This year guarantee that your kids won’t trade away their meals by serving up delicious back to school lunchbox recipes that they’ll devour. They’re all healthy, use fresh ingredients and perhaps best of all, easy to make!
Easy Back to School Lunchbox Recipes
One of mom’s biggest tasks is filling her kids’ lunch boxes with healthy food that’s also yummy. No mom wants to spend hours prepping healthy lunches only to have her kids trade them in for a PB&J sandwich, right?
With easy-to-prepare ideas and a few cool gadgets, you can make it happen. Let’s start with five recipes to make ahead of time, then check out five ideas for those crazy “oh no, I forgot to make lunch & we have to be out the door in five minutes” mornings!
Make-Ahead Back to School Lunchbox Recipes
Make these super easy recipes ahead of time and just send them to school during the week. My kids love and are always excited about their school lunches.
One quick note: This post contains affiliate links. The products linked are the products I use and recommend. If you purchase a product through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but Creative Healthy Family will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated.
1. Gluten Free Chicken Tenders
Forget those processed nuggets from the cafeteria! Make these Perfect Gluten Free Chicken Tenders instead! Simple ingredients, organic chicken, and the best healthy, homemade recipe your kids will absolutely love.
This recipe is easy to make. Maybe it is a little messy while coating the chicken breasts, but if you are organized you can have your Healthy Homemade Chicken Tenders ready in no time. You can also make a big batch and freeze for later.
2. Broccoli Cauliflower Nuggets
This Broccoli Cauliflower Nuggets Recipe makes a fantastic finger food idea. A healthy vegetable recipe that’s packed with nutrition, it’s a great way to get your kids to eat more vegetables. My family loves it! It is definitely our favorite out of all my easy back to school Lunchbox recipes.
They freeze well and are perfect for school. I actually make a batch every week and make sure to send them as a snack or side dish to school.
3. Grain Free Zucchini And Carrot Muffins
Healthy ingredients, nutritious vegetables, and about 30 minutes are all it takes to make these Grain Free Zucchini And Carrot Muffins. If you are trying to sneak in some nutritious vegetables, this recipe is a must-try. They are fantastic for picky kids who do not eat enough vegetables. They also make easy lunch ideas for teens!
I added a little maple syrup to sweeten them a bit. They taste heavenly. Send them to school in these cool Silicone Muffin Molds.
4. Homemade Smiley Face Baked Potatoes
Homemade Smiley Face Baked Potatoes are a fun, creative, and healthy version of the popular Potato Smiles. Best of all, they only use a few very simple ingredients.
I added carrots but you can make them plain or substitute potatoes for sweet potatoes. They are the perfect complement to my chicken tenders recipe above. Make your kids smile with creative and healthy fun food in their lunch boxes.
5. Healthy Homemade Mac and Cheese
If your child likes pasta then this Healthy Homemade Mac and Cheese recipe is just perfect for school. The simple recipe is made with broccoli for added nutrition. After trying this recipe, you won’t want to buy boxed Mac & Cheese ever again.
Since it’s best served hot, send it to school in an Insulated Food Container that is easy for your child to eat without problems. There is nothing more comforting than a warm lunch in my opinion.
5 Easy Lunchbox Recipes to Make in the Morning
What about those crazy days when you realize you don’t have any prepared lunches left and you have to be out the door in just minutes? That’s where these healthy simple recipes come in handy! Each of these kids’ lunch ideas is easy enough to whip up right before your kids dash out the door to catch the bus.
1. Nut Butter Apple Sandwiches
If you have apples and some sort of nut butter, you have a healthy lunch! Make apple sandwiches with your favorite toppings, like raisins, toasted coconut, granola and more. Add a side of whole-grain crackers or pita bread for scooping up extra filling.
Just make sure that your kids are allowed to bring nut-based lunches. Some schools don’t allow them because of kids with life-threatening allergies. If that’s the case, try these nut-free alternative spreads.
2. Rainbow fruit salad
One of my favorite summer snacks also makes a quick & tasty lunch recipe! Upgrade this rainbow fruit salad and make it more filling for lunch by adding in some almonds or other nuts. Pop in a little container of yogurt to add as a dressing and you’re good to go!
3. Mini Veggie Pizza Bento Box
Here’s one of my all-time favorite school lunch ideas! Forget those over-processed & over-priced packaged pizza kits for kids that you find in the grocery store. You can make your own pizza bento with healthier ingredients in just a few minutes. Start with whole-grain pita bread “crust” (use a round cookie cutter for perfect round pizzas or go crazy with some fun shapes). In the other compartments, add toppings like lettuce, tomatoes, sliced black olives, shredded cheese and cubed ham. Toss in a tiny container of tomato sauce or even ranch dressing and you’ve got the perfect little pizza bento!
4. Crunchy Veggie Rainbow Wrap
Head to your crisper drawer for this easy lunchbox recipe! Start by laying out a whole-grain wrap and lightly coating it with ranch dipping sauce (it’s thicker than dressing and holds up better. Whipped cream cheese mixed with a bit of ranch seasoning is also a great option. Next, grab veggies from your fridge and cute them into long strips. Line them up rainbow-style on the wrap, then roll it up.
While pretty much any veggies will work, some great choices include carrots, colorful peppers, purple cabbage, spinach leaves, avocado slices, and eggplant. You can also swap out the dressing for whatever else your kids prefer. Basically, just about anything goes with this fun wrap!
5. Stuffed Avocados
This delicious and healthy lunchbox recipe is a lot easier to make than it looks! Cut a ripe avocado in half & remove the pit. Scoop out a bit of the fruit to make a nice bowl. Then, fill it with diced tomatoes, mozzarella or feta cheese, tiny cucumber slices…pretty much anything you have on hand! Top with a bit of pesto if your child likes it, then pack them in a container or the largest section of your child’s bento box. Mash up the leftover avocado fruit and send it along with some whole-grain crackers. Check out how to ripen an avocado fast if you find that yours are still too hard!
I like to know what my kids are eating and where their food comes from. This is why I pack their lunches and always send homemade food. Meals provided by most schools are highly processed and just not all that fresh. I believe kids deserve real food made with fresh ingredients. If you are also interested in homemade snacks, please see 5 Processed Kids Snacks You Should Avoid.
Remember that a healthy breakfast is really important too. So, stay away from processed foods full of artificial ingredients and sugar. Want some healthy breakfast ideas? Check out my 5 Worst Breakfast Foods For Kids Plus DIY Healthier Options.
Ok, so now that you are ready to start a new school year with these Easy Back To School Lunchbox Recipes, you just need something to pack them in, right? Check out my favorite green school lunch box gear for some eco-friendly and kid-friendly ideas!
If you are interested in more lunch suggestions, take a look at my older post, 5 Back To School Healthy Lunchbox Ideas. Last, but not least, check out some of my favorite crafts to get kids excited about going back to school. It includes some cute treat boxes that you can make for little extras like homemade granola.