Beyond The Ham Sandwich: Inspired School Lunch Ideas


Summer is winding down, many schools are back in session, and that means scores of parents are now on daily lunch-packing duty. And as every parent knows, packing something resembling a balanced meal, that travels well and that your child will actually eat, can be a challenge; it’s easy to fall into a sandwich-chips-cookie rut. To lend some inspiration, here are a few of our favorite out-of-the-box foods for throwing into the lunchbox:

Mini Kebabs. Thread cubed ham + cheese, different kinds of fruit, or grape tomatoes + mozzarella balls onto small wooden skewers.

Veggies (Carrot sticks, Bell pepper slices, Cucumber slices, Sugar snap peas) + Hummus, Ranch Dressing, or “Dinosaur Dip” (plain yogurt blended with avocado, a squeeze of lemon, and chopped herbs or baby spinach).

Sliced Apple + Peanut Butter Sandwich.

Hard-Boiled Eggs. If you’d like, cut in half and sprinkle on some salt and pepper.

Sunflower Butter + Honey Sandwich on Whole Wheat. This is a great option if your child has a nut allergy or attends a nut-free school.

Cinnamon Raisin Bread or Bagel with Plain Cream Cheese.

Fill mini pita pockets with last night’s leftovers (meatloaf, grilled chicken, or roasted veggies).

On cold days, send a thermos filled with soup or chili, along with shredded cheese for topping.

Graham Crackers + Strawberry Cream Cheese Sandwiches (you can use store-bought cream cheese, or make your own fruity cream cheese by chopping or mashing a favorite fruit–strawberries, blueberries, and bananas all work well–into plain cream cheese).

What do you pack in your kids’ school lunches? What have been the biggest hits with your kids?

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