School/Work Lunch Ideas




On this page I will share school lunch ideas. 
When my oldest son started Kindergarten, 7 years ago I was shocked when I saw what kids are bringing for lunch, but more disgusted with the school cafeteria food. Now days they "changed" menu a bit, and I am happy about it but food is still not balanced nor healthy, however I love to pack all my three kids lunches from home.
My first advice is to talk to your child what he/she would like to eat. 
Plan a lunch menu together, because most likely that they will eat it and not throw it away or bring it back home. 
Kids have to eat, and eat healthy in order to focus in school and to have enough energy to get them through the day, so pack balanced lunches full of fresh veggies and fruits, however I like to put something sweet as well to reward them. Some people might think that it is too much but so far they rarely come home with anything left in the boxes meaning that they were hungry. 
Second advice, if you don't have time in the morning for whatever reasons do pack at night. 
It happened to me numerous times when I get up too late, and they would have to buy lunch at school, but lesson learned; so I prepare at night, refrigerate and lunch is ready in the morning. If I pack something other than sandwiches, then I heat it really good in the morning, let it cool down because of the safety or place in the thermos so they can have nice warm meal at the lunch time. Now days most of the lunch boxes are plastic that's why I said let the food cool down before closing the lid. 
Please remember that children like color, they like pretty lunch as much as tasty. Give them options, make a weekly meal planner, include them in planning. Sometimes I do make three different school lunches, but as long they are eating healthy I will continue to feed them with only nutritional homemade meals of their choice.
My kids and I hope that you will consider some of their favorite lunches that we are presenting here on this page...and enjoy eating it!!!

Q: What Box is safe for me and my child?
A: Look for the boxes that have clear written label that they are BPA FREE just in case if they are plastic- 
BPA stands for bisphenol.  BPA is an industrial chemical that has been used to make certain plastics and resins since the 1960's.
Seeking out BPA-free products may not always be easy to do. Some manufacturers do label their products as BPA-free, but some do not. If a product isn't labeled, keep in mind that most aluminum cans or bottles have linings that contain BPA, while steel bottles or cans do not. Polycarbonate plastic is generally hard, clear, lightweight plastic. It often has the No. 7 recycling symbol on the bottom. (source Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D.from Mayo-clinic)

Sushi Roll with Fruits and Vegetables




Ranch dressing Rotisserie chicken with Avocado Wraps
Ranch dressing Rotisserie chicken with Avocado Wraps


Kimbap lunch box


Battered baked Fish Sandwich


Turkey Wrap w/ 2% Kraft Cheddar Cheese, Smoked Turkey, Lettuce and whipped cream cheese. 1 Slice of Mozzarella, Cherry Tomatoes and Artisan Lettuce Salad {no dressing}. On the side Blueberries and Chocolate Chip Cookies. Flavored water for the beverage. 


Whole Wheat Toast Sandwich w/  Smoked Ham, 2% Kraft Cheddar Cheese, Lettuce and Olive Oil spread. Cherry Tomatoes, Blueberries, Kiwi and Swiss Roll Cake. Water for the beverage. 


Pan Fried in a bit of oil Chicken breast, Mozzarella and Fresh Spinach Kebab; 1/2 Whole Wheat Bagel with Whipped Cream Cheese; Fresh Cherry Tomatoes, Cucumber, Sweet Pepper and Carrot strips; Strawberries. Juice Box for the Beverage.


Pan Fried in a bit of olive oil Chicken Breast with  Cheese Tortellini, and Steamed Broccoli Florets in Alfredo Sauce; Fresh Carrots and Strawberries; Fruit Yogurt and Water for the beverage. Usually I would put warm dishes in a Thermos container which is great investment because your child will eat warm lunch. Some Thermos can hold temp. up to 8 hrs. 
Fried Chicken Salad w/ Celery, Green Peppers, Artisan Lettuce, Carrots, Tomatoes. Ranch Dressing, Cheese Stick, Apple Sauce and Coconut water for the beverage. 

Fried Chicken, Naan Bread, Green Lettuce, Sweet and Sour Sauce or Ketchup, Green Pepper, Orange slices. Cheese Stick and Water for beverage. 

Light Crackers with Turkey Bologna Salami, Cheese. Fresh Organic Spinach with Tomatoes and Cesar Dressing. Milk for the drink. 



Roasted Beef Wraps with cream cheese, Spinach, shredded mozzarella, and sesame seeds.Veggies: Organic Carrots, Cherry Tomatoes and Celery w/ Ranch Dressing (fat free) for the dip. Fat Free Chocolate pudding , Cheese on Cheese Crackers and Flavored Capri-Sun Water. 


Penne Rigate (or plain macaroni) in Creamy Cheese with Boiled peas. Turkey Meatballs on the stick- on the side fresh broccoli and kiwi. Fresh Water for beverage.


Turkey Bologna-fat free, Cheddar Cheese in a Biscuit;  Boiled egg; Fresh Broccoli  Baby Carrots, Celery with Reduced Fat Ranch Dressing; Green Apple slices with Organic Peanut Butter and Honey- 1/4 cup Walnuts. Water for Beverage.


English Cucumber and Vegan Butter in White Toast; Chicken Salami; Celery, Grapes; Gold Fish and Oatmeal cookies; Strawberry Twizzlers; Dark Chocolate Almond Milk for beverage.


Tuna Fish Sandwich made with light Mayo Dressing, Celery, Pickles, Dill, Onion, Green Pepper, Carrots and Tuna in Water-Green Lettuce and White Toast; Yogurt with crackers and Fresh Blueberries; Snack Cheese and Orange Juice for Beverage. 


Pastrami Sandwich-Lettuce, Cream Cheese, Smoked Provolone Cheese; Lightly Steamed and seasoned Asparagus; Clementine and Banana; Crackers; Water for Beverage. 


