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23 Back-to-School Lunch Ideas Your Kids Will Actually Eat

pasta salad

We are one more week closer to back to school, and it’s time to start focusing on what to feed the animals, er…kids.

I know my kid would eat mac and cheese every day if I let her. But I try to change it up on a daily basis, especially for health reasons. But we all get into a lunch-packing rut at some point.

My colleague Jennifer Modlinger actually tried something pretty ambitious with her son recently. She spent an afternoon making an array of different potential school lunches and letting him try them all to pick his favorites. What a great idea to ensure lunchtime success!

Whether or not you give your kids the royal treatment and give them a spread to try, or just tell them to suck it up and pack lunch without approval, I have scoured the interwebs and asked bloggers from all over for their favorite lunches for kids that are easy, fun, and healthful for your kids. And mine, let’s be honest.

Got a great lunch idea that your kids love? Make sure to comment or send a link below.

Sandwiches

sandwiches

These sandwiches are anything but the peanut butter and jelly or plain turkey and mustard varieties that I grew up with. They come in fun shapes, and can be packed with veggies, hummus, or even cheese and pesto.

1. Hummus Sammy from Parents.com
2. Pesto grilled cheese
3. Puzzle turkey sandwich from 5 Dollar Dinners
4. California veggie sandwich from Peas and Crayons

Wraps

wrap

Wraps are not just for health nuts—they are super fun for kids. Try cutting tightly rolled wraps into bite-sized pieces for a lunch treat your kids will adore.

5. Roasted veggie hummus wraps from Joy of Healthful Eating
6. Chicken pesto wraps from Weelicious
7. Roasted turkey and veggies wrap from Today’s Parents

Pasta

pasta salad

Yes, pasta can totally be a healthful and fun lunch, especially when it is packed with veggies or baked into mini cups.

8. Kid-friendly Pasta Salad (leave out chicken, or cheese, if you keep kosher)
9. Sweet potato mac n’ cheese from The Nosher
10. Veggie mac n’ cheese muffins from Produce for Kid
11. Green mac and cheese from Weelicious
12. Pesto pasta with roast chicken and cherry tomatoes from Weelicious

Non-Sandwiches

wraps

Sandwiches can be boring, and some kids (ahem, mine) don’t like them at all, so think outside the bread for lunchtime. And who wouldn’t be excited to open their lunch box and see fruit pizzas, salad on a stick, or a cheesy pizza bun?

13. Falafel mozzarella sticks from Kitchen-Tested
14. Strawberry banana quesadillas from Texanerin
15. Baked black bean and sweet potato flautas from Peas and Crayons
16. No Bake Fruit Pizza from Two Healthy Kitchens
17. Salad on a stick from Barefeet in the Kitchen
18. Naan with tzatziki from 5 Dollar Dinners
19. Green goddess veggie dip cups from The View from Great Island
20. Pizza buns from Simple as that Blog, (leave out sausage to make vegetarian)
21. Chicken, brown rice and black bean burritos from Todays Parent
22. Vegetarian calzones from Weelicious

And if you really want to be parent of the year, and also invoke the ire of parents in your kids’ school, try your hand at making this Elsa Frozen bento Box from One Crafty Thing.

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