School Lunch Ideas from WeeliciousPin
pita pizza, cucumber yogurt dip, berries, Mini Babybel cheese, apple chips, carrot and cucumber sticks

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School lunch. While summer is actually in sight (believe it or not) and I’m sure you can’t wait to not have to make and pack lunch every day, there’s still a few months of school to get through. As those of you who follow me on Facebook and Instagram know, I’ve been posting a picture of my kids’ school lunches every day for years there, and so to help you get through this last long stretch until summer, today I’m sharing a bunch of my favorite lunchbox combo ideas here on Weelicious.

You can pack these recipes in separate containers in a brown bag, or in reusable bento style containers like these from “Planet Box, Laptop Lunches or Get Yubo.

Scroll to the bottom to see some of my favorite tips for making school lunch unbelievably easy. And if you’re still in need of more inspiration, you can always pick up a copy of my book, Weelicious Lunches or leave a comment below telling me some of your favorite lunch box idea for a chance to win one of two signed copies. I love learning new tricks!

School Lunch Ideas from WeeliciousPin
olive tapenade cream cheese sammies, yogurt w/ honey, kiwi, strawberries, broccoli salad, freeze dried strawberry

School Lunch Ideas from WeeliciousPin
brown rice w/ sesame seeds, Mini Babybel cheese, mango, watermelon, rice crackers, vegwee dip w/ carrots

School Lunch Ideas from WeeliciousPin
baked blueberry doughnut, chickpeas, grapes, roast vegetables, salami

School Lunch Ideas from WeeliciousPin
crispy chicken nuggets, corn wheels, homemade potato chips, donut peach, figs

School Lunch Ideas from WeeliciousPin
PB&J sushi sandwiches, shaved veggie salad, berries, rice crispy balls, edamame

School Lunch Ideas from WeeliciousPin
faux nutella matzo sammie, green hummus, carrots, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, Asian pear, dried apricots

School Lunch Ideas from WeeliciousPin
mexican fried rice, cheese cubes, Mini Babybel cheese, carrots, berries, olives

School Lunch Ideas from WeeliciousPin
corn dog mini muffins, oatmeal raisin cookies, hearts of palm, cucumbers, passion fruit & mandarins

School Lunch Ideas from WeeliciousPin
lentils, quinoa, sunflower butter bran muffins, grated carrots, pickles, strawberries, blueberries

School Lunch Ideas from WeeliciousPin
yogurt, salami, passion fruit, blackberries, avocado w/ lime, Way Better Snacks sweet potato tortilla chipsBob’s Red Mill Granola

School Lunch Ideas from WeeliciousPin
cheesy meatloaf bites, strawberry fruit leather, corn w/parmesan cheese, pomegranate seeds & orange ginger cookies

School Lunch Ideas from WeeliciousPin
black beans, rice, maple roast veggies, spelt pumpkin muffins, melon, berries, dried strawberries

School Lunch Ideas from WeeliciousPin
BBQ chicken bites, figs, plums, tomatoes, dried cherries, whole grain fruit-filled bars from Weelicious Lunches

Time saving tips for the night before_

* Cut up veggies and serve alone or alongside hummus, salad dressing or your child’s favorite dip.

* Wash whole fruits

* Cut up apples or pears and toss the slices with a squeeze of lemon or orange juice to prevent browning.

* Go in your fridge and peek through leftover containers for_

– brown rice that can be tossed with black beans or sesame seeds (for added protein).

– cooked pasta that can be mixed with pesto or tomato sauce and a sprinkle of grated parmesan cheese.

– chicken that you can slice and put inside a wrap, sandwich or serve on it’s own with some BBQ sauce for dipping.

– baked sweet potatoes simply on their own make a fabulous hand held meal.

* When you bake cookies, freeze a few baked or unbaked cookies first on cookie sheets (so they don’t stick together) and then transfer them to labeled zipper bags. Pop a few out and quickly bake them whenever you need an easy sweet treat.

And no matter what, always try and make sure lunch is balanced by including a fruit, vegetable, protein and carbohydrate!

