extra veggies for a thermos of Ramen!
  • Freezable Bean Burrito – Here is another non-sandwich school lunch idea that will save you a BUNCH of time in the morning! Check out this awesome DIY recipe for freezer burritos! These will make your life so easy in the morning when you can just grab a burrito and throw it in a lunchbox!
  • Mini Broccoli and Cheese Quiche – Certainly a good way to use up those leftovers AND create a unique school lunch for your kids! Make a batch of quiches in a mini muffin tin for a fun surprise!
  • Healthy Pasta Salad Cups – Check out this FRESH and flavorful school lunch idea! Add a little pizzazz to your kid’s lunchbox with these awesome pasta salad cups!
  • Mini Salad Pita Pockets – Why is everything tiny more fun?… these Mini Salad Pita Pockets included! To make these cute little creations: stuff lettuce, turkey meat, and cheese into a small pita pocket and drizzle salad dressing on top!
  • Easy Rice and Chicken Patties – Your kids will be begging for more of these Rice and Chicken patties! Make a batch the night before and pack them in your kid’s lunchbox the following day!
  • Homemade Spaghettios – Did you know that you can easily make your OWN Spaghettios? You totally CAN! Make this simple recipe for a fun school lunch, then pack them up for the kids! After that you can have the leftovers! :p
  • Mini Pancake Dippers – This non-sandwich school lunch is 100% kid-approved! Your kids are going to flip when they open their lunchbox and find these Mini Pancake Dippers inside!

Healthy Kids School Lunch Ideas

Sometimes our kids are turned off by our “healthy food.” However, just because something is healthy, doesn’t mean it can’t taste great! We’ve gathered some unique healthy lunches for kids to get the creative ideas flowing! If your kids are in need of an energy boost or just love fresh, healthy food, you’ll love these easy, easy healthy lunch ideas for kids. Plus they provide a whole lot of variety to your lunch planning! Here are our favorite healthy lunch ideas.

Healthy School Lunches

  • Flower Veggie Salad – Make a healthy salad something fun for your kids to eat by cutting your croutons and veggies into fun shapes! {Cute cookie cutters, here!}
  • Easy Sandwich Kabobs – The healthiest foods seem to look a little extra yummy when they’re prepared in a unique way! Cut up a sandwich into pieces and put it on a stick for a fun variation to the typical sandwich! Also be sure to throw on some healthy veggies and cheese!
  • Greek Yogurt and Granola – Add a little granola to some yogurt for a healthy school lunch your kids will enjoy!
  • Chicken Avocado Burritos – Mmmmmmmm… Don’t these look delish! Your kids will be drooling when they try these savory and, most importantly, healthy Chicken Avocado Burritos!
  • Parmesan Zucchini Waffles – Make zucchini fun with these tasty little Zucchini Parmesan Waffles! They are a cheesy and delicious way to add a few more veggies to your kid’s school lunch!
  • Rainbow Fruit Skewers – First of all, aren’t these adorable?! Definitely one of our favorite easy healthy lunch ideas yet! Healthy never looked so cute. Throw some fresh fruit on a skewer for a healthy addition to your child’s lunchbox!
  • Healthy Taco Salad – The great thing about this healthy taco salad is it is SUPER easy to make! Serve up this delicious salad with some carrots and hummus for a healthy lunch your kids will enjoy!
  • BBQ Ranch Chicken Salad Wraps – Wraps can be a great healthy choice for a school lunch! Serve up these delicious BBQ Ranch Chicken Salad Wraps! Trust us… your kids will be thanking you later!
  • Ham and Cheese Lunch Bites – These mini Ham and Cheese bites are perfect for little fingers! Most importantly, they make a great and filling lunch!
  • Lunchbox Smoothie – This healthy school lunch idea is next to genius! Get your hands on some of these handy 8 oz. freezer jars and get blending! After whipping up your kid’s favorite flavors, FREEZE the smoothies. That’s right, we said freeze em’! You can put them in your kids’ lunch boxes the following day. Not only will your kids have a lunch that is healthy for them, but you will have eliminated the need for a separate freezer pack! 

