School Lunch Roundup VII

Since not everyone sees the lunches I post almost daily on Facebook, below is another installment in my School Lunch Roundup Series. Also be sure to check out our School Lunch Photo Gallery. It’s updated weekly and allows you to search by dietary need and types of food. Lots of readers tell me they sit down with their kids to look at these photos so they can point out what they want packed in their own lunches.

To learn about the lunch boxes you see pictured below, I encourage you to check out our recent Lunch Box Review post as well as my explanation about how one of my favorite lunch boxes got discontinued last year. We’ve got tons of school lunch resources on the blog (including a School Lunch FAQs post), so if you’re looking for something that you don’t see here, feel free to type it in the search bar or ask about it in the comments below! Enjoy :)

Real Food School Lunch Ideas

Real Food School Lunch Roundup VII on 100 Days of #RealFood

  • Chicken salad with grapes and pecans
  • Lettuce “cups” for serving the chicken salad
  • Whole-grain crackers
  • Pineapple chunks

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  • Black bean soup
  • Brown rice + sour cream to go on top
  • Cheese quesadilla (served cold) (See recipe for whole-wheat tortillas)
  • Apple slices

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Real Food School Lunch Roundup VII on 100 Days of #RealFood

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Real Food School Lunch Roundup VII on 100 Days of #RealFood

  • Pita pizzas (from my cookbook)
  • Apple slices
  • Plain yogurt (mixed with a little pure maple syrup) with raspberries
  • Homemade trail mix

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Real Food School Lunch Roundup VII on 100 Days of #RealFood

  • Whole-grain crackers
  • Cheese slices
  • “Apple Pie” Lärabar
  • Colored carrots and radishes
  • Pineapple and mango chunks

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Real Food School Lunch Roundup VII on 100 Days of #RealFood

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Real Food School Lunch Roundup VII on 100 Days of #RealFood

  • Homemade egg salad
  • Whole-wheat pita (cut into triangles)
  • Frozen peas
  • Purple carrots and yellow bell peppers
  • Apple chunks

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Real Food School Lunch Roundup VII on 100 Days of #RealFood

  • Plain yogurt (mixed with a little pure maple syrup) and frozen berries
  • Asian brown rice noodle salad
  • Peanut butter and honey on whole-wheat bread cut into squares (using FunBites tool)
  • Banana
  • Purple carrots

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Real Food School Lunch Roundup VII on 100 Days of #RealFood

  • Corn muffin
  • Piece of grass-fed beef jerky
  • Cheese round
  • Granola chunks
  • Mini peppers (not hot!)
  • Homemade onion dip (from my cookbook)
  • Mixed melon

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Real Food School Lunch Roundup VII on 100 Days of #RealFood

  • Leftover taco meat with black beans (cold)
  • Grated cheese
  • Sour cream
  • Lettuce/cabbage mix

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Real Food School Lunch Roundup VII on 100 Days of #RealFood

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Real Food School Lunch Roundup VII on 100 Days of #RealFood

  • Leftover whole-wheat couscous salad (with tomatoes, cucumbers, feta and vinaigrette)
  • Deviled eggs
  • Homemade applesauce carrot muffin (defrosted)
  • Frozen smoothie pop (with berries, bananas, yogurt, spinach, and peanut butter)
  • Apple slices

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Real Food School Lunch Roundup VII on 100 Days of #RealFood

  • Whole-wheat noodles (they love them plain AND cold)
  • Ham and cheese
  • Bell peppers and cucumbers
  • Grapes
  • Applesauce
  • Packed in a Planetbox

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Real Food School Lunch Roundup VII on 100 Days of #RealFood

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Real Food School Lunch Roundup VII on 100 Days of #RealFood

  • Cheese
  • Whole grain crackers
  • Deviled eggs
  • Grapes
  • Leftover roasted potatoes (served cold)

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Previous School Lunch Roundups

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33 thoughts on “School Lunch Roundup VII”

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  1. I love your lunch ideas! Thank you for sharing them!!! One question… How do you keep your apple slices from turning brown? I know there is the rubberband them to the apple core trick (my kids hate the “taste” the rubber band leaves ???) and the lemon juice trick (complaints on that one too that the apples taste lemony). I would love another solution! Thanks!!!

