It’s the most wonderful time of the year…oops wrong season. Or not. 😉 Actually I have very mixed feelings about back to school…I love having the kids home with me during the summer. I really do. I love our lazy mornings and days out enjoying the sun, plus I know that these summers together are fleeting because my babies are growing up. So I try to soak in as much time with them as I can. But we do reach a point where everyone is just ready for some routine. The kids are ready to see their friends, they’re ready for regular bed times and quite frankly so is their momma. So inevitably, school starts up again next week and we’re back at the grind. I’m looking forward to the routine…but not making lunches.
I think school lunches are the worst meal ever to make. Ever. I hate making lunch. But when it comes down to it the real reason I hate it so much is because it’s the only meal of the day I don’t plan well for. I kind of just wing it for lunches, so this year I’m hoping to get more organized and plan ahead.
Truth be told my kids actually make their own lunches. This is something we started doing last year and both the kids and I love it. They like having control over what goes in their lunch every day and I like giving them the freedom to do it. It’s just about making sure to have good food on hand for them to pack so I don’t worry about them packing unhealthy lunches. So this year I’m going to focus on stocking up the fridge, freezer and pantry with healthy food that they can easily put into their lunch boxes.
So in this quest to get my act together and make lunch preparation a little easier on us all, I pulled together some family favourites that are great for lunches. Sandwiches, salads, soups, cookies, muffins, snacks…you name it. I just plan on making big batches and freezing what I can and using leftovers for lunch.
I hope this collection of 35 Easy School Lunchbox Ideas will provide some lunch inspiration for you too! Just click on the titles of each dish for the recipe!
Sandwiches. Even after all these years I still love sandwiches. And 2 out of 3 of my kids do too. For the one that doesn’t we use lettuce as wraps, or pack crackers or pitas instead. This is a simple collection of delicious sandwiches.
- Classic Turkey Sandwich
- Classic Tuna Salad
- Simple Summer Tomato & Avocado Sandwich
- Bocconcini, Tomato & Basil Sandwich
Soups are great for sending as lunch. Just double a batch and you have soup for dinner and lunches for the week too.
- Chicken Noodle Soup
- Chicken Corn Chowder
- Turkey & Brown Rice Soup
- Vegetable Soup
- Hamburger Soup
- Hearty Beef Soup
- Chickpea & Tomato Soup
Hearty Enough for Lunch Salads
Salads are a great alternative to sandwiches. They can be very hearty and full of nutritious and filling ingredients. These are some of our faves!
- Chopped Mexican Bean & Corn Salad
- Platter Salad
- Bowl of Bows Pasta Salad
- Summer Roll Salad
- Curried Quinoa & Sprouted Bean Salad
- Savoury Balsamic Couscous
- Green Quinoa Salad
These snacks are great for school. They’re nut free, nutritious and hearty!
- Brown Sugar Baked Granola
- Pumpkin Spice Granola Bars
- Whole Wheat Cinnamon Sugar Chips
- Fresh Raspberry Greek Yogurt
No school lunch is complete without cookies! A few of these recipes are ones my Mom made for my sister and I growing up, and now I’m making them for my kids. The Forest Rangers are the best!
- Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Forest Ranger Cookies
- Wheat Free Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Dad’s Cookies
- Oatmeal Raisin
- Butterscotch & White Chocolate Chip Oat Drops
Muffins & Loaves
Muffins and loaves are great snacks for lunches!
- Oatmeal Muffins
- Bran Muffins
- Zucchini Loaf
- Banana Bread
- Maple Apple Muffins
- Blueberry Buttermilk Muffins
- Sweet Potato Biscuits
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Well I’ve got my list together, now I just have to make it happen! I see some big batch cooking and baking in my very near future and I’m looking forward to it…this is one of my most favourite things about fall. I hope you found some deliciousness here too!