Fun and Creative School Lunch Ideas

Whether it is the first day of school, a birthday, or you just want to do something to make your kid smile… packing a sweet lunch that will help them know you’re thinking of them is a great way to add a little surprise to their day! It’s not hard to think outside the “lunchbox” and do a little something extra when making lunch for kids! Kids are wowed by the tiniest of details! Check out these fun, SUPER creative and easy school lunch ideas, then get ready to see a guaranteed smile on your child’s face!

Healthy & Fun Snack Ideas For Kids

  • Lunches With Faces – These school lunch ideas have so much personality! Check out how you can create your own darling sandwiches with some simple around-the-house ingredients!
  • “Frozen” Themed Lunch – Do you have any Frozen fanatics in the house? Then they are going to LOVE this Olaf inspired, school lunch – including blueberry yogurt topped with “Frozen” sprinkles!
  • “You are My Sunshine” Lunch – This darling school lunch idea is sure to bring a smile to your child’s face and make their day!
  • Minion Lunch – Your child will be so excited when they open their lunchbox and find a minion inside! Recreate this fun idea by cutting a banana in two, in order to make the shape of a minion head!
  • Veggie Rainbow Wrap – Okay, the cuteness factor here is through the roof! So easy to execute with a few ingredients, and good for your kids too!
  • Ziploc Bag Sandwich Faces – If you don’t have a lot of time on your hands, but you’re looking for a fun way to spruce up your kids’ lunches, this is the idea for you! Grab a sharpie marker and draw some fun faces on the ziploc baggies inside your kids’ lunchboxes!
  • Phineas and Ferb Lunch – Earn some major bonus points with your kids when you bring to life their favorite cartoon characters from Phineas and Ferb!
  • “Fishy” Themed Lunch – Pack a tuna fish sandwich in the shape of a fish, Goldfish crackers, and Swedish Fish for an under-the-sea themed lunch!
  • Green”Hulk” Themed Lunch – The other kids at school will be turning green with envy when your child shows up with this AWESOME Hulk themed lunch! How adorable is that little kiwi Hulk?
  • Fun Checkers Sandwich – Game on! Create a fun-filled lunch by cutting out a checkerboard with cheese and bologna!
  • Apple and Peanut Butter Toothy Smiles – These Apple and Peanut Butter Teeth would make a great addition to a spooky lunch for Halloween!
  • Monsters Inc. Apples – Add some personality to your child’s school lunch with a Mike Wazowski apple! Use marshmallows and some food writer edible markers to re-create these fun little snacks!
  • Cute Butterfly Snack Bags – How cute are these little butterflies!? Use colorful clothespins, pipe cleaners, and googly eyes to turn little snacks like grapes, raisins, or cheerios into beautiful butterflies!
  • Airhead Letters – Leave all sorts of messages in your kiddo’s lunchbox with this fun idea! Use mini letter cookie cutters and an airhead to create fun edible words!
  • Fun Colored Pasta Noodles – Add some major pizzazz to your child’s lunchbox with some colored noodles!
  • Teddy Bear Sandwich – Liven up a boring sandwich by turning it into an adorable Teddy Bear with a few simple ingredients!
  • Pumpkin Cuties – These cute little creations would be the perfect addition to a school lunch right around Halloween!
  • Butterfly Sandwich – The great thing about this creative lunch idea is it’s not complicated to make! Use a cookie cutter to cut a sandwich into the shape of a butterfly!
  • Birthday Surprise Lunch – We love the idea of celebrating birthdays ALL DAY LONG! You celebrate your kiddos birthday even while they are at school! Surprise them by wrapping up the items in their lunchbox!
  • First Day of School Lunch – Make your kid’s first day of school extra special with this clever back to school lunchbox surprise!
  • “Minecraft” Themed Lunch – This Minecraft themed lunch is so fun and the best part is it would be SUPER easy to replicate!
  • Fairy Sprinkled Sandwich – Use a cookie cutter to create a window in sandwich. Finish your “Fairy Sandwich” with colorful sprinkles!
  • Fruity Notes – Let your kids know that they are the “Apple” of your eye with this fun fruity note idea! Grab a permanent marker (for the fruit with skin the kids don’t eat – like oranges and bananas) and an edible marker (for those without a protective skin like apples and pears), and write a special note ON a piece of fruit in your child’s lunchbox!
  • Doughnut Sandwich – We don’t know about you, but that is about the MOST delicious looking peanut butter and jelly sandwich we have ever seen! And soooo easy to make!
  • Cream Cheese Daisy Sandwiches – Add a bit of whimsy to your child’s lunchbox with these creative, cream cheese and jelly daisies!
  • Worm in an Apple Sandwich –This creative lunch idea is perfect for the first day of school! Pack up a fun, apple-themed lunch! Don’t forget to add a gummy worm for the finishing touch!
  • Animal Sandwiches – These creative school lunch ideas would make a great surprise! Turn your child’s sandwich into an owl, cow, or bunny!
  • Funny Monster Sandwich – If your kids like monsters, they are going to flip for this fun sandwich idea! Surprise them with this funny monster in their lunchbox!
  • Superhero Lunch – Up, up, and away! Check out this darling Superhero-themed lunch idea filled with drinks dressed in capes an a cute superhero sandwich!