School Lunch Ideas from WeeliciousPin

This post contains affiliate links for which I receive payment. While I receive compensation as a brand ambassador, all opinions are my own.

About the Author

Catherine is a mama of three. A Kentucky girl living in California. Here’s what I know: all kids can be great eaters and mealtime must be easy. I create simple, healthy recipes the whole family will love.


  1. A Cooking Lesson: Guilotas (Quail) en Molcajete • Taste With The Eyes • where the image is meant to titillate and inspire the cook says:

    […] Me Phoebe: Easy Shrimp and Corn Chowder with Chives Weelicious: Easy School Lunches Virtually Homemade: Brown Bag Pumpkin Chocolate Bars Back to (Cooking) School: How to Make Quail […]

  2. […] Weelicious […]

  3. […] Weelicious […]

  4. […] it up and fill those lunchboxes with something special. I’m definitely looking to the site for inspiration. In fact, I think I need to pack my own lunch-packing […]

  5. […] not to get stuck in the ho-hum lunch rut. That would be Catherine McCord who put together THIS PAGE of tempting school lunches that look so good you’ll wish she were your mom. The problem is that […]

  6. I love cutting up fruit into shapes and cutting up his. Sandwich in some shape that looks like an animal, he loves to see the different shapes I cut up his food in.

  7. I would so love to win your cookbook!! Thanks for the chance!
    It is hard for me to come up with lunch ideas that my picky son will eat, but I never fail with muffins. I sneak a lot of stuff into them, and he eats them right up.

  8. I love to add hard boiled eggs to my dsughter’s lunch. Her dessert(if it’s a special day) is 6 chocolate chips – a bit of sweetness but nothing too much.

  9. Pancakes- my daughter loves them & I can shred just about any vegetable & sneak it in

  10. General meals I have tips for. Lunches I do not. My child is truly picky. Hates lunchmeat and sandwiches. Loves green beans. Many other things like all kids. I feel stuck. I have your book, but haven’t truly looked at it. I really need to!

  11. Wow, those lunches all look awesome! We do apple and cheese sandwiches sometimes – hard to think of ideas other than PBJ when we’re not allowed to send nuts to school.

  12. My favorite lunch box ideas are any of the muffin recipes. I really like the green spinach ones. Muffins are an easy item to make ahead of time and freeze!

  13. Leftovers are my big time saving tip for lunches. We just make extra of dinner the night before and have it again in our lunch the next day!

  14. I like adding a little smoothie in with lunch. A little sweet, a lot healthy, and totally fun! I use my weelicious cookbook all the time, would love the lunches cookbook too!

  15. I would love love love to have a hard copy of the book to give to a friend. My favorite has been your crispy chicken bites and chessy turkey meatballs. I keep them frozen and cook them as needed. Thanks for educating me I have been following you since you started and our lives have changed SO MUCH! My daughter I have to keep her hands occupied at the store, she will eat any fruit or veggie we pass. Kiwis, dragon fruits, carrtos, radishes, Thank you!

  16. I would love a copy of your lunches cookbook! I get a lot of inspiration from you and from as well. You both have helped me packing my toddlers lunch for daycare. My favorite thing to send is muffins that I make ahead and freeze.

  17. Make PB & j sandwiches or almond butter & j and freeze them! Take out & it thaws for lunch.

  18. Wow, some really great ideas! I would love a copy of the book as we sure get in some ruts when it comes to packing lunches. My daughters favorite is experimenting with wraps, with different meets and cheeses or sauces/humus.

  19. My daughter loves trying new fruits and veggies. I like finding stuff that isn’t very common. This week it was purple carrots and dragon fruit.

  20. I LOVE plain yogurt with granola and fresh fruit for lunches! So light and filling!

  21. My son loves homemade pizzas made from english muffins, sauce, cheese, and whatever other toppings I have. I made them for one of his classmates, too, and I was complimented by a 4-year old! Feeling like a cool mom who cares what my kids eat.

