Back to School Lunch Ideas


Back to School season is here!

Back to School Lunch Ideas | Denver Metro Moms Blog

I love this time of year: excitement, nerves, fresh crayons, new notebooks, and the promise of a new adventure on the horizon. I have 4 kiddos entering school this month and they have already started planning out their first week of school… meaning what they’ll be eating. After all, lunch is the second most important thing about school (after friends, of course). Don’t freak out if you don’t have all the lunch ideas yet – I’m here to help!

There are many ways to keep lunch interesting without it being too much work. The first thing is to have a good lunch bag/box system. We have these, which are a bento box style.  I like them because both the kids and I can use make fun combos for lunch. My middle son uses two different bags – in case he forgets one at school. His favorite is the Fire Truck one by Thermos.

Favorite Lunch Bag
Favorite Lunch Bag

Once you figure out the right container, all that’s left is what to fill it with!

Depending on your child, and your school, the standard PB&J may not fly. My kids can bring a PB&J, but it isn’t an everyday item. I have one kiddo who packs full time, one that decides at the beginning of the week which she wants for the week (pack or school lunch), and one that eats school lunch every day (it’s the teenager – they serve pizza everyday… I think I would pick this, too). So, usually at the start of the week I know how many lunches we will need for the week. If you look on Pinterest there is no shortage of ideas, but here are a few of my families favorites:

Lunch Ideas That Your Kids Will Love::

Corn Pup Muffins

Mini corn dog muffins with a little flavor, which can be served hot or cold. Pack it with some carrots and a frozen squeeze yogurt (I love to add these – by the time lunch comes they are usually perfect for slurping!).

Breakfast for Lunch

Mini pancake muffins (recipe below), Canadian bacon or ham, strawberries, and a cheese slice.

For mini pancake muffins: take your favorite pancake batter, pour into a lined mini muffin pan, top with dried blueberries, chocolate chips, sprinkles, fresh raspberries-anything! Bake at 350 for about 12 minutes.

Meat and Cheese

Their favorite lunch meat (usually salami in our lunch boxes), cheese, and crackers. Add in frozen squeeze yogurt and some melon or a mini candy bar for a special treat.

Other Lunch Ideas

Two hard boiled eggs, string cheese, two cuties, and a marshmallow crisp treat.

Cottage cheese with mini tomatoes, crackers, and orange slices.

A batch of the corn pup and mini pancake muffins last about a month in my house, as I’ll usually make a large batch and freeze to grab and go, as needed.

If your child’s school has a microwave (ours has 2), teach your child how to use it and it opens up so many possibilities. Think quesadillas, mini cheeseburgers, English muffin pizza, nachos, etc.

The most important things about packing your kiddos lunch is to remember: what will they actually eat, how big is their tummy, and how much nutrition you can pack in. How much time do they have to eat and what time will they eat is also important to keep in mind.

What are some of your favorite things to pack in lunches? Share your lunch ideas with us!

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Rhonda is a Northern Colorado native and a momma to 5 wild things. With kiddos ranging from senior in high school to first year of preschool, they keep her out of trouble (mostly). Having a husband who makes her laugh every day is her secret to keeping it all “together”. In her spare time, Rhonda enjoys volunteering, reading, and falling asleep on the couch. For an escape from the household, she works very part time for UCHealth, and she really enjoys the people it has brought into her life. As a mom to kids in different seasons, Rhonda loves to see what’s next and can’t wait to share in that journey with you!


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