  2. Great ideas, but no refrigeration at the school for the lunches. So I worry about anything with mayo or dairy. Any suggestions.

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi there. There is no refrigeration at our schools. We use multiple ice packs to keep lunches cool.

  3. I struggle with lunches for my big boy athletes. The high school doesn’t have lockers so they have to carry EVERYTHING on their backs all day. They will not carry anything they can’t throw away. I’m struggling with a lot of the menus – I have to put it in a baggie.

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi April. You can always up portion sizes and add extra protein that you know your 16 year old will like. A hearty soup goes a long way but don’t know if a thermos can be made cool. :)

  4. These are great ideas for school lunches. I feel a lot of the other sites provide ideas that aren’t always so easy – these are basic and easy to put together! QUESTION – I have 2 older children in middle and high school. I don’t think some of these lunches would keep them full…any suggestions?

  5. I finally bought my kids each a Yumbox. They’ve revolutionized how we make lunches now! I love that the compartments don’t leak so I can put diced peaches or applesauce in their lunch and know the crackers or sandwich won’t end up soggy. The boxes are nice and easy to open which makes it easy on my first grader. Although a little pricey, I am SO GLAD that we purchased them!

  6. NOMNOMNOM! Love your website and the great ideas for lunches (for kiddos AND adults). I new to your site and have saved it to my favs. Thanks for the great blog!! I made your pulled pork tonight… AHHHMAZING!

    1. Hi Laura, There are some pretty tasty rice crackers and sweet potato crackers available if you don’t want wheat. We like Mary’s crackers made with seeds a lot and get them at Costco because you get larger sizes for a reasonable price. Also several brands of gluten free wraps and breads are available at your whole food grocer. You will probably want to try some different ones to see which you like best

  7. Thanks for this great roundup! I don’t have kids, but I do pack lunches for my husband. It’s certainly similar to prepare lunch for an adult as a child, but the serving sizes are a little different. I did get some new ideas from this post, though, so thanks!

  8. Do you (or do you have any suggestions where to look) for lunch ideas for toddlers – especially those that are still working on getting a full set of teeth / still developing fine motors?

    We do lots of yogurt, fruit, scrambled eggs, beans, grilled chicken, homemade meatballs, whole wheat pasta, cheese, etc., but without lots of teeth and a lack of in-depth verbal communication from my kids, I’m running out of ideas on what to send with them.

  9. Hi Lisa,
    I absolutely love your blog and your fantastic lunch ideas, especially. I am constantly striving to get my kids to eat real food. We are successful doing this when making fresh meals at home but there is no denying the lunch box issue. I am new to this blog and I am sure you have answered this a thousand times, so my apologies… But by the time my 2nd grader rides his bike to school, throws his backpack in his cubby and the lunch box sits there for 3 hours, the apple chucks (drizzled with lemon juice) have brown and mushed slightly, the natural peanut butter has darkened and congealed, the yogurt has smeared all over the lid and anything else it touches rendering it inedible, same with any fresh berries. Even bananas can’t stay fresh. I use the ziploc lunch boxes you show in your pics and use an ice pack. If
    Only their lunch looked as fresh and perfect as your pics when they pull it from their backpacks. I have the best success with whole carrots, celery, whole grain crackers, Granny Smith apples sliced big, grapes, raisens, etc but can’t get the variety to stand up. Especially when dealing with slightly fussy eaters. Open to any suggestions!

    1. I really like the PlanetBox. There is little “air space” left for food to be tossed around and ruined. I have seen the left over food at the end of the day and it doesn’t look too bad. This year, I started freezing his yogurt the night before when I wasn’t using the planet box (thermos) to prevent spillage. He loved it! Also, I put a bit of cinnamon on the apple slices to “mask” the brown spots and he eats them without a problem. When I want to send bananas, I sliced them and mi them in the yogurt. Otherwise, I cut half, and put it in the planet box and tell him that only the exposed part will be brown but not the rest. It is not perfect but it works most of the time.

    2. Same problem here: my daughter walk to school, throws her bag around and won’t touch anything that does not look appealing (she rather eats nothing at all). So I don’t cut apples, eggs, tomatoes, cheese etc. She has a pocket knife and a little cutting board with her. I don’t know if that helps, you might go to jail in the US if you send your kid with a knife to school ;-)