Are your kids back to school yet? We just finished our first day. I always have mixed emotions – the freedom of summer is wonderful and we love getting out and exploring. But in reality, we don’t do that every day…and the days we don’t often have plenty of bickering and too much screen time and definitely some messes and chaos. I like the routine and schedule that the school year provides. Everything in its season, I suppose.
Right now, everyone is eager to go (my younger kids were up a full hour early this morning to get ready!) We have our shiny new pencils and crayons, and brand-new backpacks and lunchboxes. Everyone lines up to make their lunches for the next day, right after we eat dinner. But I also know that a few weeks into the school year, these same children will complain that all our school lunch ideas are boring. They’ll have sandwich fatigue and lose steam when it comes to prepping the next day’s food. There are only so many ways to make a sandwich, and ours are pretty predictable.
So we’ve been looking for school lunch ideas that aren’t sandwiches. We’re not giving them up altogether…just looking to mix it up a bit around here. Sometimes that means whole new recipes…sometimes it just means taking all the ingredients for sandwiches and serving them on toothpicks or skewers or cutting them up in different shapes. It’s funny how little things can make kids excited about their lunches again.
In the spirit of adventure…and on a quest for whimsy…here are 31 school lunch ideas for sandwichless meals. Venture forth, Brave Meal-Making Warriors, and happy eating to you all!
1.) LEGO Wyld Style Bento Lunch from Lunchbox Dad — my kids would lose their minds for this
2.) Veggie Bugs from The Decorated Cookie
3.) Turkey and cheese wraps — wrap turkey, cheese, and lettuce in a whole-wheat tortilla and add a dab of ranch dressing
4.) Hardboiled eggs and sliced veggies
5.) Healthy and Easy Bento Lunches from Eats Amazing
6.) Mini-Corndog Muffins from Keeley McGuire
7.) Fruit and cheese skewers — alternate fruit chunks like strawberries, melon, or whole grapes with diced cheese.
8.) Quesadillas — warm or cold. They taste great either way. Add a small container of mild salsa for dipping.
9.) Homemade Pizza Rolls from Picklebums
10.) or plain ol’ leftover pizza
11.) Fiesta Chicken Taco Salad from Happiness is Homemade
12.) Sandwich Skewers from Hello Wonderful
13.) Ham, Cheese, and Spinach Muffins from Learn with Play at Home
14.) Taco Salad Lunch Bowls from Kristine’s Kitchen
15.) Homemade Hummus with pita bread, cheese, and veggies
16.) Graham cracker peanut butter and jelly sandwiches
17.) Cucumber and cream cheese wraps
18.) Lunchbox Pizzas from Food Folks and Fun
19.) Bagels with peanut butter and sliced banana
20.) Banana Nutella sushi from Kidspot
21.) Taco Pop Tarts from Babble
22.) Tortilla Pinwheel Lollipops from Home Cooking Memories
23.) Chicken Taco Bento Box from The Exhausted Mom
24.) Ham & Mac & Cheese Lunchbox Muffins from I Should be Mopping the Floor
25.) Grilled Cheese Roll-Ups from Cincy Shopper
26.) MYO Lunchables from What Lisa Cooks
27.) Waffle Tacos from Kids Activities Blog
28.) Cheesy Meatball Bites from Butter With a Side of Bread
29.) Ham & Cheese Apple Wraps from Momables
31.) Cranberry Chocolate Overnight Oats – tasty for breakfast, sure…but also delicious for lunch! I’d make the oats in an insulated container instead of a mason jar so they stay cool.