The Ultimate School Lunch Ideas List

school lunch ideas

This phenomenal list was compiled by the members of a web board of which I’m a member and it’s going to be a total lifesaver for me this year, when I’m packing daily lunches for the first time. Please note that I haven’t edited it, and none of these were my ideas. I’m also not saying I’ll use all of them, but it’s a fantastic resource and I’m happy to share it!

If you have ideas to add, let me know in the comment section! Might as well make it a huge resource.

Thermos ideas:
mini quiche
chicken pot pie
beans and wieners
scrambled eggs
pasta with herbs and cheese
Pasta with lemon (olive oil, butter, dairy free spread, s/p, fresh lemon is best)
pasta with tomato sauce/meat sauce
oriental noodles
leftovers from dinner
pancakes (rolled up in thermos)
mac and cheese
fish or chicken sticks/nuggets
yam fries/reg. fries
hot dogs
rice with veggies (even with take out packs of soya sauce)
grilled cheese
black beans & rice
Meat chili
Veg chili
mini quiche
chicken pot pie
chicken soup

Cold lunch ideas:
Pasta salad
Potato salad
Bean Salad
Quinoa Salad with Black Beans

sunbutter/almond butter
bagels with coconut butter
cream cheese & jam
cream cheese and cucumber
pea butter and or jam
deli meat
tuna salad/salmon salad
chicken salad
Cold Pita Pizza  (pre-shred/slice & freeze mozzarella & pepperoni + use pizza sauce in a squeeze bottle)
Cheese melted in a pita
egg salad

fruit and veggies (with dip if they like):
carrot sticks
snap peas
celery sticks
corn nibblets
broccoli spears
cherry tomatoes
apple slices -shaker of cinnamon & sugar to put on apple slices to hide the oxidizing apples, squirt of lemon works as well
orange segments
melon pieces
salad with teeny container for dressing
fruit salad
hummus and veggies
watermelon and feta cubes together

goldfish crackers
cheese strings
dried apricots
frozen yogurt tubes
granola bars
fruit bars
oatmeal bars
yogurt drinks
cubed ham
rolled up deli meat
pickles and olives
hard boiled eggs – can be made in egg shapers
mini muffins
Homemade trailmix: dried apricots, cranberries & raisins, chocolate covered sunflower seeds, pretzels, roasted sunflower seeds, salted pumpkin seeds, wheat berries etc.
apple sauce

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19 thoughts on “The Ultimate School Lunch Ideas List

  1. Thank you for posting this! I do use some of these ideas already! Yeah for me!
    Still worried about my son however. He eats no fruits or veggies….and pretty much only eats peanut butter on bread.
    I’m going to have a great time with him!

    1. Does your school allow peanut butter replacements? (Our does not.)

      If so, Wow Butter is an awesome replacement and kids love it.

  2. A great list to remind of the other things that we tend not to try! I like sending hummus and veggies, bagels with coconut butter, my kids love watermelon and feta cubes together too! Thanks for sharing!

  3. My DD7 loves taking mini quiche, chicken pot pie and chicken soup in her thermos. I’ve also sent leftover fajitas (separate the ingredients in small containers, she assembles it herself at school), and “snack lunch” – cheese, crackers, fruit, turkey pepperoni, veggies.

  4. Sandwich fillings:
    Cream cheese, dark chocolate chip and grape
    Peanut butter & marmite/vegemite
    cheese & ham & Branston’s Pickle (if you have that).
    Ham & houmous

    1. Are you telling me to mix cream cheese, dark chocolate and grapes?

      We can’t send peanut butter to schools here at all. And I’ve never had marmite!

      What’s a Branston’s pickle?

  5. i send my daughter with wow butter its a peanut butter subsitute made with soybeans it tast just like peanut butter and she can have her peanut butter and jam sandwiches that way they come with stickers for lunch containers to let teachers know its peanut free and in some cases its cheaper than the name brand peanut butter. i found it in the isle at my local grocery store with the peanut butter.

    1. Yes, I mentioned that to another commenter. Our schools don’t actually allow those replacements, though. We do eat it all the time at home, though!

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