Caesar Salad with Grilled Chicken, Grilled Cheese Sandwich cut into small triangles, Orange, Low Fat Yogurt, Juice and Seedless Grapes.

~o~o~o~
Steamed Rice with Boiled Peas, and sauteed with vegan butter. Chicken Nuggets, Apple, and Chocolate Milk.
I usually make this the night before and just Heat in the Morning really good. Chicken Nuggets I also make night before and just put on the dry frying pan, turn few times to get them heated. 
You should most definitely always heat food before packing, however if the food is placed in the plastic, you HAVE to let it cool down completely before closing the lid just to be on the safe side for children and adults. Also you can put this is a Thermos where the food will be hot until the lunch time. 

Rice Ball with boiled eggs and rolled in Toasted Sesame seeds. Thai chicken with raw Peanuts-->stir fry: oil, peppers, onion, garlic, fish sauce, soy sauce, oyster sauce, cumin, chili powder, cilantro, Scallions, whole Peanuts.
Seedless Organic Grapes, Cauliflower, Soy sauce with sesame seeds for dip, and Water.



Basic Baked Italian Meatballs with plain Omelette--cut into strips and make a little packages with green onions. Lettuce, Cherry Tomatoes, and Red Sweet Peppers-- Blueberries and Chocolate Rice Crispy Snacks (fat free). Water for beverage. 


P.S I will try to update lunch ideas often. Also I would like to add that this could be great idea for work lunch as well. Save some money buying food from fast food chains and you can actually eat healthier because you are preparing it at home.  

xoxo
Sandra

if you have any questions contact me at secooking@gmail.com



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22 comments :

  1. Sandra, This is a nifty idea and with my kids starting back to school next Monday (where did summer go?), a timely one too! Your presentation is so fresh, neat and chock full of healthy nutrition. Where did you find those wonderful compartment trays?

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  2. thatz nice :)..thanks for sharing

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  3. Sandra, I love to pack these healthy and delicious lunch for kids too. Will make one for my hubby too!

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  4. @Brooks, I hunt for the school lunch compartment boxes every time I go shopping. Second box is all in one. You have bottom and then you slide the top in, it's very cool but in my opinion it's for older kids since it's not the easiest to pull it out once you slide it in. I bought it in TJMaxx.
    First photo box is actually Ziploc 3-compartment Lunch Container. It is convenient for these cold lunches, and you can find them in any store.
    Thank you for stopping by!

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  5. Manjooo, Ann & Maika, thank you ladies! i am glad you like these ideas!:)

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  6. When I first saw your lunch idea picture in your FB (or was it Instagram?), I immediately got excited! I am always running out of ideas on what to give my kids for dinner to make them interested in eating. Lunch is taken cared of by the school which I have to say is well-orchestrated between the schools and the Ministry of Health. That's one thing I love about schools here. They care about the children's health so much that the best example is from the school. I'm looking forward to more of your lunch creations It's a wonderful idea!

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  7. Your kids are lucky if they have such a great school menu. They changed a menu here like i said but I know it is not as good as if they bring it from home. On top of it they don't like many things that cafeteria is offering. Just an example, pizza look dry and burgers like piece of wood...I ate it once and it didn't taste like a real meat. That's why i want to encourage parents to pack even if it is sandwich and a fruit. Thank you Rowena for your comment!

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  8. I was trying to choose which lunch box is my top choice, the cake roll won me over! Your kids are lucky to have you as their Mom, I can just imagine how happy their little faces must be when it's lunch time at school!

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  9. Those are great lunch box ideas! Thanks for the tips, Sandra!

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  10. Sandra, these look fantastic, if only my son would eat these. My daughter would love them although the cracker one he would like since he begs me to buy those nasty lunchables. I am going to try to be better this year and insist they eat healthier thanks for the inspirations.

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  11. you had a lot of great ideas I actually use a lot of them from my son's school lunch thanks for posting

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  12. OMG!!! Thanks for all the wonderful ideas! Also, I know how much work it goes into planning, preparing, and photographing this post! Thank you for all your hardwork in putting this together. It is much appreciated, and you know this post will be put into good use by me!

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  13. Aww thank you Jen! I know your kids love fresh so I know they will love some of these boxes! Thank you so much for your comment!

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  14. Wow, these lunches look fantastic! Thanks for the post and the great ideas! :)

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  15. A nifty trick for keeping the lunch cool is to freeze the beverage. This will keep the food cold and will (hopefully) have defrosted by the time the recipient of the lunch want to drink it.

    - Freya

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  16. Thank you Elsie, I am glad you like it!

    @Freya, Yes that is very cool idea, and yes I've done it before. Usually these lunch boxes come with little ice pack. Thank you for sharing your idea and for stopping by!

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  17. Thank you so much for your ideas, Sandra. Every day I am thinking what to prepare for kids lunches. I am going to show your post to my kids, many they will like something, they are very picky eaters, specially my boy, he is 8 years old. I am sure they will like your lunches, tell you later about it-) Thank you dear!

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    1. Oh I know what you mean, my 6 year old is very very picky but I try very hard to put what he likes, on the other side my other two are just great(10 and 13yrs old)...they love my lunches. Thank you so much for your kind comment!

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  18. What a delicious spread of various lunch ideas. I love everything! Even if I don't make lunches like these anymore, I'm tempted to just make a bento box for myself right now. Thanks for the inspiration & blog visit!

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    1. Thank you Betty, I am very pleased to hear that you like my lunch ideas. I am enjoying now when the kids are still in school and need me to pack them lunches...but from time to time i do pack something just for me and my hubby! :))
      Thanks again!

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  19. Thank you for share all those nice and healthy ideas! really!

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