Lori Lori is a work-at-home mom of three living in Noblesville, Indiana.

Back to school means a new routine. It means rushing around in the morning and scrambling to get out the door on time (if you’re like us – we all sleep in until last minute). You’re probably feeding your kids cereal and using other back to school breakfast recipes so you start your kids day off on the right foot.

Back to school also means packing lunches if your kids aren’t a fan of what is offered in the school lunch. While we are open to our kids buying school lunch, they tend to prefer bringing food they like from home. Rachael has written on this blog before about what she likes to pack for lunch for her daughters – and I decided I’d share my ideas, too. I know for me it’s not always easy to come up with lunch ideas and I find myself stuck in a rut sending the kids with the same handful of items. Here are some fun, healthy, inexpensive foods to pack to mix things up a bit this school year:

Guacamole and tortilla chips
Strips of peppers and ranch
Chips and salsa
Hummus and pita bread
Hummus and cucumbers
Turkey and cheese roll ups (serve in a tortilla, or by itself, sealed with a toothpick)
Cherry tomatoes
Peanut butter crackers
Pepperoni crackers
Peanut butter and jelly (a staple!)
Almond butter sandwiches
Cottage cheese
String cheese
Hard boiled eggs

Kids love having fun foods in their lunch, and it’s a bonus if you send a variety of options. Think COLOR when it comes to food – try to send fresh fruit and veggies if possible. It’s important to learn more about how the quality of school lunch affects students’ performance. We also send yogurt tubes for a good serving of calcium. My kids like nuts, so I often send peanuts and pistachios. One of my favorite things to send is Lara bars — these energy bars come in more than 20 flavors and have nine pure ingredients or less. We LOVE chocolate chip cookie dough and pecan pie flavors. Popcorn is another great option and so are goldfish crackers.

Coming up with ideas to pack in school lunches can take some time and effort. I’ll call it a labor of love! This year, I plan to make sure my kids consistently help me pack their lunchbox to make the task more fun for us all!

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Category: Education

Tags: Back to school