Healthy Packed Lunch Ideas (Roundup 18)!

After over a year of virtual and hybrid schooling, my girls finally went back to the classroom full-time a few weeks ago … just in time for the end of this hectic school year! Usually I’m feeling less than energetic to pack lunches so close to the end of the school year, but this year I felt like I needed to step up my game with only a few weeks of in-person school all year long.

So, I started sharing lunches on social media again and thought I’d put them all together for you in an updated blog post in case you need ideas. No matter where your kids are learning from, I hope this latest installment in my School Lunch Roundup series helps. Simply have your kids point out which items in the pictures they’d like to see in their next packed lunch and the hard work is done!

A variety of healthy packed school lunch ideas.

Extra School Lunch Help?

In case you missed it, we briefly opened up the sales page for our uber-popular packed lunch meal plans! Our Real Lunches, Real Easy ebooks are each a complete system that tells you what to buy, what to prep, and what to pack (including colorful pictures) so you’re not stressing out at the last minute. Grab one version, or all four, and even have your kiddos help pack their new wholesome, hearty, real food lunches. See samples of each week and learn more here.

School Lunch Pics from Roundup #18

Now, here are those real food lunch pictures I promised for inspiration!

Packed school lunch that includes pimento cheese and tomato sandwich, bell peppers with hummus, an orange, and three deviled eggs.

Packed school lunch that includes leftover Chicken and Broccoli Curry Casserole in a thermos, homemade biscuit and some apple slices.

Packed school lunch that includes a charcuterie plate with salami and cheese, thin Triscuits, homemade Oatmeal Cookie Energy Bites, and mango.
  • Charcuterie plate with salami and cheese
  • Thin Triscuits (100% whole-grain)
  • Oatmeal Cookie Energy Bites (from my On a Budget cookbook)
  • Mango

Packed school lunch that includes a whole-wheat bagel topped with cream cheese and radishes, grapes, and popcorn.
  • Whole-wheat bagel (from a local bakery) topped with cream cheese and radishes
  • Grapes
  • Popcorn

Packed school lunch that includes White Chicken Chili in a thermos, tortilla chips, guacamole, orange, and a cheese stick.

Packed school lunch that includes mini meatloaves with rice and beans, and apple slices.

Packed school lunch that includes a tomato, cheese, and pesto sandwich, oranges and pineapples, and popcorn.

Packed school lunch that includes baked pita chips, tomatoes, cucumbers, an orange, cheese stick, and tzatziki and hummus.
  • Homemade baked pita chips (I started with the Trader Joe’s whole-wheat pitas and toasted them in the oven with olive oil and spices)
  • Tomatoes
  • Cucumbers
  • Tzatziki sauce
  • Hummus
  • Orange
  • Cheese stick

Packed school lunch that includes a BLT sandwich, pretzels with hummus, and cantaloupe.
  • BLT
  • Whole-wheat pretzels with hummus
  • Cantaloupe

Packed school lunch that includes a Mexican Breakfast Burrito, kiwi and oranges, cashews, and whole-wheat crackers with a mini brie.
  • Mexican Breakfast Burrito half (previously made and frozen, defrosted in time for lunch)
  • Kiwi & oranges
  • Roasted cashews
  • Whole-wheat crackers with a mini brie. 

Packed school lunch that includes an egg salad sandwich, cheese stick, mixed berries, and homemade trail mix.
  • Egg salad sandwich with spinach and pickles on a whole-wheat pita (from Trader Joe’s)
  • Cheese stick
  • Mixed berries
  • Homemade trail mix (with almonds, raisins, and heart-shaped cheerios) 

Are your kids back in the building or still at home? I’d love to hear what you’ve been packing in the comments!

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12 thoughts on “Healthy Packed Lunch Ideas (Roundup 18)!”

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  1. These are actually great ideas for adults as well! For years I thought lunch had to be standard mini-dinner. I’ve since realized I can easily eat some carrots and pita with hummus, veggie pasta salad and be completely satisfied! I also don’t have the 3pm crash if I eat a light healthy lunch.

  2. I LOVE this article Lisa! I am a parent of 4 and I also coach corporate executives and these tips seem to be applicable to both. Time seems to be the biggest premium that we pay here in the 21st Century and any way that we can stay healthy and efficient is always appreciated so thank you!

  3. Wow, these are super good ideas not just for school-age kids, but for working folks too! I’m always on the lookout for healthy lunch ideas. I also love the look of those reusable (?) bags!

      1. Hi, I use Gala apples and have found if I have them sealed up really tightly in a bag or plastic wrap, they can keep for days.

    1. I squeeze a very small amount of lemon juice in a bowl and then toss them in before packing. Works like a charm.