  22. My 6 year old has been taking leftovers from supper just like her daddy!

  23. Fruits, chocolcate milk, and any pasta noodles with EVOO and Parmesan cheese,

  24. My little one loves any leftover meat with some chimichurri sauce in a little container to dip. I’ll add some cucumbers to this. His lunchbox always comes back empty.

  25. This isn’t a food lunch idea, but when I was a kiss my mom would occasionally write a note on our brown bags or put one inside. I loved to open my lunch and find a note from my mom. It made me feel loved and special. I try to do that for my kids.

  26. Love packing tuna pasta salad or banana cream cheese sammies with fresh fruit and berries for my boys.

  27. i cut as much of her food into fun shapes as possible & she loves to help & we nibble as we go, thanks for the chance to win

  28. Pop a frozen juice box in the lunch bag to keep the food cold till lunch and the juice will be drinkable by lunch time.

  29. Soy sauce dipped baked Japanese rice cake with nori, cheese gougeres and in season fruit!

  30. Thank you so much for these great ideas! I need all the help I can get with my daughter starting Kindergarten in the fall.

  31. great ideas !

    I like to cut smiley shapes of bread and apply peanut butter spread, or cut vegetables into different shapes every day. Sometimes I send with my little girl dates covered with a thin chocolate layer. other times I send her sliced bananas with a drizzle of chocolate. I keep searching for new Ideas and I get most of them from you !!
    Love you !

  32. I make lots of extra quinoa. It is super easy to make a custom quinoa salad with veggies, cheese, meat, and salad dressing.. I usually include some fruit, a yogurt, and a homemade granola bar and some water for a complete lunch.

  33. I’ve been on a muffin kick lately (the Lemon Raspberry muffins from 100 Days of Real Food are my current favorite). I also throw in carrot sticks, apple slices and almonds.

  34. We are pretty basic with the food we pack but my husband who is quite artistic draws pictures on my son’s napkins and includes a sight word or two for practice reading.

  35. In season fruit and steamed veggies with anything that is shaped like a muffin.

  36. I like to make a big batch of vegetable soup and send it in a thermos throughout the week. Always a hit and a fun change to have a hot lunch.

  37. One of my favorite simple lunches is just some double cream Brie cheese (from trader joes), ak-mak crackers and an organic apple. Delicious! For me, the key to a well balanced and creative lunch is definitely to prepare part of it the night before! Cuts out morning stress for sure.

  38. My daughter loves hummus, with homemade bagel chips and whatever fruit we have on hand! A nice finger food lunch!

  39. We cut shapes out of vegetables like flowers from red peppers or cucumbers. My kids like it when the veggies are different than expected like extra large “gnawing” carrots, purple potatoes and watermelon radishes from the farmers market.

  40. I love bean dips – like hummus – with lots of veggies and whole-grain pita on the side for dipping!

  41. I always like a homemade yogurt parfait, piece of fruit, and salad with fresh veggies for my lunches!

  42. Heatlthy snacks – roasted chickpeas, fresh popcorn, WASA crackers & cream cheese, cucumbers & cream cheese sandwich (cucumbers as ‘bread’), whole wheat carrot muffins. LOVE the ideas listed above, and would LOVE a signed copy of your book!

  43. I love anything that will fit in a mini muffin tin. Two of my faves from this site are the apple, sausage stuffing bites and chicken parmesan meatloaf bites. Although if I’m really in a pinch, whatever we had for dinner that night, gets rolled up in a wrap for lunches!

  44. My kids don’t like dates, but if I put an almond in the middle and a dark chocolate chip in each end, they will eat them. My son loves energy balls and hard boiled eggs. My daughter likes pepperoni (or salami) tacos, just a slice folded around a bit of cream cheese. Baby tomatoes and red grapes are always a hit.

  45. My daughter has gotten involved in helping pack her lunch, and subsequently she eats more of what she takes.

    My kids love to have a variety of fruit, so we cut a bunch up at the beginning of the week.

