School Lunches your Kids Won’t Throw Out

School Lunches Your Kids Won’t Throw Out

Skip the third straight day of PB&Js and make one of these easy variations in the same amount of time.

It’s Sunday night, and you’re planning for the week ahead. This week is going to be different, you think. This week you’re going to make five complete, wholesome packed lunches for your kids. You’re going to get everyone to eat kale. And quinoa.

OK, maybe kale is a little ambitious.

We’ve all been there, and we recognize the struggle. But it is possible to pack a variety of lunches that your kiddos won’t trade for a pudding cup or toss in the cafeteria trash can. And we promise you won’t have to spend hours in the kitchen, either. Here are some of our favorite ideas.

1. Second-Day Meals 

Remove the pressure of making a lunch from scratch, and use leftovers from last night’s dinner:

  • Chop up grilled chicken and add lettuce, tomatoes, sliced bell peppers and shredded cheese to a flour tortilla for a fun fajita wrap
  • Pair leftover meatballs with slices of provolone for a new take on the sub sandwich
  • Reheat a half-serving of ziti or another baked pasta dish
  • Shred chicken, pork or steak for barbecue sandwiches

If you plan on packing meals that need to stay hot, consider investing in a leak-proof insulated food jar, which is perfect for soups and pasta dishes. Some meals – like the meatball sub and barbecue sandwiches mentioned above – may require a little assembly at lunchtime. Simply pack the bread and cold sandwich ingredients separately from the meat so the bread doesn’t get soggy.

Tip: To support your kids’ digestive health*, try Align Jr. Chewables – gluten free probiotic chewables in a great-tasting cherry smoothie flavor.

2. Make-Ahead Lunches

Save time by prepping several days’ lunches in advance:



of reduction in store*

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  • Combine ingredients for a salad in a Mason jar, and shake it with dressing on the day it will be eaten
  • Portion out sides like baby carrots and grapes into baggies, and keep them in the fridge for convenience
  • Invest in a few plastic or stainless steel storage containers with compartments to separate each food. (Need more compartments? Use muffin tin liners to keep toppings and sides separated.) Label the containers with family members’ names so they can grab and go

Tip: Add a bit of fun to lunchtime sides with these adorable snack bag clothespin critters.

3. Creative Alternatives

Get inspiration from the prepackaged lunches at the grocery store. Try the pizza party or taco truck recipes we came up with.

Tip: Tired of the same old sandwich? Ditch it and sub in one of these alternatives instead.

*This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Have a go-to packed lunch your kids can’t resist? Share your ideas in the comments section.

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I definitely like making soft tacos out of leftovers. I cut up chicken or use steak or shrimp and my daughter loves it with cheese.

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I like when i see my daugter eating her breakfast every Morning

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They do make white whole grain bread for those who are opposed to eating the other version. We occasionally buy white bread for french toast because no one likes whole wheat bread for it.

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I am sure its a posed picture. But if you go to the bread isle in any supermarket, white bread is always the cheapest, the largest section of the bread isle and it is bought the most.

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I am so surprised to see you show children eating a sandwich on white bread as opposed to wheat bread which is much healthier for them!! My grandchildren have never had white bread. Please reply to my comment? Thanks, Mary Ann

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