Quick and Easy School Lunch Ideas

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Avery Powell
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.
Avery Powell
Avery Powell

Egg Muffins

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

Avery Powell
Avery Powell

Fiesta Pasta Salad

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

Avery Powell
Avery Powell

Roasted-Tomato Soup

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

Avery Powell
Avery Powell

Turkey and Cheese Quesadilla

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

Avery Powell
Avery Powell

Chicken, Avocado, and Roasted Red Pepper Sandwich

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

Find out what kids are really eating in school-and what gets dumped in the trash.

Avery Powell
Avery Powell

Mexican Wrap

It's a healthier version of Mexican takeout.

Avery Powell
Avery Powell

Italian Pasta Salad

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

Avery Powell
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.

Avery Powell
Avery Powell

Peanutty Noodles

Cook extra noodles at dinner to use in this dish.

Avery Powell
Avery Powell

Salsa With Tortilla Chips

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

Avery Powell
Avery Powell

Carrot Salad

Apples and raisins add sweetness to this dish.

Avery Powell
Avery Powell

White Bean Dip With Pita Crackers

Our recipe makes enough for three servings.

Avery Powell
Avery Powell

Creamy Banana Sammie

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

Avery Powell
Avery Powell

Chicken Vegetable Noodle Soup

It's perfect for a chilly day.

Avery Powell
Avery Powell

Apple Raisin Sandwich

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

Avery Powell
Avery Powell

Cheddar and Apple Sandwich

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

Avery Powell
Avery Powell

Chicken Salad Sub

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

Avery Powell
Avery Powell

Nutty Yogurt Dip

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

Avery Powell
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.

Avery Powell
Avery Powell

Southwest Soup

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

Avery Powell
Avery Powell

Red Pepper & White Bean Soup

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

Avery Powell
Avery Powell

Carrot Soup

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

Avery Powell
Avery Powell

Yogurt Parfait

Let your child assemble the ingredients at school.

Avery Powell
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.

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