16 Ridiculously Easy School Lunches
The start of a new school year is always a hectic time, so when there's a process to be streamlined and simplified, we're on it. That's why having a repertoire of easy school lunches you can make for kids of any ages is going to make your life less stressful. Work with your kid's preferences and favorite foods to craft a list of easy things to make for school lunch you can turn to again and again. Your kids will love these easy lunch ideas for school so much they'll never trade!
Better Peanut Butter Sandwich
If your kids are allowed to bring peanut butter to school and they're tired of the PB&J staple, this fun, sweet fruit ingredient will be a welcome surprise. It also has less sugar than jelly.
Take the school spelling lesson to silly — and delicious — heights when you send your little ones off for the day with one of these easy school lunches in a Thermos. It's a great way to sneak in a serving or two of veggies, too!
Take tuna fish for a spin when you roll it up in a tortilla with greens for an easy school lunch. Seal it with plastic or foil so it stays wrapped up in the lunch bag.
This easy weeknight dinner will make the kids smile when they see this cheesy chicken lunch for their midday meal. Make them ahead of time, warm up in the microwave, and seal in aluminum foil before the school day.
Vegetarian Chickpea Sandwich Filling
If your child (or family) is a vegetarian, this hearty sandwich spread will be a welcome change from soggy salads and nut butter sandwiches. It's one of the easy school lunches that can be made with simple staples you probably have in your kitchen.
Fresh Dill Pasta Salad
This cold salad is made with fresh dill, cooked shrimp, cucumber, Dijon mustard, and lemon juice. It'll remind your teen of their favorite spring flavors that can be enjoyed at any time of year.
Easy Homemade Chili
Serve this family-favorite weekday dinner for lunch with shredded cheese, whole-grain crackers, and fruit for a warm, hearty easy school lunch they'll want over and over again.
California Club Turkey Sandwich
The ho-hum turkey school lunch option gets a few upgrades with avocado, cream cheese, and sunflower seeds for crunch! Serve it on your child's favorite type of bread with a bag of chips or pretzels.
Individual Baked Eggs
Egg cups are known for being a simple grab-and-go breakfast — especially if mom or dad is watching their carbs — but they make a yummy lunch option, too. Cheese and bacon (or swap in cooked sausage) add a savory element. You could also add cooked, chopped veggies to this easy school lunch option for more vitamins and nutrients.
While you're baking or pan-frying that bacon for the eggcups, cook a few more for BLT sandwiches or these BLTs in a tortilla wrap. "The recipe by itself is perfect or for a little variety can use any combinations such as mayo ranch salsa sour cream, cream cheese, and guacamole," writes reviewer Angela Schmidt.
Kid-Approved Bento Toolbox Lunch
If you're new to creating Bento boxes, start with a few simple ingredients like chopped vegetables and fruit, nuts (if allowed), and rolled-up sandwiches. This version is filled to the brim in a child's toolbox — along with toys! — for a midday meal their friends will be jealous of, and mom or dad will feel good about serving.
Southwestern Quinoa Salad
One of the best things about quinoa salad is that it can be made ahead of time and served cold (or warm) all week in different ways. This version that's going to be a favorite in the easy school lunches list has black beans, tomato, feta, and corn. Add or subtract ingredients according to your child's preferences.
Sweet Ham Roll-Ups
If your child loves ham and cheese sandwiches, add this recipe to your lunch food ideas for school arsenal. Apples add crunch and sweetness — and it's another way to sneak more fruit into your kid's diet.
Easy Mini Bagel Pizzas
This comfort food is often a favorite after-school snack — and for good reason! Pizza any time of day will make your child smile. Make them in the toaster oven before school and wrap in aluminum foil to keep them warm. "I use canned pizza sauce. After I spread some on the toasted bagel I sprinkle with garlic powder and Italian seasonings," writes reviewer SLJ6.
Chicken Club Pasta Salad
Use your child's favorite pasta shape when making one of this lunch for school. It has chicken, bacon, vegetables, and avocado for a creamy pasta salad that will keep them full until dinner!
Lunch Box Pita Pockets
It doesn't get any easier than this kid-friendly lunch recipe. Add your child's favorite sandwich fixings' to a pita pocket, and serve with a piece of fruit. This will be one of your go-to easy school lunches when you're in a rush and need to get lunches done fast.