5 School Lunch Ideas to Beat the Brown Bag Blues

Creative Recipes to Jazz Up Kids Lunches

School lunches creatively displayed
Martí Sans / Stocksy United

Need new school lunch ideas?

The secret to untradeable school lunches is to give kids lunches that are creative enough to get their attention, but not so unusual as to put them off.

Change the Bread

Sandwiches are great because they're portable, easy to prepare and easy to eat. To switch things up a bit, try changing the bread. Instead of using white or wheat bread, use zucchini bread to make zucchini bread cream cheese sandwiches.

Or use tortillas to make turkey wraps with apricot jam and bacon. Try peanut butter and jelly on banana bread, toast frozen waffles, and make Nutella waffle sandwiches or use rice cakes to make cream cheese and jelly sandwiches.

Add a New Twist to Old Favorites

Instead of plain old peanut butter sandwiches, try sandwiches made with a gourmet nut butter like chocolate walnut butter or cinnamon raisin peanut butter (compare prices).

Give Last Night's Dinner New Life

Leftover macaroni and cheese, spaghetti and meatballs or fried chicken taste great the next day.

You'll probably want to pack the mac and cheese and spaghetti and meatballs in a thermos, but the fried chicken tasted just as good cold as it does hot. You can even make a spaghetti and meatball sandwich with your leftovers.

Think Soup

Soup is one of my favorite healthy lunch ideas for kids because it's so satisfying and easy to transport in a thermos. You can make a big batch of soup on Sunday night, and give it to the kids for lunch all week.

Try corn chowder, broccoli cheese soup, and carrot soup.

Make Food Smaller

Bite-sized food is really appealing to kids. Try packing bologna and cheese roll-ups instead of bologna and cheese sandwiches. Or make mini frittatas in advance and pack them in a thermos for an appealing kid-sized lunch that's healthy, too.