This year my kids opted to take home lunch. So we have been making a big list of home lunch ideas for school and I thought I would share it here since it can be time-consuming to plan out home lunch meals, especially on busy mornings.
Some things I am going to recommend for you to get if you don’t have them already are a good lunch box, reusable containers, and a nice ice pack. You will also want to get a stainless steel water bottle to send to school with your kid so they can enjoy cold water all day.
Another thing that has helped us is buying a bunch of snacks in bulk from Sam’s Club and/or Costco and then organizing them so they have a quick grab and go in the morning. If you don’t have a Sam’s Club membership, you can get one HERE for only $45 and get $45 off your first purchase so it’s like getting your membership for free. You can also get things shipped to you for free with your PLUS membership.
One more thing you can add to your lunch box is a nice thermos. This way your kids can have a hot or cold lunch! We have been doing that and it has been a hit so far. I am glad we got them so my kids can have a variety of things to eat and not get stuck with a PB&J every day.
Also, don’t forget to have them clean out their lunch boxes, clean their thermoses and put their ice packs in the freezer right after school each day.
Now that I have covered the basics, I am excited to share our list of home lunch ideas for school!
Cold home lunch ideas:
These are meant to be packed with a frozen ice pack that can keep the food cool so it doesn’t spoil. If you aren’t sure, test it with a thermometer for a few hours before use.
- Salad (add chicken, oranges, fruit, nuts, etc)
- Salad wrap
- Chicken wrap
- Pasta salad (you can make it a chicken salad, Italian salad, etc)
- Pinwheel (or rollup) sandwiches (ham, turkey, cheese, avocado, cucumbers, etc)
- Tuna fish and crackers with cheese
- Protein snack pack (tomatoes, cucumber, cheese squares, boiled egg, nuts)
- Uncrustables (make your own to save money)
Hot home lunch ideas:
These are meant to go in a thermos to keep the food hot so it doesn’t spoil. Or in a Tupperware with an ice pack so it can be heated if possible. If you aren’t sure, test it with a thermometer for a few hours before use.
- Noodles (Chinese,
- Mac and Cheese
- Burritos (put the filling in the thermos and they can build their own at school)
- Rice (add chicken, veggies, or butter and pepper)
- Steamed veggies
- Breakfast (pancakes, french toast, eggs, bacon, sausage)
- Pizza bites
- Any leftovers from dinner
- Mashed potatoes with breaded chicken and gravy
Home lunch snacks:
Some of these require an ice pack so the food doesn’t spoil. Don’t forget to put one in.
- Cut up fruit
- Cut up veggies
- Cheese squares
- String cheese
- Babybel cheese
- Granola bars
- Fruit snack
- Gogurt or a yogurt pouch
Lunch drink ideas:
- Waterbottle with drink mix packet
- Juice box
- Sports drink
- Shelf stable milk
- Orange Juice
- Apple Juice
I hope this list helps you get started on making your own list of meals. Using a printable meal planner is a great way to keep track of what you are making and it also helps make sure you have the ingredients. There are also a lot of dinner ideas here so you can make them and use the leftovers for a hot or cold home lunch then next day! Look for creative ways to repurpose the food as well.
Other school posts you might like:
Check out depositphotos.com for a fantastic collection of back-to-school photos!