Lunch Box Ideas + Back to School Giveaway

Need some tips for packing your kids’ school lunch this year? These healthy lunch ideas will keep the whole family happy all year!

Healthy Lunch Ideas | #backtoschool #lunch #schoollunch #lunchbox

My kids headed back to school this week.

It’s always a bitter-sweet moment when our summer fun is officially over.

All you parents of school-aged children know exactly what I’m talking about. It’s an emotional roller coaster. One minute I’m ready to punt them out the door, because they’re stir-crazy and getting on each other’s nerves. The next minute I’m weepy-eyed over my sweet little bundles all grown up and moving up the elementary ladder.

I get several (quiet) hours of my life back each day, yet I miss their funny stories, giggles and constant hugs. Sob…

Parenting is for the birds. Just kidding.

Healthy Lunch Ideas + Lunch Box Giveaway | #backtoschool #lunch #schoollunch #lunchboxFront: Girls NY Blue Mosaic Flower and Boys NY Olive Skeleton Army Lunch tote Sets

While my two cuties are enthusiastically laying out their new shoes and backpacks, I’m pondering healthy lunch ideas for school this year. Making sure their school lunch is something healthy and inviting can be a little difficult.

After all, I certainly get tired of eating the same thing over and over again, so I can’t blame them for not wanting PB&J and ham and cheese 5 days a week.

School Lunch Ideas | #backtoschool #lunch #schoollunch #lunchboxBuilt Adult Lush Flower Gourmet Getaway Lunch Tote Set

So I’ve compiled a list of some fun and healthy lunch ideas for back to school.

And we’ve got a really fun giveaway to boot!

Healthy School Lunch Ideas | #backtoschool #lunch #schoollunch #lunchbox

Healthy Lunch Ideas

Kid-Made Lunch Ideas:

Try letting your kids make their own lunches. It’s fun for them and teaches responsibility.

Pack Bento Boxes – to encourage healthy choices and portion control

Healthy Lunch Ideas - #Bento | #backtoschool #lunch #schoollunch #lunchbox

Use Cookie Cutters – to cut sandwiches and fruit into fun shapes

Use Veggies to Make Colorful Creations

Come Up with Unique Flavor Combinations – that they’ll love because they thought of it themselves

Make-Your-Own Lunchables using healthy crackers and good quality cheese

Simple Healthy Lunch Ideas | #backtoschool #lunch #schoollunch #lunchboxLove these colorful dishes from Villeroy & Boch.

My Favorite PB&J Alternatives:

Meat Cheese and Veggie Roll-Ups

Pickle Roll-Ups with Lunch Meat and Fresh Basil Leaves

Crispy Chicken Tender Pops

Lettuce Wraps

Repurpose leftovers into something new (Like leftover steak into steak sandwiches or quick beef stir fry)

Back-to-School Lunch Ideas | #backtoschool #lunch #schoollunch #lunchbox

Easy Make Aheads:

These are things you can make in one batch and pack in a lunch box several times throughout the week.



Pastas and Pasta Salads

Chicken Salad (or Egg Salad or Tuna Salad)

Loaded Rice Dishes

Homemade Pizza

Pulled Pork

Pasta - Healthy Lunch Ideas | #backtoschool #lunch #schoollunch #lunchbox

Easy Sides and Snacks:

Fruit Kebabs

Homemade Snack Mixes

Kale Chips

Roasted Chickpeas

Veggies and Dip

Crackers with Goat Cheese and Berries (Instead of processed cheese spreads)

Homemade seasoned popcorn

Buffalo Chicken Bites

Antipasto Skewers

Crispy Roasted Cauliflower

Creamy Avocado Salsa and Chips

Easy Healthy Lunch Ideas | #backtoschool #lunch #schoollunch #lunchbox

Freezer Favorites:

Items you can place in the freezer to keep your lunch cold while they thaw.

Yogurt Tubes

Mini Yogurt Smoothies

Individually Sized Guacamole Packets

Juice Boxes


Pudding Cups

Mini Quiches

Freezer Favorites - Healthy Lunch Ideas | #backtoschool #lunch #schoollunch #lunchboxBuilt NY Big Apples Buddies Astro Owl Lunch Tote Set

I hope these healthy lunch ideas give you a head start this year on your quest for an intriguing (and manageable) school lunch schedule.