After School Snacks

Do your kids come home after school, starving for an afternoon snack? Similarly, you might need a mid-afternoon pick me up! Check out these after-school snack ideas that are quick and delicious! Further, you can take a lot of these ideas and make them work for parts of their lunches too.

Easy After School Snack Ideas

  • Grilled Cheese Roll-Up – Add a twist to the traditional grilled-cheese with these great-tasting Grilled Cheese Roll-Ups!
  • Ranch Chex Mix – Your kids won’t be able to resist this savory after school snack! This easy recipe is super easy to prepare and will have your kids asking for more!
  • Apple, Cheese, and Crackers With A Twist – This great after school snack includes three ingredients every kid loves! Cheese, apples, and crackers! Add a dash of some cinnamon/sugar seasoning for a delicious twist!
  • Kid-Approved Veggie Dip – This kid-approved vegetable dip is guaranteed to be a major hit in your house after school!
  • Ants on a Log – An oldie but a goodie! The kids can easily make this after school snack themselves when they come in the door.
  • Yogurt Dipped Pretzels – A quick after-school snack that is both sweet AND salty! Yogurt Dipped Pretzels are delicious, satisfying, and come together in a snap!
  • Mini Banana Sliders – The simplest things are the best… and this after snack is no exception! Slice up a banana and pair it with peanut butter to create your own Mini Banana Sliders!
  • Easy Granola Bar Pops – Sweetened with honey and dried cranberries, these easy-to-make Granola Bar Pops are the perfect substitute for sugary sweets! And get this — you can make them with an ice cube tray for a fun bite-size!
  • Frozen Yogurt Bites – Check out this super cute, bite-sized, and tasty after school snack! Combine fresh raspberries with a dollop of yogurt and place them in the freezer!
  • Loaded Apple Nachos – There is not much to say about these decadent goodies! It’s pretty simple…when you take something great like apples, add something delicious like peanut butter, and then top it off with chocolate… well, you really can’t go wrong!
  • Homemade Pretzel Bites – Are you looking for an after school snack the kidlets will love? These homemade Pretzel Bites are sure to be a home run!
  • Deep Dish Pizza Cupcakes – Trust us…. these Pizza Cupcakes are a major crowd pleaser! Their bite-sized shape also make them the perfect snack for small appetites!
  • Cheese-Tomato Melt – This was a staple after school snack in our house growing up! Place slices of tomatoes and cheese on top of a piece of bread and broil for a few minutes! Your kids will be licking their lips for more!
  • Apple Cookies Topped With Pretzels – Salty and sweet! This after snack will curb your kids’ hunger and the sweetness they crave after school!
  • Banana Whipped Fruit Dip – This easy-to-prepare Banana Whipped Fruit Dip makes a great after school snack! Be sure to pair it with some delicious, fresh-cut fruit!
  • Frozen GoGurt – Are your kids busy after school with extra-curricular activities? Then check out this awesome snack hack! Throw some GoGurts in the freezer for and easy, grab-and-go after school treat! Your kids can easily eat these in the car as they head to practice!
  • Easy Strawberry Fruit Leather –  Instead of fruit snacks, give your kids a piece of fruit leather for an after school snack! These can easily be made in advance!
  • Easy DIY Bagel Bites – Here is another after school snack idea that uses ingredients you already might have in your fridge! Check out this awesome DIY recipe for Bagel Bites!
  • No-Bake Energy Bites – These awesome No-Bake Energy Bites can replace the boring granola bar and is healthier than a piece of candy. They make great after school snacks for kids and teens!
  • Cracker Pizza Using Tortilla Shells – This Cracker Pizza recipe uses simple ingredients like tortillas and pizza sauce! They are the ultimate after-school snack, especially for those pizza-loving kids!

