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35 Easy School Lunchbox Ideas

35+ Easy School Lunchbox Ideas to help take away the stress of packing lunches!  Everything from sandwiches to soups, snacks and more.

If you’re looking for some ideas for your kids school lunches, then you’re in the right place! There are loads of ideas for sandwiches, soups, packable salads, snacks, desserts and more. Most of the recipes here are dishes you can make specifically for lunches throughout the week, or serve the leftovers from dinner the night before. Sometimes I like to make big batches of dinner recipes and freeze what I can to use as leftovers for lunch. I hope you find something delicious.

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of Year?

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…oops wrong season. Or not haha! Actually, every year I have very mixed feelings about back to school, I love having the kids home with me during the summer. I really do. I love our lazy mornings and days out enjoying the sun. I also know that these summers together are fleeting because my babies are growing up, so I try to soak in as much time with them as I can. But we do reach a point where everyone is just ready for some routine. The kids are ready to see their friends, they’re ready for regular bed times and quite frankly so is their mom. And inevitably, school starts up again next week and we’re back to the grind. I’m looking forward to the routine…but not making lunches.

Make Lunch Planning Easier Than Ever.

I think school lunches are the worst meal ever to make. Ever. I hate making lunch. But when it comes down to it the real reason I hate it so much is because it’s the only meal of the day I don’t plan well for. I kind of just wing it for lunches, so this year I’m hoping to get more organized and plan ahead, and maybe you are too?

Let the the kids help.

Truth be told my kids actually make their own lunches. This is something we started doing last year and both the kids and I love it. They like having control over what goes in their lunch every day and I like giving them the freedom to do it. It’s just about making sure to have good food on hand for them to pack so I don’t worry about them packing unhealthy lunches. So this year I’m going to focus on stocking up the fridge, freezer and pantry with healthy food that they can easily put into their lunch boxes.

I hope this collection of 35+ Easy School Lunchbox Ideas will provide some lunch inspiration for you! There are many delicious ideas here including sandwiches, salads, soups, cookies, muffins, snacks…you name it…there’s something for everyone. Just click on the titles of each dish for the recipe! xo

35+ School Lunchbox Ideas


Our Favorite

Lunchbox Sandwich Recipes

Sandwiches.  Even after all these years I still love sandwiches.  And 2 out of 3 of my kids do too.  For the one that doesn’t we use lettuce as wraps, or pack crackers or pitas instead.  This is a simple collection of delicious sandwiches (and some pinwheels too).

35 Easy School Lunchbox Ideas: a turkey pesto sandwich on a white plate

Our Favorite

Bread Recipes

If you want homemade bread and buns for lunch, here are my favourite bread machine recipes!


Our Favorite

Soup Recipes

Soups are great for sending as lunch.  Just double a batch and you have soup for dinner and lunches for the week too.


Our Favorite

Dinner Recipes for Lunch Leftovers

Leftovers from dinner the night before are great for school lunches! Warm them up and send them in a thermos. Sometimes I even like to make big batches of dinner recipes and freeze what I can to use as leftovers for lunch.


Our Favorite

Packable Salad Recipes

Salads are a great alternative to sandwiches.  They can be very hearty and full of nutritious and filling ingredients.  These are some of our faves!

35 Easy School Lunchbox Ideas: a tray full of no bake cheerio squares

Our Favorite

Cookie Recipes

No school lunch is complete without cookies!  A few of these recipes are ones my Mom made for my sister and I growing up, and now I’m making them for my kids.  The Forest Rangers are the best!

35 Easy School Lunchbox Ideas: a stack of raisin oatmeal cookies

Our Favorite

Muffin + Loaf Recipes

Muffins and slices of loaves make great lunch snacks! Here are some of our favourites:

35 Easy School Lunchbox Ideas: a bowl full of maple apple muffins

PIN IT for later!

35+ Easy School Lunchbox Ideas

Well I’ve got my list together, now I just have to make it happen! I see some big batch cooking and baking in my very near future and I’m looking forward to it…this is one of my most favourite things about fall. I hope you found some deliciousness here in these School Lunchbox Ideas too!

If you’re looking for more ideas, make sure to follow me on Pinterest!

Have a delicious day!

Please note that this post was originally published in August 2014, but I have since updated it with more recipe ideas and new images.

35 Easy School Lunchbox Ideas {A Pretty Life}

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7 Comments

  1. Lovely round up! I think a lot of parents are looking for lunchbox inspiration at this time of year. Those of us who work in offices, too. Eating out gets so expensive and the quick lunch places that pepper downtown are often serving food that’s not as good as what you can bring from home.

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