Did you notice the super-cute Built Lunch Tote Sets throughout the post?

You could win one today for your child (or yourself!)

These lunch bags are durable, well insulated, and each lunch tote comes with a matching reusable sandwich and snack bag, so you can be earth-friendly and stylish! Today’s Giveaway is generously donated by, a great place to shop for all things cooking.

Built Lunch Tote Sets

To enter simply follow the prompts in this automated entry form. For US residents only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: provided the lunch totes for today’s post and giveaway. All opinions are my own.

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129 comments on “Lunch Box Ideas + Back to School Giveaway

  1. Angieposted July 27, 2018 at 12:28 pm Reply

    What great ideas! Printed out tons! Thanks for so much great info!!

    Rating: 5
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  8. Arnoldoposted June 8, 2014 at 8:32 pm Reply

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  10. Kaliposted August 29, 2013 at 8:57 am Reply

    Love the Owl bag.

  11. Julsposted August 29, 2013 at 7:08 am Reply

    Adult Floral suits me well. No kiddos in school!

  12. Kim McCallieposted August 29, 2013 at 6:39 am Reply

    I like Adult Floral.

  13. Justine McD.posted August 28, 2013 at 3:17 pm Reply

    My son would love the Big Kid Boy bag

  14. Cinellaposted August 28, 2013 at 9:24 am Reply

    The big kid girl!

  15. Brenda Nposted August 28, 2013 at 8:14 am Reply

    Little boy dog…but really I’ll take any of them:)

  16. Nikkiposted August 28, 2013 at 5:16 am Reply

    i like doggie-bag for little boy.. but i kind-of like owl too. i think i need one regardless if i win too..

  17. Laura Armeniposted August 27, 2013 at 9:32 pm Reply

    Adult floral!

  18. Julieposted August 27, 2013 at 9:29 pm Reply

    The Skull set is super cute!!! Love the lunch ideas! I have just sent my first off to kindergarten and this is SO helpful :)

  19. Carmenposted August 27, 2013 at 8:45 pm Reply

    Adult Floral

  20. Colette (Coco in the Kitchen)posted August 27, 2013 at 4:51 pm Reply

    Great ideas! I really love the old fashioned aluminum stackable lunch containers, too.

  21. cwposted August 27, 2013 at 4:45 pm Reply

    The adult floral

  22. Sarah Jposted August 27, 2013 at 1:23 pm Reply

    The adult floral. Love this giveaway

  23. TCposted August 27, 2013 at 12:08 pm Reply

    Big Kid Boy – I think it’s hilarious.

  24. Mary Adamsposted August 27, 2013 at 11:35 am Reply

    Love the owl and geometric!

  25. Terryposted August 27, 2013 at 10:01 am Reply

    Love the Owl kit but would have to go with the geometric or floral for the teen.

  26. Sarahposted August 27, 2013 at 7:31 am Reply

    Little kid owl of course!!! ;-)

  27. Angieposted August 27, 2013 at 6:29 am Reply

    The big kid girl

  28. Kimposted August 26, 2013 at 8:53 pm Reply

    Little kid Dog!

  29. Mercedesposted August 26, 2013 at 9:28 am Reply

    Adult floral

  30. Alexandraposted August 26, 2013 at 6:51 am Reply

    I love the adult floral, I have a similar one from built and I am in love with it!!!

  31. Yashicaposted August 26, 2013 at 6:50 am Reply

    I like the adult floral one

  32. kateposted August 26, 2013 at 6:35 am Reply

    Adult floral. So cute, and so much better than the lame grocery bag I use now!

  33. Carolynposted August 26, 2013 at 4:18 am Reply

    My kids head back next week, and it’s going to be so strange! Adorable lunch box sets!

  34. Sarah Lposted August 25, 2013 at 11:05 pm Reply

    I like the adult floral set, but they’re all cute!

  35. audreyleeposted August 25, 2013 at 9:38 pm Reply

    Love the big kid girl lunch bag! I also love your idea for pasta salads. So many different combinations of veggies to add to all kinds of fun pasta shapes.

  36. Teresa C.posted August 25, 2013 at 9:23 pm Reply

    so cute!

  37. taniaposted August 25, 2013 at 6:42 pm Reply

    big kid boy!

