25 Best Back to School Lunches

Get creative with back to school lunches. We have rounded up ideas that are easy, fun and everything in between. Use these ideas to pack a little love in your brown bag school lunches.

Looking for more great back to school ideas? We’ve got Back to School Mantels, Back to School Decor Ideas, and organizing tips.

School lunch ideas for bento boxes

25 Best Back to School Lunch Ideas

It is never too early to start planning for back to school! ‘Tis the season for back to school sales at the mall, bins of school supplies lining the aisles of the discount store-I’m gonna stock up on glue sticks! Time to start thinking again about how to keep track of everyone’s backpacks, homework and packing school lunches.  It’s a busy and exciting time for families with school aged children.

If your kids are old enough to spend the entire day at school, then another thing that might be on your mind is what they’ll be eating for lunch.  While many schools provide cafeteria lunches, there are a few reasons why not everyone wants to count on the school to feed their children (I love Jamie Oliver’s food revolution.. anyone else?).

Saving money, feeding picky eaters, avoiding processed foods, special dietary needs, monitoring what your kids are eating, and preventing lunch time boredom are just a few of the reasons why you may choose to pack a lunch at home to send with your child.  The best reason yet is to give your kids a simple reminder in the middle of their school day that you are thinking of them.

(Remember when Justin made me this lunch?  I felt so loved!  Simple idea for any sandwich… and that is the point of this post.  I am sure if you take even part of these great ideas and make it a reality just once a week, your child -or heck, make your hubby lunch- will have fond memories of those lunches too!)

heart cut out sandwich idea

Once you’ve decided to let your child take a lunch from home–whether it’s every day or every so often–the trick is finding ways to keep that lunch fresh and fun.  And thanks to great ideas all over the internet, it’s easy to find tips, tutorials, clever products, and easy recipes to do just that.  And the best thing is, these ideas work great for moms like me that are trying to think beyond PB&J for their little ones at home, too.

Food Ideas for School Lunches

Angry bird bento box idea for school lunches

Angry Birds Lunch

Toddler lunch ideas using ice cube trays

Ice Cube Tray Toddler Lunch

Sandwich and salad skewers for school lunches

Sandwich Kabobs

Ham And Cheese Crepes For Lunch With Paleo Gluten Free Snack And Fresh Fruit Blog

Ham and Cheese Crepes

Apple cut out idea using a cookie cutter

Apple with a Heart

Ferb lunch idea

Lunch with Ferb

Mason Jar salad lunch idea

Mason Jar Salads

Easy lunch ideas for school

 Gluten/Peanut Free Lunches

crunchy tuna salad sandwiches

Crunchy Tuna Salad Sandwich

Lunch box awesome winnie the pooh bento box

Winnie the Pooh Lunch

Star wars lunch box idea

May the Force be with Your Lunch

Homemade s'mores granola bars

Homemade Granola Bars

rainbow sandwich bread

Rainbow Sandwich Bread

I love you bento box

Lunch for the First Day of School

Lego Bento lunch idea

Lego Lunch

easy bento boxes for school lunches

Simple Bentos

Waffle bento box

Waffle Lunch

Ravioli bento box idea for lunch

Lunch with Ravioli Hearts

Hello Kitty Bento lunch

Hello Kitty Lunch

 Lunch Packing Tips and Supplies

lunch packing tips from The Idea Room

Streamlining Lunch Packing

Lunchbox Planner printable

Printable Lunchbox Planner

Sewnig Tutorial Reusable Sandwich Wrap

Eco-Friendly Lunches with Reusable Sandwich wraps and Bags

Printable lunch box jokes

Printable Lunchbox Jokes

sew reusable school lunch napkins

Lunchbox Napkins

Lunch Bag Tutorial

Sew Your Own Lunch Bag

I love these great ideas for back to school lunches!  And remember, if you are still in the swing of summer and are not yet ready to let the last few weeks slip by, be sure to check out the Top 25 S’more treat ideas!  You won’t regret it!

More great lunch ideas:

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The Very Best Ideas For School Lunches! Find These 25 Best Lunch Ideas For Packing Lunch For Your Kids.

Originally posted 7.31.2012 // Updated 6.23.2021

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12 Comments

  1. What super great ideas! Thanks! Crazy as this may sound, with only a little over a month left, we STILL don’t know whether our daughter will be going to public school, or me homeschool her! She is lonely, and yet, neither she, OR my husband, are morning people, and he would be getting her ready for school while I’m showering at the Y after my morning laps.

    Hey, either way, I can still use these ideas to give her fun lunches! Again, thanks!

  2. I love these posts. i’m always struggling on what to pack my girls for lunch. The issue I have with all these “pretty” lunches, is that while they look great now (staged) how in the WORLD do they make it to lunch looking like that? With all the throwing around of lunchboxes with elementary kids, I can’t imagine that the decorative lunches end up looking much like the the pictures above, but more of a scrambled mess! I hate to spend so much time making something look great, only to know it’s just a pile of mess later on.

  3. The problem I have with school lunches is that most foods just don’t taste really great at room temp, and my kids ( as most) don’t have the option of warming anything up! So that’s where my lunchbox dilemma comes from!

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