50 Tips, Tricks and Ideas For Packing Great School Lunches

Back to school means back to school lunches.  I am always looking for more ideas, suggestions and inspiration as to what to pack in our lunchboxes.   I thought it would be fun to do a round of up of some of the great ideas for school lunch packing that can be found around the blog-o-sphere.

Packing the same thing day after day can get a bit boring (for me and the kids) so finding ways to make lunches creative, but simple enough to make at the crack of dawn, is important.   I have rounded up over 50 fun ideas, tips, and tricks for making a great school lunch.  Check out what other bakers, cooks, bloggers, crafters and parents around the web have been putting into their lunchboxes.   They all look amazing but don’t worry, most of them are really quite simple to make!

I will start off with a few of my own ideas…

Fun & Easy Ideas For School Lunches by Love From The Oven

Lunch Box Supplies And Tools by Love From The Oven

Now let’s see what others are making for lunch!

Cute School Lunch Ideas For Kids from Skinnytaste

Free Printable Lunch Box Notes from Skip To My Lou

Back To Basics Lunch By iPackLunch at Following In My Shoes

Easy Cute Bentos With Stickers by Just Bento

30 Days of Lunchbox Recipes: No Repeats by Peanut Blossom

Project Lunchbox by Family Fresh Cooking

Lunchbox Love Notes Free Printable by Parents Playground NWA

Lunchbox Heros by How Does She

OMGuac Your Lunch from Eat Wholly

Free Printable Lunch Box Idea List from Wendolonia

The Little Dipper Lunch Box by Detroit Mommies

Healthy Back To School Lunches by iPackLunch

13 Ways To Use Tortillas In Your Lunch Packing by Evolving Motherhood

DIY Lunchbox Icepacks by My Kitchen Escapades

Submarine Lunch by Lisa Storms

Back To School Lunch Making Supplies from Family Fresh Meals

Quick & Easy Mommy & Me Bento Lunches by Creative Food

The I Love You Bento by Following In My Shoes

Creating A School Lunch Station from Uncommon Designs

A Week Of Leftovers For Lunch From Keeley McGuire

Checkers Lunch by This Lunch Rox

Feeling Like A Snow Cone From Feeling A Little Lunchy

30 Second Wow Lunches from Momables

2 Tricks For Packing “Real Food” School Lunches by 100 Days of Real Food

An Amazing School Lunch by another lunch

Teaching Kids To Pack Their Own Lunches by Rage Against The Minivan

Sticky Stacky Sandwiches by Super Healthy Kids

Easy Wraps & Roll-Ups For Kids by Mondernmami

Turkey Bento by Glory’s Mischief

Birthday Lunch by Happy Home Fairy

A Sweet Lunch by BentOnBetterLunches (I spy a PEEP!)

Pizza Bento Lunch Box by AnnaTheRed at Parenting.com

Lunchbox Makeover by Scissors And Spatulas at Crafting With Freckles

Green Eggs & Ham Bento by Following In My Shoes

Lego Lunchbox from A Boy & His Lunch

Free Back To School Lunch Printables by Printabelle at Catch My Party

Sandwich Ideas from Wendolonia

Easy Lunch Box Fun from Little Wonders’ Days

Mini Tacos by This Lunch Rox

Spring Lunchboxes by Family Fresh Meals at Betty Crocker

A Very Hungry Caterpillar Lunch By Eats Amazing

Pizza Buns Simple School Lunch by Simple As That

Silly Salad School Lunches by Keeley McGuire

DIY Pizza Lunch from Momables

Your Cheat Sheet For Healthy School Lunches from Honestly

Packing A Zero-Waste School Lunch by Pandora’s Deals

OMGuac Your Lunch Pizza by Eat Wholly

Under The Sea Boxed Lunch by Happy Food, Healthy Life

Back To School Organization by Sunny Side Up

Cool School Lunch Planner Free Printable by The Organized Parent

Check out my new cookbook, SMART COOKIE!  Transform Store Bought Cookies Into Amazing Treats!

Smart Cookie Cookbook - Transform Store Bought Cookies Into Amazing Treats by Christi Johnstone of Love From The Oven


    • says

      Olivia – I think student teachers deserve a fun lunch! We can all use a cheery fun lunch actually. :) Good luck with the student teaching, my brother, his wife and another one of my sisters in law are all teachers, so lots in our family!