  38. Randiposted August 25, 2013 at 2:24 pm Reply

    Love it, little kid dog bag

  39. Natashaposted August 25, 2013 at 12:02 pm Reply

    I love little kid dog!

  40. La Cuisine d'Heleneposted August 25, 2013 at 10:28 am Reply

    This is such a great giveaway, I love all the bags. I prefer the Adult Floral :)

  41. Joanne BHposted August 25, 2013 at 9:30 am Reply

    All of the bags are great! The owl and puppy are especially cute! Your lunch ideas are also great. I too prefer to pack lunches that are outta of the sandwich bag!

  42. Kathy - Panini Happyposted August 25, 2013 at 8:51 am Reply

    Love the adult floral!

  43. Ash-foodfashionpartyposted August 25, 2013 at 7:56 am Reply

    Those lunch cases are beautiful and the pasta is something my boys would love. I completely hear ya, my boys start to school tomorrow and I will try not to get too emotional the first day.

  44. Michelleposted August 25, 2013 at 7:36 am Reply

    The big kid floral!

  45. Roseposted August 25, 2013 at 7:28 am Reply

    My little boy starts 6th grade tomorrow and. I am sure he woild liker the big kid green skulls lunch bag. Love your blog ang great food ideas.

  46. jeannine sposted August 25, 2013 at 7:03 am Reply

    I love the little kids owl bag

  47. Meshel Lewinskiposted August 24, 2013 at 11:33 pm Reply

    I love the green skulls!

  48. Miss @ Miss in the Kitchenposted August 24, 2013 at 8:53 pm Reply

    Great lunch ideas! My boys love taking their lunch and I will sure be using some of these ideas!

  49. Erin Elizabethposted August 24, 2013 at 7:18 pm Reply

    Love these lunch ideas. Great post! I love them all, but my son loves the puppy dog one.

  50. nicole lillieposted August 24, 2013 at 2:36 pm Reply

    I like the big boy kid, or adult floral.

  51. Barbara McCraryposted August 24, 2013 at 1:59 pm Reply

    Adult floral please!

  52. Angelposted August 24, 2013 at 12:48 pm Reply

    My son would love the skulls!

  53. Jan Rposted August 24, 2013 at 9:06 am Reply

    Love the adult floral…PLEASE!

  54. Ann Bestposted August 24, 2013 at 6:37 am Reply

    Definitely Adult Floral!

  55. gina @ skinnytasteposted August 24, 2013 at 5:09 am Reply

    These are great, my toddler will have to bring lunch for the first time to Pre-K next month, and since she doesn’t east sandwiches I may buy a bento box. Cute ideas!

  56. Gail Annacartoposted August 24, 2013 at 4:11 am Reply

    Adult floral so cute

  57. Elbaposted August 24, 2013 at 3:40 am Reply

    Love the Adult Floral!

  58. Meridithposted August 24, 2013 at 2:50 am Reply

    Cute bags! Great ideas. Adult floral is a perfect partner to my girl’s navy chevron backpack.

  59. Heather Bposted August 24, 2013 at 1:24 am Reply

    I love the little dog one.

  60. Brandy Raganposted August 23, 2013 at 11:08 pm Reply

    The adult floral would be perfect! I’m going back to finish mt degree and I will need to pack lunch 4 days a week.

  61. Gabyposted August 23, 2013 at 10:43 pm Reply

    Brilliant ideas! :)

  62. Hannahposted August 23, 2013 at 10:08 pm Reply

    Little boy dog.

  63. Melissa @ My Recent Favorite booksposted August 23, 2013 at 9:58 pm Reply

    I love the Adult Floral one!

  64. Candyposted August 23, 2013 at 9:45 pm Reply

    It’s a toss up between the little owl & dog ones. My boys would love either! So cute!

  65. barbara nposted August 23, 2013 at 8:57 pm Reply

    I would love to win the adult floral

  66. Roxanne @The ROXX Boxposted August 23, 2013 at 8:56 pm Reply

    I would love the owl. Too cute and what a great GIVEAWAY!!

  67. Susanposted August 23, 2013 at 8:44 pm Reply

    I like the adult floral.

  68. heatherposted August 23, 2013 at 8:35 pm Reply

    the adult foral

  69. Stephanie Oposted August 23, 2013 at 7:37 pm Reply

    I love the adult foral and the kids dog.

