A Week of Sandwich-Free EASY School Lunch Ideas
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Need some simple yet tasty lunchbox inspiration for the kiddos?
If you’re like me, you can sometimes get into a sandwich lunch packing rut! Exciting lunches that your kids will actually eat can be super simple. Read how to prepare for a week of easy and cold school lunches that are sandwich free!
The key is to include a variety of foods you know they’ll love….then present them in a way that’s fun, colorful, and appealing.
I like no-fuss ideas that help chaotic weekdays run smoother, so here are some easy-to-make lunches that are both tasty and simple enough to throw together in a rush.
- Find a good lunch container. I’m using these Good Cook food prep containers, and they work perfectly for school lunches. The lids secure nicely, and they wash up great in the dishwasher.
- Get your kids involved by giving them meal options for the week. Then have them pick items that sound yummy.
- Use up odds and ends in the fridge/pantry. Having lunch with small amounts of foods (bento box style), allows you to use up miscellaneous items in the fridge, like a few remaining grapes and strawberries.
1. Mini bagel with cream cheese and cranberry
Bagels aren’t just for breakfast! Here I’ve jazzed up a plain mini bagel with cream cheese and a few dried cranberries for added flavor. I’ve also cut up watermelon, a strawberry, kiwi, and added a few pretzels.
2. Turkey and cheese roll-ups
Instead of a sandwich, create a quick wrap and then cut into slices for a fun pinwheel effect. In this wrap, I added a little ranch dressing, sliced deli turkey meat, provolone cheese, and lettuce. Included on the side are a cheese stick, mini carrots, almonds, and pretzels.
Cold pasta salads are an easy and yummy make-ahead lunch option! My kids enjoy this Zesty Italian Pasta Salad that’s delicious and easy to prepare. I’ve also packed some oranges and strawberries on the side.
4. Mini hummus pizzas
My kids are obsessed with hummus and naan flatbread! Here are some mini naan dippers topped with diced turkey and bell peppers. I’ve also included some grapes and skewers with cheese cubes and cherry tomatoes.
5. DIY Lunchables
Do your kids also beg for the pre-packaged Lunchables at the store? It’s so much less expensive to make your own using fresh ingredients. Plus, it’s fun and easy to come up with lunch meat and cheese combos. Here, I have some turkey, cheese, pepperoni, and crackers. I’ve also added grapes and oranges on the side.
Hip Tip: Using paper or silicone muffin liners is a great way to separate lunch foods.
Do you have any favorite cold lunches to add? If so comment with your ideas, and let’s help each other out!