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Back to School Lunchbox Ideas

I can’t believe that back to school season is already upon us. This summer has flown by. Before I know it, I’ll be back to the daily routine of packing school lunches.

Summer is always full of fun…afternoons at the pool, visiting family, playdates at the park, and more. But I can’t help but look forward a little to getting back into a daily routine during the week.

With school in session the weekends feel just a little bit more special than they do during the summer (when every day feels so much like a weekend that I sometimes lose track of what day it is.)

Routine, however, can become a problem where lunchboxes are involved. I don’t want my kids to become used to  seeing the same items day after day in their lunchboxes. No one wants to get the Back-to-School Sandwich Blues. Here are several lunch ideas to help get you started on the right foot.

4 Lunchbox Snack Ideas – Beyond the Sandwich!

Whoever said a lunchbox has to contain a sandwich as a main dish anyway?

1. Snacks on a Stick

Putting snacks on a stick is a fun lunch idea that can be used to deconstruct a sandwich, or just take what you have in the fridge – fruits, meats, vegetables, and cheeses – that you kids will eat and presenting them in a different way. Logan and Madeline love to make kebab snacks, so naturally I thought this would be a fun way to pack a lunch.

Try these flavor combinations in your lunchbox:

  • Canteloupe + Ham + Green Grapes + Mozzarella
  • Salami + Italian Bread Cubes + Grape Tomatoes + Fresh Basil + Mozzarella
  • Turkey + Apple Cubes + Celery Slices + Swiss Cheese or White Cheddar
  • Bacon Strips + Lettuce + Italian Bread Cubes + Tomatoes
Tip: Laughing Cow’s Mini Babybel® are the perfect portion size for a kebab. Just remove the wax and cut the circle into quarters. Then, thread onto a stick

Kid Involvement:

It is easy for kids to assemble their own lunch kebabs on a stick (look for long, appetizer style toothpicks) after mom or dad does the cutting.

2. DIY Cracker Sandwiches

Everyone loves the classic sandwich cracker. It is still a sandwich, but it isn’t. No more mundane PB&J (for those not allergic) or boring ham and cheese.

Crackers are great fun to get creative with and fun for the kids to build as they eat. All mom has to do is prepare the individual components and pack them separately.

Try these flavor combinations in your lunchbox:

  • Salami + Mozzerella + Grape Tomato Halves
  • Turkey + Swiss + Cranberry Sauce
  • Ham + Your Favorite Cheese + Apple or Pear Slice
  • Nut Butter + Banana Slices
Tip: Try spreading The Laughing Cow® Wedges or The Laughing Cow® Smooth Sensations™ Cream Cheese Spread on the crackers instead of sliced cheeses to mix things up.

3. Fruit, Yogurt, and Granola Parfaits

Yogurt can be high in sugar which can’t sustain the body with the energy requirements needed at school. Look for high-protein yogurt varieties, Greek is great, and/or use half yogurt and half cottage cheese to pack in your child’s lunch.

lunchbox fruit and yogurt parfait ideas

If you’re worried about the granola losing its crunch, simply layer the yogurt and fruit and pack any granola and nuts separate. Just make sure your child knows to sprinkle those on top before they eat.

Try these flavor combinations in your lunchbox:

  • Lemon Yogurt + In Season Berries + Granola
  • Vanilla Yogurt + Coconut Flakes + Pineapple and Kiwi + Granola
  • Vanilla Yogurt + Cinnamon and Nutmeg + Diced Pears + Pecans + Granola
  • Pomegranate or Orange Yogurt + Pomegranate Arils or Cranberry Relish and Orange Sections + Walnuts + Granola

Kid Involvement:

It is easy to keep the basics: yogurt and granola on hand. Customize with fruit depending on your child’s input and what is in season. Kids can easily help layer the ingredients to help mom or dad prepare the parfait.

4. Pita Bread and Veggies with Hummus

Hummus is such a simple thing to make and can easily be made over the weekend for use during the next week. Pair it with wedges of pita bread and vegetables for dipping.

garbanzo bean recipe

Because the main ingredient in hummus is typically beans, it is a great nutrient dense dip option to pack in school lunches for the kid who prefers snack-like options and enjoys dips. Look for whole grain pita bread to pair alongside.

Try some of these homemade hummus recipes in your lunchbox:

Kid Involvement:

Put kids in charge of vegetable selection. Hummus is so easy to prepare that kids can practically make it themselves with supervision (for safety reasons). If they’re not ready for that, they’ll at least want to help by pressing the button.

Need some vegetable suggestions?

  • Logan prefers celery, carrots, and red peppers.
  • Madeline likes sugar snap peas, radishes, and cucumber slices.

More Back to School Food Ideas:

Are you ready to start packing school lunches? Do you have a great lunch idea for this year?

I am an official brand advocate for Bel Brands in 2013. While I receive compensation for participation as a brand advocate, opinions are my own.


Monday 29th of July 2013

Such fun and delicious ideas!