School Lunch Ideas that Won’t Drive You Crazy

As a mom of school age children, making lunches can be an area of stress for me. I prefer easy meals over perfect meals.

I also lean towards letting the kids have what they will eat, rather than what is better or healthier for them.

While I try to pack lunches that my kids will eat, I STILL struggle with what to give them for lunch. The store-bought stuff is so expensive, and I don’t necessarily like their food choices.

Here are some ideas that will give your kids variety that you can pack and not worry about what they are eating.


Leftovers make for great lunch box additions. If you are making pasta or rice, make extra and plan for the extras to go in the kid’s lunch box.

Dishes I usually do this with are spaghetti, mac and cheese, or rice meals. These dishes are incredibly easy to increase the amount of so that it isn’t a ton of extra work for me. And the kids enjoy the food.


A quick and easy alternative to sandwiches is a wrap. Wraps are also an easy way to incorporate more veggies into your kid’s meals.

Grab some tortillas and put in your kid’s favorite meat and cheese. Then add some lettuce and other veggies. Roll it up like a burrito and add a small serving of dip on the side.

Create your own lunchable

The store-bought lunchables don’t have the best food choices and they are quite pricey for the amount of food you buy. So, why not buy your own ingredients and make lunchables for your kids?

Start with sandwich meat and cheese and cut them up in small pieces. Add some raw veggies like carrots, cucumber, or tomatoes. Add some dried fruit for a sweeter side dish.

Other ideas for side snacks would be trail mix, crackers, and fresh fruits.

Grab a container with lots of little dividers and fill it up with the food.


Salads might not be a favorite for most kids, but if you plan it right you can have a healthy meal that your kid will actually eat.

Get your ingredients first. Start with your lettuce (my kids like iceberg lettuce the best), add veggies (carrots, cabbage, cucumbers), and then chop everything up into bite size pieces. You just want everything to be smaller and more bite-sized.

After the main ingredients are chopped up, you can add the appetizing toppings like bacon bits, croutons, nuts and seeds, and dressing. If your kids like meat on their salad, add some turkey or chicken.

Remember to put the dressing in a separate container for safe keeping!

While meals like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are usual for school lunches, these ideas will give you more variety and allow you to pack with ease.

What do you usually make for school lunches? Let me know!

School Lunch Ideas that Won't Break Your Budget