Back to school: 18 yummy lunch recipes your kids will love

Healthy Back to School Lunches

Back to school is right around the corner! Oversized book bags and five-subject notebooks are current flying off the shelves and getting prepped for the coming academic year. While kids are sad to be leaving the summer behind, it's pretty sweet to have them back on a regular day-to-day schedule.

One part of back-to-school that gets pretty mundane by the second day of the first week is packing lunch. Have no fear, we're here to help with that. According to Whole Foods, the perfect lunch box is a combination of color, protein, crunch, and a little bonus snack. The 'color' typically comes from vegetables and fruits. Apple slices, oranges segments, grapes, cherry tomatoes, bell pepper slices, watermelon, and blueberries are amongst classic lunchbox favorites.

Protein can be added with nut/seed butter, a hard boiled egg, hummus, black bean dip, edamame, or baked tofu. The crunch can come from whole grain crackers, celery sticks, baby carrots, cucumber slices, rice cakes, dried edamame, or air popped popcorn. Bonus treat favorites include yogurt, apple sauce, string cheese, trail mix, or a granola bar

We've rounded up some of the most scrumptious lunch recipes on the Internet to give you back-to-school lunch packing inspiration:

Back to school lunches
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Back to school: 18 yummy lunch recipes your kids will love

Lentil Tacos

Tacos are a crowd favorite because of the endless possibilities of fresh veggies and toppings that can be added - olives, tomatoes, avocado, greens, caramelized onions and peppers, etc. Tacos make it super easy to eat the rainbow in one sitting.

Photo Credit: Sunday Morning Banana Pancakes

Cheesy Ranch Broccoli Chicken Burritos

This is the perfect easy lunch or dinner for the busy days. You can even freeze them and eat them later!

Photo Credit: The Cookie Rookie 

Chicken Avocado Pitas

These Chicken Avocado Pitas can be whipped up in a jiff, served hot or cold, and will satisfy even the pickiest crowd. I love the bright colors of the cherry tomatoes and fresh avocado. Made extra creamy with greek yogurt sauce, you don’t need to feel guilty for enjoying this so much. Healthy meets delicious!

Photo Credit: The Cookie Rookie

Chicken & Broccoli Lunch Bowl 

There are so many reasons to love this recipe. It takes 10 minutes to make, start to finish. It serves 4 and each serving has a serving of veggies and lean protein to help keep you fueled for your day.

Photo Credit: An Edible Mosaic

Greek Salad Bowls with Spiced Lamb Burgers

You can add a grain to the bowl if you like (brown rice or quinoa would be yummy). For a paleo version, omit the feta and yogurt-based dressing and use your favorite paleo salad dressing (or oil/vinegar combo) instead. 

Photo Credit: An Edible Mosaic

Mushroom Triple Cheese Grilled Cheese

There’s really nothing better for lunch than this crunchy and melty Mushroom Triple Cheese Grilled Cheese recipe! With such a quick assembly you’ll be digging in in no time!

Photo Credit: Savory Nothings 

Veggie Spring Rolls

All of these fruits and veggies are sure to give your child the energy boost they need to make it through the second half of their day at school.

Photo Credit: Beard & Bonnet

Watermelon, Berry, & Basil Salad

Those toasty almonds add the perfect contrast of texture to the marinated fruit and those ribbons of fresh shredded basil perfectly accent the subtle sweetness of the berries.

Photo Credit: Beard & Bonnet

Sushi Sandwiches

These ‘Sushi Sandwiches’ hold little bites of crispy cucumber and carrots that add nutrition and texture. They couldn’t be easier to make.

Photo Credit: Dinner Reinvented

Open Face Buffalo Chicken Subs with Ranch Slaw

Everyone knows a good sandwich starts with the bread, and this is particularly true when you decide to go the open-face route. You want something light and fluffy, but it needs to be hearty enough to stand-up to all the badass toppings.

Photo Credit: Domesticate Me 

Lemon-Dijon Chicken Salad with Pomegranate and Toasted Almonds

A serious departure from your standard mayonnaise-heavy chicken salad, this mustard-based version is bright, fresh and fabulously light.

Photo Credit: Domesticate Me 

Crunchy Green Cheese Melts

This recipe is tasty, crunchy, healthy and fast to pull together in the middle of a busy day.

Photo Credit: Eat Drink Garden 

Roasted Eggplant Couscous Salad

This Mediterranean flavored, Roasted Eggplant Couscous Salad is great for a quick and healthy lunch or works great as a side for any summer picnic or barbecue.

Photo Credit: Erren's KItchen 

Lean Green Portobello, Pesto & Artichoke Panini

The portabello acts as the meaty base, with a spread of homemade hemp seed basil pesto and topped with artichoke hearts, onions, and creamy avocado. It's got a ton of flavor and makes a great lunch, plus takes just a few to whip up.

Photo Credit: Fettle Vegan 

Froggy Sandwiches

This simple sandwich is all about building a froggy on top of what your little one already loves, be it peanut butter and jelly, hummus and veggies, or whatever lunch meat they might like.

Photo Credit: Fork and Beans

Dairy Free Mac N Cheese

Switch up the types of veggies you add to this Dairy Free Mac N Cheese recipe to introduce your little ones to new greens. Try peas, kale, or even spinach in place of broccoli for a nutrient-dense lunch option.

Photo Credit: Fork and Beans 


Making your meals fun doesn’t have to require a lot of work. Sometimes it’s not about cutting your entree into the shape of whatever you want to create but rather taking what it is and working with it from there.

Photo Credit: Fork and Beans 

Three Cheese Caprese Pizza

Not only is this pizza freaking bomb because it has super fresh tomatoes and that sweet balsamic glaze, but it’s got THREE kinds of cheese! Fresh Mozzarella, Asiago, and Parmesan… the more cheese the better!

Photo Credit: Garnish and Glaze 


Have any lunch recipes that your kids absolutely love? Please leave them in the comments below.

For more back-to-school content, click here, and check out our #BTSselfiesweeps for the chance to win the ultimate back-to-school prize pack!

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