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These lunch ideas for kids are easy to prepare in advance so you're ready for the whole school week!
School Lunch Ideas for Kids
If your kiddos are tired of PB&J's, here are some fun lunch ideas for kids! A lot of these you can whip up in advance too. They're also great ideas for quick dinners through the week too or for Summer lunches so you don't have to wonder what's for lunch each day 🙂
I'm always looking for time-saving ways to get them out the door with a healthy (-ish) lunch that doesn't require daily prep.
Something that was a game changer for me when all the kids were in school is doing these make-ahead lunches for school.
I'm telling you . . . game. changer.
I made the whole week's worth of school lunches ahead on Sunday night and my kids would just grab their favorites out of the fridge each morning. Then I added in some sides like fruits and cheeses so everyone can pick a main entree and a couple of sides. It means our mornings were less stressful and they were eating well too!
(You can check out this video and join me as I get to work in my kitchen!)
Get my Ultimate Lunchbox List Here with my very best lunchbox ideas + the grocery list to go with it!
My friend, Laura, just whipped up a batch of the Ham & Cheese Sliders from this list for her kids for the week. 12 sandwiches ready to go! She made half ham (per the recipe) and half turkey. You can individually wrap these sandwiches in foil and freeze. Just grab one in the morning and throw it in your kids' lunchboxes and it will be thawed by lunch time!
Laura said her mom pro-tip to avoid soggy sandwiches is to put condiments in between the meat and cheese layer so they're not touching the bread!
Want to jazz up your ham & sliders a little bit? Try the topping from our Crescent Sliders – so good!
Need Easy Lunch Ideas for Work?
This list can help with that too! Making lunch ahead of time doesn't only benefit the kids – it really helps me to have some grab and go options as well. Whether I'm working at home or in my shared office space for the day – I love having lunch just waiting for me in the fridge.
(And seriously. You need the list alone for my friend Cheree's banana peanut butter rollups. She adds cinnamon sugar and they are amazing. They're now my favorite lunch-snack-happy-middle-of-the-day-dessert of all time!)
This morning I spent about 25 minutes in the kitchen and prepped the following lunches.
- Cheesy Pizza Crescents
- Hawaiian Ham & Cheese Sliders
- Peanut Butter Banana Rollups
- English Muffin Pizzas
- Turkey & Cheese Bagel Thins (this one is a great lunch idea for adults and one of my faves – YUM!)
- Get these lunch recipes and more here!
Just 25 minutes? And now we are totally SET for this week! Woohoo!!
We also have our Lunch Menu Planning Made Easy PDF available for other lunch ideas. So many yummy meals and it includes your grocery list too!
Meal Prep Ideas
Even better? My time spent prepping these easy meals won't only help with lunchtime…
I made enough extra “lunches” that we can use some of these for on-the-go dinners as well (when we have soccer or gymnastics). I know for me, the temptation to eat out a lot always hits when we are in our super-busy seasons….. And the fast food bill can add up so quickly!
Making a variety of meals ahead means that while we aren't always eating the MOST healthy foods (hello cheesy pizza crescents – I'm looking at you! 😂) – we are eating better than we would otherwise.
Tip: I recommend getting a nice set of storage containers so you have all sorts of sizes on hand.
- I have this Rubbermaid Set (which comes with all those little containers for sauces)
- But my family fights over who gets THESE containers – they're the best!
- This Rubbermaid Lunchblox Kit is actually a great deal because it comes with all you need for one kiddo – including the ice pack! – and fits perfectly into this Lunchbag here.
- My friend, Laura, swears by her Bentgo lunch boxes for her kiddos! Perfect especially if you have pickier kids who don't want their foods to touch 😉 BUT wait for these to go on sale on Prime Day or Black Friday as they can be pricey normally.
So let me just ask…..
How much less stressful would your life be if you didn't have to come up with last minute meals while you live in your car?
How much money would you be able to SAVE if you don't have to hit up a drive-thru a couple times a week?
Download your FREE Lunchbox List today and try out a few new lunch ideas for the kids (and you!) Plus, give yourself the gift of a wee bit more sanity in the week ahead 🙂
I'd LOVE to hear some of your favorite lunchbox ideas! Please share them in the comment section and you may inspire someone else!
More Make-Head Lunch Ideas:
And when it gets colder my kids love to take HOT lunches like these:
Looking for even more easy meals? Try our menu planning made easy Lunch PDF! Not only do you get a ton of SUPER YUMMY recipes, but you'll get weekly grocery lists too.
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