  46. This is amazing! My oldest is starting to branch out and enjoy more veggies, but my kindergartner is in a rut.

  47. Yayy! This is exactly what I was looking for! So many different lunch ideas! Thanks for putting this together!!

  48. My son starts Kindy in the fall so I don’t have any good tips, but the book’s really going to come in handy (especially since he has a nut allergy and I feel he’s safer if I make it myself).

  49. We use the PlanetBox and I put tuna salad in the large round container and crackers (in one of the side spots) so the kids can make their own sandwiches. Yum!

  50. My son begins kindergarten in mid-August and with multiple food allergies, it is tough to be creative 100% of the time. He is allergic to peanuts, dairy and eggs, so it is a challenge finding, or preparing foods that a) he likes and b) safe for him. It’d be great if your website and book addressed food allergies more often and provided alternatives for the recipes you make. I’m always looking to learn from the best! Thanks for all that you do! #healthyeating

  51. In preparation for kindergarten, we’ve been trying out lunch ideas. A few favorites are PBJ on tortillas and toothpick skewers of cherry tomato, yellow pepper, cheese cubes and olives.

  52. My daughter is all about smoked salmon right now, so smoked salmon and cream cheese sandwich bites are her fave!

  53. My son LOVES the Mac and cheese bites! We always have some frozen for an easy lunch.

  54. Pasta and steamed broccoli, carrots, roll-up sandwiches on tortillas, mini-zucchini muffins.

  55. I think my favorite lunch box idea is adding extra vegetables with a small amount of dip on the side. It makes lunch a bit tastier for all of us! : )

  56. Always looking for new ideas, and I found some good ones here! Build/make your own sandwiches are a hit (crackers, cheese, meat) and any fruit are hits with my girls.

  57. Our favorite lunch idea is packing together the local fruits and veggies we have picked up together at our local farm stand. The girls love helping and then eating all the yummy fresh produce.

  58. I like just bringing a “snack” lunch sometimes – a little hummus, egg salad, ranch dip plus veggies fruit and crackers. It’s great variety and perfect for those days I’m not super hungry.

  59. Once or twice a week I use the banana/cream cheese combo to make a sandwich.

  60. My little girl turns one this month so no packed lunches yet but she loves tons of fruits and veggies, avocado and strawberries being her favorite foods by far!

  61. I love these, they look great! I like salads with a bunch of toppings (packed separately and put together at lunch), or muffin-sized pasta bakes.

  62. My son is particular with his food choices. I freeze portions of his favorite proteins he eats at suppers and heat in the morning and throw into a thermos for a hot lunch! Add in some whole grain crackers and fruit and he is set! If it was not a nut free school he would live on peanut butter sandwiches!

  63. Dry fruits is an obsolete obsession of my son. And that’s what I pack

  64. Love your ideas and inspiration. We pack lunches year round for school and summer day camp, so I can use all the ideas I can find. My son loves DIY fruit/veggie combo squeezie pouches.

  65. I get tons of ideas from your two cookbooks which are fantastic! For my 7-year old’s school lunches I pack quiche made in muffin tins so they were hand-sized, many variations of hummus with veggies or pita, tortilla roll ups with almond or cashew butters and local, raw honey, plenty of fresh fruit( my 2-year old and 7-year old will eat an entire watermelon in a day if I let them!) I’ve also been introducing new foods native to our area like white or black sapote which honestly taste like custard,. They are absolutely delicious! My last tip in packing my daughter’s school lunches is to take her with me to our local farmers’ market each Saturday and let her pick out fruit and vegetables that she would like to eat. She’s tried sunchokes, prickly pear juice and numerous other wonderful items that way, and she looks forward to eating lunch because it consists of food she picked herself! Thanks so much!

  66. Make extra dinner. Pack it for lunch the next day when cleaning up dinner the night before. Saves soooooo much time.

  67. Yogurt for a morning snack and carrots and dip are always favorites. But could definitely use some new tricks for the main course!

  68. We like adding pepperonis to any meat sandwich, replacing bread with a Greek pita and rolling it up. Adding cream cheese is always a hit. Sometimes just cream cheese and jam. Any kind of fruit, usually a frozen yogurt tube (yeah, Chobani!)