  70. Ninaposted August 23, 2013 at 6:33 pm Reply

    The adult floral would be wonderful. Would be so stylish during lunch hour.

  71. Kelly Dposted August 23, 2013 at 5:17 pm Reply

    I like the Big Kid Girl style.

  72. Carole Resnickposted August 23, 2013 at 4:19 pm Reply

    adult floral, please.

  73. ashleyposted August 23, 2013 at 3:52 pm Reply

    the dog is cute

  74. Melissaposted August 23, 2013 at 3:08 pm Reply

    My son would love the Liitle Kid Dog!!

  75. Chrisposted August 23, 2013 at 2:37 pm Reply

    Although the Adult Floral is …for adults… and I love it, in second and third come Girls Floral and I would also consider the cute Little Kid Owl. What a great idea, and so wonderful to encourage healthy lunches!!

  76. Jeannaposted August 23, 2013 at 2:27 pm Reply

    I like the Big Kid Boy (Green Skulls)!

  77. Jenneposted August 23, 2013 at 2:19 pm Reply

    Little kid owl!

  78. Virginia Rapaviposted August 23, 2013 at 2:08 pm Reply

    the adult flower is so cute. but i have to admit the owl would be cool too

  79. Shellyposted August 23, 2013 at 2:00 pm Reply

    I love the Adult Floral one!

  80. CarolynHposted August 23, 2013 at 1:51 pm Reply

    I’d prefer the adult floral.

  81. Flora Carswellposted August 23, 2013 at 1:45 pm Reply

    These are so creative. Thanks for all the great ideas!

  82. Jeffreyposted August 23, 2013 at 1:34 pm Reply

    I’d have to go with the Big Kid Boy with the Skulls!

  83. Mariaposted August 23, 2013 at 1:28 pm Reply

    This post makes me want to go back to school:)

  84. Jenniferposted August 23, 2013 at 1:03 pm Reply

    They’re all great, but the floral ones are my faves. Love the lunch ideas… and that square bento box rocks!

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  85. Sarahposted August 23, 2013 at 12:53 pm Reply

    Would love to win the adult flower bag.

  86. Angelposted August 23, 2013 at 12:52 pm Reply

    They are all so adorable, I love the floral and the owl

  87. Candiceposted August 23, 2013 at 12:52 pm Reply

    I would love the adult floral.

    I do have a question regarding the pasta salads, won’t it spoil since schools don’t have refrigerators where kids can put their lunch? Great lunch ideas! I could use some of these myself. =)

    Thanks for the giveaway.

  88. stacey m.posted August 23, 2013 at 12:48 pm Reply

    So cute! Love the owl and the doggie!

  89. Trishaposted August 23, 2013 at 12:47 pm Reply

    the adult floral – what great ideas for lunch (kids or adults!)

  90. beth jilletteposted August 23, 2013 at 12:39 pm Reply

    Love the adult flower!

  91. Shelly Potterposted August 23, 2013 at 12:37 pm Reply

    NY Big Apples Buddies Astro Owl

  92. Leslieposted August 23, 2013 at 12:34 pm Reply

    I love the owl one! Very cute and good lunch ideas for adults as well :)

  93. Yukiposted August 23, 2013 at 12:31 pm Reply

    They look adorable! Thanks for the giveaway.

  94. toniposted August 23, 2013 at 12:30 pm Reply

    green skulls

  95. Jessica @Bkeepsushonestposted August 23, 2013 at 11:53 am Reply

    Little Kid Dog

  96. Elissaposted August 23, 2013 at 11:47 am Reply

    I like the little owl lunch box!

  97. Samanthaposted August 23, 2013 at 10:28 am Reply

    I love the big kid girl set. I’m always looking for new lunch ideas- this post is great!

  98. Kathyposted August 23, 2013 at 10:26 am Reply

    As a teacher who has to bring her own lunch to work, I’d love one of those sets!!

  99. Kristinposted August 23, 2013 at 10:16 am Reply

    Love the flower tote and the square bento boxes! Which brand are the square ones?

  100. Maggieposted August 23, 2013 at 10:13 am Reply

    So cute! I love the owl one.

  101. Claireposted August 23, 2013 at 10:04 am Reply

    Love these bags with the matching little bags for snacks inside.

  102. Khanhposted August 23, 2013 at 9:55 am Reply

    The Little Kid Owl tote is adorable!!! Thanks for the chance!

