10 Creative Non-Sandwich School Lunch Ideas
Updated: Oct 17
Tired of the same old sandwiches in your child's lunchbox? Looking to add some variety and excitement to their school lunches? You've come to the right place! Let's explore 10 creative and delicious non-sandwich school lunch ideas that are sure to make lunchtime a fun and nutritious experience. As an Amazon affiliate, I may make a small commission from your purchase.
Pasta salad is a versatile and customizable option that can be prepared in advance. You can mix cooked pasta with colorful veggies, cheese, and a tasty dressing for a refreshing and filling lunch. Try variations like a classic Italian pasta salad or a creamy ranch pasta salad for added flavor.
Quesadillas are a hit with kids and adults alike. Fill tortillas with cheese, veggies, and your child's favorite protein (chicken, beans, or beef), then cook until crispy. Serve with salsa or guacamole for a delightful Mexican-inspired lunch. Want to make fun triangle quesadillas, check this out!
Sushi doesn't have to be reserved for fancy dinners. Make mini sushi rolls with cucumber, avocado, and cooked shrimp or imitation crab. Slice them into bite-sized pieces (or if you're feeling adventurous, cat shaped sushi) and pack some soy sauce or teriyaki for dipping.
Bento boxes are a creative way to present a variety of foods in a visually appealing manner. Fill the compartments with a mix of fruits, veggies, cheese, crackers, and small portions of protein like turkey or boiled eggs. Bentgo is a favorite for our bento boxes on the go!
Make mini pizzas using English muffins, pita bread, or even tortillas as the base. Top them with tomato sauce, cheese, and your child's favorite toppings. Bake until the cheese is bubbly and golden brown for a tasty lunch option.
Rice bowls are another versatile option. Cook rice and top it with a protein source like grilled chicken, tofu, or even meatballs. Add steamed or roasted veggies and drizzle with a flavorful sauce for added appeal.
Wrap It Up
Instead of sandwiches, try wraps. Fill tortillas or large lettuce leaves with a variety of ingredients like hummus, grilled chicken, veggies, and a sprinkle of cheese. Roll them up and slice into smaller portions for easy eating.
Soup or Chili
A thermos filled with warm soup or chili can be a comforting and nutritious lunch option, especially during colder months. Choose homemade or canned options with wholesome ingredients for a balanced meal. We've used these thermoses from Hydroflask for years and they keep food warm all day!
Create your own DIY lunchables by packing compartments with bite-sized portions of cheese, crackers, deli meats, and some fresh fruit. It's a fun and interactive way for your child to enjoy their lunch.
Fruit and Yogurt Parfait
For a sweet and healthy option, layer yogurt with granola and fresh fruit in a container. We've used these thermoses for years, they're a great size and stay cold (or hot) all day long. The Hydroflask thermoses we mentioned above will also keep your food cold all day!
Ditching the traditional sandwich doesn't mean sacrificing taste or nutrition. These 10 non-sandwich school lunch ideas are not only creative but also offer a wide range of flavors and textures that your child will love. Experiment with these ideas and adapt them to suit your child's preferences and dietary needs. By adding variety to their lunchbox, you'll keep them excited about mealtime and ensure they're getting the nutrients they need for a successful day at school.