30 Out-of-the-Box Ideas for Healthy School Lunches

Mozzarella, Tomato and Pesto MeltsSchool has started, and that means for many of us it’s time to figure out not only what to make for dinner every day, but what to pack in the kids’ lunchboxes. While some kids are perfectly content and maybe even comforted by eating the same lunch day after day, other children prefer more variety.  Below is a list of some of our favorite healthy homemade school lunch ideas.


  1. Your child’s favorite cold cuts like turkey, ham or salami, cheese and lettuce on whole wheat bread
  2. Turkey or ham or other cold cuts, red bell pepper strips, and cheese wrapped in a whole wheat tortilla, with mayonnaise, spicy mustard or salsa
  3. Whole wheat tortilla with your child’s favorite cold cuts, shredded cheese (or leave out the meat and use cream cheese) and shredded carrots, rolled into a wrap
  4. Tuna, chicken or egg salad with whole grain crackers or pita chips or on a bagel with lettuce
  5. Your child’s favorite cheese and sliced tomato sandwich (put the tomato between the slices of cheese so the bread doesn’t get soggy) with a little mayonnaise or mustard
  6. Fresh mozzarella, basil or pesto and tomato (or tapenade) on a soft baguette.
  7. Peanut or other nut butter on whole wheat with jelly, sliced bananas, honey, raisins or apples
  8. Bean and cheese burritos (warm black beans & cheese on tortilla in microwave & wrap in foil) or quesadillas
  9. Rice cakes with natural peanut or other nut butter
  10. Whole grain bagel with cream cheese and sliced cucumbers

Hot Foods:

  1. Leftovers like pasta, tortellini with tomato sauce, pizza, chicken, meatloaf or steak (kids don’t seem to mind eating them cold).  Save little condiment packages from takeout food to use as dips
  2. Black beans and rice or other rice salad (such as one of the rice or orzo salads on The Scramble website)
  3. Healthy soup or chili in a thermos (try The Scramble’s Tomato and Wild Rice Soup or Black Bean and Tomato Soup)
  4. Morningstar Farms Veggie Nuggets with ketchup (bake in the morning and wrap in foil)
  5. Cooked oatmeal in a thermos with brown sugar and berries on the side

Other Proteins, Veggies, Fruits and Grains:

  1. Trail mix made with raisins, peanuts, and chocolate chips (or your kids’ favorite items) or granola bars
  2. Turkey or ham and sliced cheese roll ups (secure with toothpicks)
  3. Hard-boiled eggs or egg salad
  4. Healthy dried cereals (milk is optional)
  5. Homemade whole grain muffins such as Blueberry Raspberry Oatmeal Muffins
  6. Sliced apples and cheddar
  7. Popcorn (a whole grain!), alone or mixed with raisins and nuts
  8. Whole grain tortilla chips and salsa (look for a brand without added sugar) or black bean dip or guacamole
  9. Low fat yogurt or cottage cheese with fresh fruit and granola or other cereal (keep them separate and let your child combine them at lunch)
  10. Caesar salad (pack dressing separately)
  11. Diced tofu drizzled with teriyaki sauce
  12. Drinkable, spoon-able, or squeezable yogurt or kefir
  13. Proteins like cheese sticks or cubes, sunflower seeds, nuts and chickpeas or other beans
  14. Baby carrots, celery, sliced cucumbers, snap peas, red bell pepper strips and/or pita chips with hummus or other dip
  15. All varieties of fresh fruit (cut apples, mango, oranges and other hard to eat fruit, if needed)

And for a free Healthy Lunch and Snack chart you can tack on your refrigerator (it’s part of our Back to School survival kits), try out any family dinner meal planning membership.

Watch the Video: Easy and Healthy School Lunches to Pack in Less than 10 Minutes

Healthy family meals on the table in 30 minutes or less!

Try The Scramble Meal Planner for Free

7 thoughts on “30 Out-of-the-Box Ideas for Healthy School Lunches

suzy says:

My kids love brown rice cakes with a schmear of cream cheese. We got this idea from pre-school and I even love it. Wrap in plastic wrap to keep fresh and throw in a chill pillow to keep the lunch cool.

Hello.This article was really interesting, particularly since I was investigating for thoughts on this issue last couple of days.

I believe that avoiding ready-made foods is the first step in order to lose weight. They can taste very good, but processed foods have very little nutritional value, making you take more only to have enough vigor to get throughout the day. Should you be constantly consuming these foods, moving over to cereals and other complex carbohydrates will make you to have more power while consuming less. Good blog post.

Livinglessmom says:

Great Ideas!

My kids like a small container of peanut butter and a cut apple. To keep the apple from browning we add water and a splash of lemon juice to the container with the cut apple and then pour off the liquid.

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