  103. Maria Malaveciposted August 23, 2013 at 9:53 am Reply

    I like the Big Kid Boy and Girl.


  104. Barbposted August 23, 2013 at 9:50 am Reply

    I like the adult floral

  105. Laura (Tutti Dolci)posted August 23, 2013 at 9:49 am Reply

    Such fun ideas, I want those fruit kebabs for my snack! ;)

  106. Nikkiposted August 23, 2013 at 9:46 am Reply

    I like the adult floral

  107. vaishaliposted August 23, 2013 at 9:43 am Reply

    Love the big kid girl!

  108. LeslieBeeposted August 23, 2013 at 9:39 am Reply

    I don’t even have kids of school age anymore, but I love your lunch ideas and will be using them to make my own lunches, more tasty, fun and healthy. It would be a treat to carry it to work in the Adult Floral Tote

  109. Tracieposted August 23, 2013 at 8:48 am Reply

    Love the pickle roll up idea!

  110. Katieposted August 23, 2013 at 8:44 am Reply

    Love the big kid girl! And great inspiration for lunches, thanks!!

  111. Virginiaposted August 23, 2013 at 8:43 am Reply

    These are so great! I have 5 kids so this set is the perfect size for our family.

  112. Laura rahnposted August 23, 2013 at 7:49 am Reply

    Love the little girl owl

  113. Tracyposted August 23, 2013 at 7:30 am Reply

    Great ideas! I love them all, but since i don’t have kids, I’ll go with the adult floral lunch sack.

  114. Cindyposted August 23, 2013 at 7:28 am Reply

    Love your ideas and the fonts I am typing with :) Thanks for encouraging moms to help their kids make healthy choices … they will last a lifetime! <3

  115. Kristinaposted August 23, 2013 at 7:26 am Reply

    Love the lunchmeat-wrapped pickle idea! All these sound yummy!

  116. Lesley Groetschposted August 23, 2013 at 7:15 am Reply

    Hoping to win the adult flower tote. We have one built lunch tote already, but daughter #2 could use one as well. Thanks for the great lunch ideas – I’m going shopping tomorrow to pick up some of the ingredients!

  117. Marian (Sweetopia)posted August 23, 2013 at 6:53 am Reply

    Such great lunch ideas and totes! I especially love the owl!. Thanks for the giveaway! :)

  118. Gerry @ foodness graciousposted August 23, 2013 at 6:52 am Reply

    Yes!!! I can agree on all levels. Right now some days I just want to drop them off at school even though it’s still closed lol…but I know when they go in a few weeks it’ll be sad. Great giveaway and thanks!

  119. elizabeth @ chronic ventureposted August 23, 2013 at 6:51 am Reply

    always need good ideas for lunch–even for the grownups! love the floral lunchbox

  120. Hollyposted August 23, 2013 at 6:35 am Reply

    Lots of great ideas! I would love to get the Adult floral. I take my lunch everyday and that would make me happy! :)

  121. Janelposted August 23, 2013 at 6:30 am Reply

    Love the big boy skull lunch box

  122. marlaposted August 23, 2013 at 6:19 am Reply

    WOW so many great lunch ideas Sommer :)

  123. Russell at Chasing Deliciousposted August 23, 2013 at 8:13 am Reply

    I think what I’ve learned most from this post is that lunch boxes are a million times more fancy now than when I was a kid.

  124. Jeanetteposted August 23, 2013 at 6:11 am Reply

    Fun ideas Sommer – hope you had a nice summer. Back to school is bittersweet – totally agree.

  125. Belinda @zomppaposted August 23, 2013 at 5:50 am Reply

    Will you adopt me?

  126. Christine Lombardoposted August 23, 2013 at 5:49 am Reply

    Love these cute lunch boxes. So cute and colorful. I especially love the sandwich sack. <3

  127. Jersey Girl Cooksposted August 23, 2013 at 5:48 am Reply

    I like the owl lunch box. Thanks for the chance!

  128. Jersey Girl Cooksposted August 23, 2013 at 5:45 am Reply

    Cute lunch boxes and I love all the lunch box ideas. We have one week left of summer vacation.

  129. Emily Kposted August 23, 2013 at 7:25 am Reply

    The adult floral. They are all so cute. Great ideas for lunches. Thanks for sharing.