Quick and Easy School Lunch Ideas
Make a batch of these red pepper- and cheese-filled muffins, and you'll have plenty for few days.
Fiesta Pasta Salad
This Mexican-inspired salad has corn, black beans, and cheese.
Pasta shells and a sprinkle of cheese make this classic soup even more kid-friendly.
Turkey and Cheese Quesadilla
This kid-fave is a great alternative to a sandwich.
Chicken, Avocado, and Roasted Red Pepper Sandwich
A twist on chicken salad, this delicious mixture tastes great stuffed into a pita half.
It's a healthier version of Mexican takeout.
Italian Pasta Salad
Make this salad the night before so it's ready to pop in the lunchbox in the morning.
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.
Cook extra noodles at dinner to use in this dish.
Salsa With Tortilla Chips
It's so simple to make your own tortilla chips.
Apples and raisins add sweetness to this dish.
White Bean Dip With Pita Crackers
Our recipe makes enough for three servings.
Creamy Banana Sammie
The cinnamon-topped bananas will make this sandwich feel like dessert.
Chicken Vegetable Noodle Soup
It's perfect for a chilly day.
Apple Raisin Sandwich
Who needs bread when you have crunchy, sweet apple slices?
Cheddar and Apple Sandwich
Keep the skin on your child's apple slices -- they're packed with antioxidants.
Chicken Salad Sub
Make classic chicken salad way more interesting by spooning it into a sub roll.
Nutty Yogurt Dip
Move over, salad dressing. This delicious dip delivers protein.
Egg Salad with Pita Crackers
Make a batch of pita crackers on Sunday night, and have them ready for the week's lunches.
Pack a little piece of baguette or small roll on the side.
Red Pepper & White Bean Soup
Pureed beans add extra fiber, and your kid won't notice them one bit!
Pack a little Greek yogurt for your child to swirl inside.
Let your child assemble the ingredients at school.
Your Shopping List
To make these lunches, you'll need the following ingredients:
- Bread (sandwich and pita)
- Cheese (various kinds)
- Chicken or Turkey
- Corn (frozen)
- Dried fruit
- Grape tomatoes
- Nut butters (or sunflower butter)
- 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.