Go Ask Mom

Go Ask Mom

Back to School: Ten best lunch box ideas

Posted August 18, 2011
Updated August 19, 2011

If you’re strapped for time, but want to give your kids the best and healthiest nutrition you can, here are some great ideas for you.

Many of these lunch box ideas make economical (and time-saving) use of leftovers and all of them are fast, easy, and delicious! Use lidded containers with crackers alongside. Kids love little containers of things.

  • Cottage cheese topped with toasted walnuts or pumpkin seeds for extra crunch
  • Hummus. You can add finely chopped bell pepper or anything in small pieces
  • Bite size raw veggies with a separate container of healthy dipping sauce
  • Apple slices with natural peanut butter.
  • Cheese cubes with tiny cherry tomatoes.
  • Salads of all kinds make great school lunches. Corn salad adds lots of flavor and color.
  • Chili or casseroles. Thick chilis and other stews or casseroles often make tasty fillings for wraps, especially with grilled or sautéed vegetables, lettuce and cheese.
  • Desserts from the freezer. Have leftovers from dinner the night before? Toss them in the freezer and they will be perfect by lunchtime. Plus they’ll keep the rest of lunch nicely cold in the meantime.
  • Individual yogurts. Add a separate container of wheat germ, toasted coconut, berries, or chopped walnuts for a kid-pleasing crunchy topping.
  • Grapes. Freeze the night before and they create a wonderful sweet snack anytime of the day.

Susan Caldwell is the mom of two and owner of Lil' Chef, a cooking studio for kids in north Raleigh. She usually offers recipes here on Go Ask Mom twice a month. But she'll be offering even more this month to help us feed our families as our kids head back to school.


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  • momotwins Aug 18, 2011

    PbandJ triangles, homemade trailmix (raisons, nuts, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, chocolate chips white and semi sweet, craisins pretzel sticks) whatever we have in the house. Our School has encouraged Reusable water bottles by giving each child one to bring to all school activities.

  • Killian Aug 18, 2011

    Bento boxes can be a lot of fun for kids, especially if they're picky. You can do anything from simple to elaborate, and the creativity is a lot of fun.

  • besmart Aug 18, 2011

    those are all wonderful ideas, but most of your suggestions include nuts or peanut butter - those most of the time are not allowed in schools - or my kids schools.