Lunchbox Hacks

Putting together all these school lunch ideas is great – but we wanted to go a step further and help you make the best use of your time. Cut down your time preparing school lunches in the morning with these awesome lunchbox hacks! You can thank us later (wink wink).

Lunchbox Hacks for School Lunches

  • DIY Lunch Ice Packs Using Sponges – Buy a cheap pack of 4 sponges at the Dollarstore or a 12 pack here and turn them into quick DIY ice packs! Then, if they get lost during the school year, they won’t be a huge loss or cost to replace.
  • Secret to Preventing Browning Apples and Pears – Ewww…. nothing is worse than a browning apple! Check out this awesome hack of how you can prevent sliced apples or pears from browning in your child’s lunchbox!
  • Easy-to-Fit Drink Containers – These reusable, dishwasher safe, freezable, AND foldable drink containers are going to rock your world! They are a great alternative to a bulky water bottle or canteen! Your kid will be happy to drink out of it and subsequently, you’re helping the environment. That’s a win-win!
  • Re-Usable Sandwich Bags – Do you feel like you go through thousands of Ziploc bags during the school year? Get your hands on these re-usable sandwich bags! Not only will they save you money over time, but they are also the perfect solution to prevent plastic waste!
  • Painless Lunch Packing Secrets – Simplify your life with these genius lunch packing secrets!
  • Planning School Lunches Printable – Need a quick reference for school lunch ideas, then print off this wonderful printable from Lil’ Luna!
  • Pack Wet Wipes In School Lunch – Head to the Dollarstore or travel section at your local Walmart and pick up a small pouch of Wet Wipes to throw in your child’s lunchbox! They make for an easy clean-up after lunch!
  • Use Juice Boxes As Ice Packs – Have you ever thought about freezing your child’s juice box and using it as a freezer pack to keep their lunch cold? When lunchtime rolls around their juice will be thawed and all ready to drink!
  • Easy Lunch Packing With Bento Boxes – Trust us when we say Bento Boxes are life-changing…especially when it comes to packing school lunches! Say goodbye to squished sandwiches and bulky containers!
  • How to Remove Juice From A Fruit Cup – We can’t think of anything worse than a fruit cup exploding in your lunchbox! Trust us from experience… It is a hot mess! Check out this genius hack: you can actually remove the juice from a fruit cup BEFORE packing it in your child’s lunchbox, as a result, no sticky spills!
  • Create Easy Fun Food Shapes – Okay, we totally watch Shark Tank and when we saw these FunBites food cutters we were like, “How in the world do we get our hands on them!?” But seriously, they are the perfect solution to creating FUN and EASY school lunches!

And there you have it! Over 100 School Lunch Ideas for Kids! Now the tough part is deciding which one you will make first! For example, sandwich sushi or kabobs?! This is a pretty good dilemma to have!

If you are looking for EVEN MORE great ways to show some love to your kiddos at lunch, then check out these adorable Lunchbox Notes and Jokes! In addition to an adorable version for kids, there is also a spouse-specific versions!  Not only that, but we also have an amazing Back To School Shopping List allowing for easy shopping! And finally, you can also check out our “Back to School” Pinterest board! It is full of awesome school lunch ideas, after-school activities, teacher gift ideas…and more!

About the Author: Shanelle

I am a reading, singing, shopping queen! (I'm very lucky that my handsome hubby likes shopping as much as I do) Married for 7 years and ready for forever, I love spending time with Brigham (my husband), our girls, and our new baby boy. I teach high school English and in the summertime we love to go on adventures in the great outdoors.

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