  69. My daughter won’t be in school until next year so i don’t have any favourite lunches yet but I’m so excited to start making her lunches. Your ideas are so creative. I just love them and can’t wait to try everything out.

  70. I’m not creative when it comes to school lunches, that’s why I need your book! 😉

  71. lunch ideas – pita and hummus, tomato (or sundried tomato) avocado, prociutto sandwich, avocado sushi, cucumber sushi, fruit kabobs, melon and prosciutto or ham cubes or turkey cubes. cucumber sunomo, onigari.

  72. Lots of fruit and veggies for my four year old twins. They are also big fans of homemade pizza.

  73. We love almost any kind of leftover on a bed of lettuce with some yummy vinegarette! OH MY!

  74. I cook rice with a drained can of chickpeas and add some Madras curry powder (and a little butter). The kids LOVE it, cold or warm and it’s SO easy!

  75. Muffins and hard boiled eggs play a big role in school lunches. Thanks for the new ideas!

  76. I like sliced apples, cheese, carrots, and lunchmeat. It is a fun and easy lunch.

  77. I always send lots of fruit. Can’t keep my refrigerator stocked they eat it so fast. Thank goodness it’s watermelon season!

  78. Two of my son’s favorite lunch box items: meatballs with pasta and rigatoni with cheese. Once I got used to it, cutting up the cheese and stuffing it inside the rigatoni only takes less than 10 minutes in the morning. Of course, some veggie and fruit goes along as well.

  79. I love jelly and almond butter on a whole wheat wrap and some slivered almonds (before I roll it). Sometimes I will even add some apple slices to make it extra tasty & a little more crunch.

  80. We’re not quite at the packing lunch for school phase, but I’m already mentally preparing and keeping track of good ideas!

  81. I keep it simple a pb and j roll up and an apple with a homemade granola bar!

  82. My daughter is only 2, so I don’t pack a lunchbox yet. We are always looking for ideas to get her to eat healthy foods though, and so far I have found that fun shapes are appealing, as are a small amount of lots of items. And sectioned off plates or containers.

  83. I send hot soup in Thermoses during our cold winters (always a hit), my kids also love a little Ploughman’s Lunch with some crispy bread, a hardboiled eggs, some pickled veggies and ham cubes. Cereal and cold milk too on days when I do a hot brekkie. And love notes! They love little love notes in their lunches. 🙂

  84. I am rocking three years of packing lunches for my daughter. I have found cutting the meat and cheese into fun shapes it is more likely to get eaten. Also food that is put into a colorful silicon cupcake mold is more likely to get eaten. For example if I just put baby carrots in the lunch box maybe 50% will get eaten. If I put the same amount in a colorful silicon cupcake mold it will come back empty.

  85. i so need help with school lunches! my kid starts kindergarten in the fall and is super picky as it is. most everything he eats now is hot foods and i don’t know how i’m going to come up with filling meals that don’t need refrigerating or microwaving before eating! totally need this book! thanks!

  86. Fave lunch box ideas. . I try to keep it simple, colorful and cut certain foods in fun shapes. My oldest is all about dipping sauces. like you, I do prepare as much as I can the night before. I do have a harder time with hot lunches and I actually balance packing lunch and allowing my daughter to buy her lunch at school (so she can feel a little more independent). 🙂

  87. I put vegetarian refried beans and a little shredded cheese on a whole wheat tortilla and then fold it in half. Toast it lightly in a pan with a little butter and cut into wedges. My 18-month old loves it and it works nicely in her lunchbox for mother’s day out.

  88. my kids love snacky lunches. granola bars, fruit, raw veg, cream cheese crackers, etc.

  89. My kids like deconstructed lunches that they can put together themselves. So I give them components of a salad, but separate and let them go to town. They also really love to mix fruits and veggies together, which means they are getting what they need, in terms of nutrition, in one bite.

  90. My son loves sausage so anything with sausage (usually balls), chickpes, roasted peas, lots of berries, and a treat (mini muffins or cookies which we made).

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