  1. says

    Thanks so much for including my printables! I was just scrolling through your post, enjoying all the ideas and then I saw my lunch notes! These ideas would make school very fun!

    • says

      Michelle, thank you – I love the printables! I’m a big fan of tucking in a note on days where I know there is a big test, presentation or something else that might be helped with a little pick me up. One of those things I hope my girls look back one day and remember. :)

      • says

        I think that it is definitely the little things that make a difference! Whether it is a note or the time you took to make their lunches special, I know that my kids really appreciate it and say things like, “Remember the time you put… in my lunch.” I think it shows our love mostly and that is the very most important thing of all for children.

  2. Becky says

    Oh brother? Seriously? It’s no wonder we’re raising a generation of spoiled brats when lunch has to be a major production.

    • says

      Becky, by all means, feel free not to make lunches this way. I can’t say for certain, but I’m pretty sure that by packing my daughter’s lunch into some reusable containers (cut down on all the waste of plastic bags and packaging) and tucking in a sweet note here or there hasn’t made my child a spoiled brat or been a major production. I can say it has inspired her to be more creative and she eats a healthy lunch, both of which I’m fine with. As a mom I’m into supporting other moms, whatever works for them – use what you find helpful, don’t use what you don’t, but no need to criticize. :)

    • says

      That’s a bit harsh, Becky. For some of us, our kids have food allergies and we *have* to pack lunch every day. Why not make it fun & healthy?! My daughter misses out on enough – class parties, treats, etc – so I will gladly make her smile and proud of her “special diet foods” by taking 15 minutes of my evening on her lunch for the next day. That’s not being a “spoiled brat”.

    • says

      My kids don’t have any allergies…but packing their lunches like this has created a bond between us that negative nellies like you cannot squash. They’re not brats. They do eat plain foods too. What’s the biggest thing we all get from this? LOVE. They know that they are loved and that I took the time to give them something tangible to prove it. Is that so bad? You took the time to post negatively about it…when maybe you should have taken some time trying to make someone happy and loved. And another thing…did you not even think that there are REAL people behind these things? We aren’t robots or simply websites. We are mothers…just trying to do our jobs…as mothers.

  3. says

    Christi – what a great round up! Bookmarked this, thank you!

    I wanted to share that I, too, have a school lunch project on my site called “Operation Awesome School Lunch” that you might want to take a look at. I’m restarting this program again on Monday (when the kids begin school again). This page features our lunch ideas from last year and will be updated Monday-Friday http://crazyadventuresinparenting.com/operation-awesome-school-lunch

  4. ce.leb says

    thank you, christi!
    even so I dont have kids on my own, I think its super important to let them lern that eating regular and healthy can also be fun!
    I dont make lunchboxes for kids, I often make them for my spouse – there is nothing better than a wonderful packed lunch at work!
    (and dont be stressed with not so nice comments ;))
    thank you for inspiration every week,
    best wishes,

  5. says

    Hello Christi!

    I just wanted to say I really enjoy your website! It is very user friendly and the content is amazing. I love your creativity with the lunchboxes. Using a cookie cutter to make different shapes with fruits can make a big difference for children. It is always good to have a fun factor involved to get kids eating more healthy. Colors can also make a big difference.
    I love your creation!
    Thank you for sharing.

  6. says

    I commented on the wrong post because I got to looking around so much! :)

    Your blog is just beautiful! Thank you so much for including me! I think you did a nice job at showcasing lunches at all different levels of detail!

  7. says

    This is AWESOME. Thanks for all the great ideas. For any naysayers out there, I was one of those who would look at bentos and be like, yeah no thanks. But once I got into it I realized a couple things:
    1. My kids actually ate healthier. As in, cherry tomatoes were actually consumed. That alone is worth it to me.
    2. Lunchtime is something my kids look forward to and a way to feel connected to me in the middle of a long school day apart from family.
    3. My family’s relationship with food began to change. Main meals were no longer a means to earning dessert, but became a treat in themselves.
    4. It doesn’t take that long to pack lunch. For real.

    Seriously if I can do it, anyone can. A peek at a few lunches I’ve packed: http://howaboutcookie.wordpress.com/2013/09/13/bento-school-lunches/


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