School Lunch Roundup 16 (+ why we’re using baggies now!)

In case you’ve missed some of my almost daily school lunch posts on Facebook and Instagram (or you just want a summary), here’s another installment in my School Lunch Roundup series! Sit down and look at this with your kids so they can pick out what they like (and will eat!).

school lunches on table from 100 days of real food

But First, More Changes to Our Lunch Containers…

Last year I shared why we had to switch to different lunch boxes, and here we are again just a year later rethinking school lunch. My older daughter–believe it or not–started high school this year. (Sniff sniff, time is flying by a little too fast over here!) And after just a couple days as a high schooler, she informed me that “no one” uses a single divided container for their lunch and that “everyone” brings their lunch in little baggies or individual packages.

So, since she knows I am not going to use disposable plastic bags on a daily basis for her school meal, we spent a good deal of time looking at all the options for reusable bags. She didn’t want the corners curved, didn’t want crazy colors, didn’t want them frosted … basically she wanted them to look just like a Ziplock bag, LOL. We finally decided on some by (re)Zip, not a sponsor, we just thought they looked like a good choice! And it turns out that my daughter likes them a lot (yay!). It’s enough to not stand out too much at the lunch table, and it also takes up less room at her very crowded lunch table (or so I hear). They are dishwasher safe and honestly more leakproof than the ones she had me buy last year (that my middle schooler is still using), so I’m happy to comply.

Now, I sometimes still do send my 9th grader the container from last year because there are just certain foods that don’t work well in a bag (like a salad that you eat with a fork, for example). But for the most part, I am trying to send her a “high schooler” version of our 100 Days of Real Food lunches!

Before we dive into what I’ve been packing so far this year here are…

A Few School Lunch Resources

You can also find more school lunch resources (among others) in our free member’s area.

School Lunch Roundup 16

school lunch mini meatloaf and reusable bags from 100 days of real food

school lunch with caprese salad, chicken salad, and pretzels from 100 days of real food

School Lunch tomato bisque and panini

school lunch with waffle sandwich, avocado, grapes, and applesauce from 100 days of real food

  • Sandwich made with leftover whole-wheat waffles, ricotta, oranges, mint & honey
  • Avocado half (with lime and salt)
  • Grapes
  • Applesauce

school lunch with apple sandwich, pumpkin muffin, and other snacks from 100 days of real food

school lunch with quesadilla and popcorn from 100 days of real food

  • Quesadillas (made with leftover roasted veggies, cumin, and cheese)
  • Guacamole
  • Popcorn
  • Cantaloupe

school lunch of crackers, cheese, white bean salad, carrots, and hummus from 100 days of real food

  • Whole-wheat crackers with cheese and pepperoni
  • Leftover White Bean Salad
  • Carrots with hummus

School lunch grilled panini and popcorn

  • Blueberries & purple bell pepper slices
  • A previously made/frozen grilled panini (with cheese, tomato, pesto & roasted bell peppers)
  • Orange
  • An individual bag of popcorn

school lunch whole wheat bagel pizza

  • Whole-wheat bagel pizzas
  • Cucumbers
  • Hummus
  • Oranges and apples

school lunch bagel and popcorn cakes from 100 Days of Real Food

  • Whole-wheat bagel with cream cheese and microgreens
  • Mini popcorn cakes
  • Oranges and kiwi

school lunch breakfast burrito

  • Breakfast Burrito (previously made and frozen)
  • Chips (a treat) & guac
  • Orange
  • Grapes

Hummus/cheese/lettuce sandwich, Loaded Chicken Salad, strawberries, cherry tomatoes, and popcorn

school lunch with bagel and cream cheese, figs, and energy bites from 100 days of real food

  • Whole-wheat bagel with pimento cheese & radishes
  • Figs
  • Purple carrots
  • Oatmeal Cookie Energy Bites (from On a Budget cookbook)

See any new things you’d like to try in these pictures? I’d love to hear in the comments!

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15 thoughts on “School Lunch Roundup 16 (+ why we’re using baggies now!)”

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  1. I’m guessing these bags and plastic containers are made in China?

    If not, please send me the link and I will purchase right away. I don’t buy anything Made in China.

    1. Hi Tina, (re)zip bags are manufactured responsibly in China. They meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability. – Nicole

  2. The rezip bags look like they would be very hard to clean and dry properly. I will not use them for fear of bacteria growth . I also wonder if any of the chemicals in the material used to make them would begin to leach into food over time. I don’t think this is a wise product to feature on this site, considering the things you advocate.

  3. As an influencer, can you refrain from sharing photos of meals that include single-use packaging (like the SkinnyPop, guac, babybel, etc.)? I know it’s a great convenience, but the convenience is outweighed by the cost on the environment. Since many readers are copying your meals, the negative environmental impacts are amplified. Many students at our local elementary schools are advocating for trash–free lunches, because they are the ones who will be suffering in the years to come from the environmental consequences of our convenience culture. I am happy to see that most of your sample meals do a great job of maximizing reusable containers (thank you!), but these students and myself would be grateful for you to role model going all the way. Thanks for the consideration.

  4. Hi, I noticed while looking at your lunches that a few of them have whole wheat bagels, do you make these yourself? I couldn’t find a recipe. Or do you like a specific brand? One that is “real food” compliant.

    1. Lisa gets them from a local bakery. If you’re going to purchase, just make sure you read the label and try to find ones that don’t have any crazy additives or that are under 5 ingredients, if possible. – Nicole

      1. Which local bakery?! I’ve never seen these at great harvest but would love a good source for whole wheat bagels

  5. We have reused regular old zippered sandwich and freezer bags from Aldi for years. (sizes from snack, portion control, sandwich, quart and gallon). I make “instant” oatmeal packets, trail mix, nut mix and cheese/crackers when we travel, and we just put the empty bags in a larger bag and clean them up when we get home. If you are careful they last through quite a few uses.

  6. Doesn’t stuff spill when you flip them on top?? My middle schoolers are turning down my yumboxes and the planet box now too!!

  7. I’m laughing because earlier this week my 12 year old – who I thought had grown out of “cute” lunches – told me she won’t eat hard boiled eggs if they’re not in a fun shape. Good to know that I might have to shift lunch boxes again sooner or later!