Quick and Easy School Lunch Ideas

You have our permission not to use cookie cutters, bento boxes, or edible markers. Just mix and match the healthy ingredients to create more than a dozen trade-proof lunches. Round them out with fruit and a drink.

Everything in this slideshow

1 of 26

Avery Powell

Egg Muffins

Make a batch of these red pepper- and cheese-filled muffins, and you'll have plenty for few days.

Get the Recipe
2 of 26

Avery Powell

Fiesta Pasta Salad

This Mexican-inspired salad has corn, black beans, and cheese.

Get the Recipe
3 of 26

Avery Powell

Roasted-Tomato Soup

Pasta shells and a sprinkle of cheese make this classic soup even more kid-friendly.

Get the Recipe
4 of 26

Avery Powell

Turkey and Cheese Quesadilla

This kid-fave is a great alternative to a sandwich.

Get the Recipe
5 of 26

Avery Powell

Chicken, Avocado, and Roasted Red Pepper Sandwich

A twist on chicken salad, this delicious mixture tastes great stuffed into a pita half.

Get the Recipe
6 of 26

Lunch Monitor: What Are Kids Throwing Away?

7 of 26

Avery Powell

Mexican Wrap

It's a healthier version of Mexican takeout.

Get the Recipe
8 of 26

Avery Powell

Italian Pasta Salad

Make this salad the night before so it's ready to pop in the lunchbox in the morning.

Get the Recipe
9 of 26

Avery Powell

PB&C Sandwich

This fun version of PB&J swaps jelly for dried cherries. If your child goes to a nut-free school or is allergic to peanut butter, use sunflower butter instead.

Get the Recipe
10 of 26

Avery Powell

Peanutty Noodles

Cook extra noodles at dinner to use in this dish.

Get the Recipe
11 of 26

Avery Powell

Salsa With Tortilla Chips

It's so simple to make your own tortilla chips.

Get the Recipe
12 of 26

Avery Powell

Carrot Salad

Apples and raisins add sweetness to this dish.

Get the Recipe
13 of 26

Avery Powell

White Bean Dip With Pita Crackers

Our recipe makes enough for three servings.

Get the Recipe
14 of 26

Avery Powell

Creamy Banana Sammie

The cinnamon-topped bananas will make this sandwich feel like dessert.

Get the Recipe
15 of 26

Avery Powell

Chicken Vegetable Noodle Soup

It's perfect for a chilly day.

Get the Recipe
16 of 26

Avery Powell

Apple Raisin Sandwich

Who needs bread when you have crunchy, sweet apple slices?

Get the Recipe
17 of 26

Avery Powell

Cheddar and Apple Sandwich

Keep the skin on your child's apple slices -- they're packed with antioxidants.

Get the Recipe
18 of 26

Avery Powell

Chicken Salad Sub

Make classic chicken salad way more interesting by spooning it into a sub roll.

Get the Recipe
19 of 26

Avery Powell

Nutty Yogurt Dip

Move over, salad dressing. This delicious dip delivers protein.

Get the Recipe
20 of 26

Avery Powell

Egg Salad with Pita Crackers

Make a batch of pita crackers on Sunday night, and have them ready for the week's lunches.

Get the Recipe
21 of 26

Avery Powell

Southwest Soup

Pack a little piece of baguette or small roll on the side.

Get the Recipe
22 of 26

Avery Powell

Red Pepper & White Bean Soup

Pureed beans add extra fiber, and your kid won't notice them one bit!

Get the Recipe
23 of 26

Avery Powell

Carrot Soup

Pack a little Greek yogurt for your child to swirl inside.

Get the Recipe
24 of 26

Avery Powell

Yogurt Parfait

Let your child assemble the ingredients at school.

Get the Recipe
25 of 26

Avery Powell

Your Shopping List

To make these lunches, you'll need the following ingredients:

  • Apples
  • Avocado
  • Bananas
  • Beans
  • Bread (sandwich and pita)
  • Carrots
  • Cheese (various kinds)
  • Chicken or Turkey
  • Corn (frozen)
  • Dried fruit
  • Eggs
  • Garlic
  • Grape tomatoes
  • Nut butters (or sunflower butter)
  • Pasta
  • Peppers (sweet)
  • From the pantry: Olive oil, lemon, honey, chicken or vegetable stock, soy sauce, rice vinegar, cooking spray, vanilla extract, and your family's favorite herbs and spices.

Originally published in the September 2014 issue of Parents magazine.

26 of 26
Next Slideshow

Dairy-Free Desserts

Being dairy-free doesn't mean you have to be delicious-free! We rounded... more
Begin Slideshow

Comments

close