September 3, 2014

Back to School Lunchbox Ideas

I have packed my daughter’s lunchbox four times already and I know I have at least one hundred more times to pack it before next June. In the spirit of sharing ideas I thought I’d round-up a few of our personal favorite lunchbox ideas. Please share yours!

Sandwiches are a big thing for us. We usually stick to basics like PB & J, the occasional chicken salad, ham & cheese, and the such. I also love to make jam and cream cheese sandwiches using lots of my jam from summer. This year I’ve been working on introducing my daughter to beach sandwiches and she is coming around to eating the caprese ones!

Apricot Jam

We recently purchased a stainless steel container to keep food warm so this fall my daughter wants to try taking warm Mac & Cheese for lunch. Other hot lunches that would work well are warm spaghetti and meatballs, a reheated skillet penne with tomatoes and gouda, pulled pork tacos, and tomato soup.

Banana Bread mUffins

A sweet snack is always the highlight of the lunchbox. Our personal favorites are Mini Banana Bread Muffins, Mini Corn Muffins, Easy Apple Bread, Zucchini Applesauce Bread, and Pumpkin Bars. I make a point of keeping the portions small. I know that on many days these special treats are eaten first.

watermelon salad

When it comes to fruit and vegetables we keep it simple. Sometimes I add apple slices or a banana but I like to be more inventive when possible. A watermelon goat cheese salad would taste fantastic, as would baked apple chips. Once I even packed my daughter leftover roast squash but she was not as enthusiastic as she’d been at dinner the night before.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention some of my absolute favorite sources for school lunch ideas. My friend Catherine of Weelicious has fabulous lunchbox ideas and has even written a great book about it. My friend Aimee and I are on the same page about combining leftovers and stocking the freezer with kid favorites to make packing healthy lunches easy and fun. Marla started a great Pinterest board about school lunches that is definitely worth a look. Happy packing!