Smart and Yummy Lunch Ideas

Updated July 10,2017
Originally Published July 10, 2016

It’s time to start thinking about packed lunches again! Whether you are packing just for yourself, a carful of kids, or even if you stay home and have a toddler to feed, new ideas are always neat to see! Here are a bunch of smart and yummy lunch ideas to save.

Smart + Yummy lunch ideas

Smart and Yummy Lunch Ideas

1. Snack Tower

Put snack items, breakfast items, or lunch items in a pretty tiered bin or basket for easy access.

Put snack items, breakfast items, or lunch items in a pretty tiered bin or basket for easy access.

2. Make Ahead Chicken Fajita Lunch Bowls

Make this recipe on Sunday and have all of your work lunches ready for the week!

Chicken Fajita Lunch Bowls (Make Ahead). Make this recipe on Sunday and have all of your work lunches ready for the week!

3. Snack Drawers in a Refrigerator 

Snack drawers for the kids in the fridge. Easy to grab, healthy foods. Awesome!

Snack drawers for the kids in the fridge. Easy to grab, healthy foods. Awesome!

4. Chicken Enchilada Roll Ups

These Chicken Enchilada Roll Ups are a great appetizer or pack & go lunch idea! Easy to make ahead and easy to serve.

These Chicken Enchilada Roll Ups are a great appetizer or pack & go lunch idea! Easy to make ahead and easy to serve.

5. School Lunch Ideas

Keep it creative, fun, exciting, and tasty with these school lunch ideas. Yummy packed lunch ideas for when you’re stumped on what to send your kiddo to school with. These lunch combinations have fruits, veggies, and protein to give your little ones the nutrition and energy to tackle the day without sacrificing taste.

Yummy packed lunch ideas for when you’re stumped on what to send your kiddo to school with. These lunch combinations have fruits, veggies, and protein to give your little ones the nutrition and energy to tackle the day without sacrificing taste.

6. Taco Salad in a Mason Jar

Taco Salad in a Jar — This quick and easy lunch recipe is not only delicious, it’s packed with healthy food! Layers of lettuce, tomatoes, beans and more!

Taco Salad in a Jar -- This quick and easy lunch recipe is not only delicious, it's packed with healthy food! Layers of lettuce, tomatoes, beans and more!

7. Use a Door Hanging Shoe Organizer for Snacks

Think outside the box with this clear shoe organizer. Use it to have snacks ready for your kids or to organize school lunches for the week. Genius!

Think outside the box with this clear shoe organizer. Use it to have snacks ready for your kids or to organize school lunches for the week. Genius!

8. Turkey Ranch Club Wrap

Easy and so good! These wraps are ready in 10 minutes tops!

Easy and so good! These wraps are ready in 10 minutes tops!

9. Pizza Calzones 

With just 5 ingredients and less than 10 minutes of prep, you’ll be devouring these calzones in no time! Wrap them in foil and take one for lunch.

With just 5 ingredients and less than 10 minutes of prep, you’ll be devouring these calzones in no time! Wrap them in foil and take one for lunch.

10. Microwavable Pasta Packets

These freezable pasta lunches come in at just $0.24 per serving. Not only are they insanely inexpensive (can you even buy a pack of gum for $0.25?), they offer convenience and endless possibilities for variety to spice up your work lunches.

Microwavable Pasta Lunch Packets - These freezable pasta lunches come in at just $0.24 per serving. Not only are they insanely inexpensive (can you even buy a pack of gum for $0.25?), they offer convenience and endless possibilities for variety to spice up your work lunches.

11. Make-Ahead Mini Chicken Pot Pies

Make ahead meals for busy moms! Take them to work or make them for dinner. So smart!

Make-Ahead Mini Chicken Pot Pies. Make ahead meals for busy moms! Take them to work or make them for dinner. So smart!

12. Taco Salads To-Go

Good make ahead for the week meal. Use homemade taco seasoning and salsa rather than sour cream if you want to take it for lunch!

Good make ahead for the week meal. Use homemade taco seasoning and salsa rather than sour cream if you want to take it for lunch!

13. Muffin Tin Meatloaf

Good make ahead lunch idea for the office!

Mini Meatloaves. Good make ahead lunch idea for the office!

14. DIY Lunchables that Cost a Fraction of the Price

Make ahead, keep all week, mix & match lunch combos. Get the plastic cups super cheap HERE on AmazonDIY Lunchables that cost a fraction of the price! Make ahead, keep all week, mix & match lunch combos.

15. Lunch Bins for Making Lunches Quickly

Tips for making school lunches (from a mother of 8) - DIY lunch bins. There is a number on the front of each bin which tells you how many items to pack. Then the kids can choose what items they want in their lunches. So smart!

Here’s what Lauri Stewart on Facebook says:

“I’m totally going to do this when school starts! I love this idea! Kiddos pick the number of servings shown on the front from each bin. So much more fun than making sandwiches every day!

  1. popcorn or veggie straws (I’ll mix it up with what they call “junk food”)
  2. goldfish, rice and ritz crackers (again, I’ll mix them up but they don’t have to have the same thing everyday)
  3. fruit to go and fruit & veggie source bars
  4. fruit cups and apple sauces (will do fresh fruit most often, but good back up and with 3 kids liking all different fruit, this is my compromise)
  5. cheese strings, Babybell cheese an yogurt tubes. Again will mix it up with Yoplait drinks and diced regular cheeses I have)
  6. Meat & veggies. The hardest one as all three kids are not big meat eaters! Here I have turkey lunchmeat rolled up, turkey Pepperettes (Costco) and carrots or cucs from our garden! I will do hard boiled eggs or leftover diced chicken breasts from supper too!
  7. will be granola bars, banana muffins or cookies! 

This is all trial and error but the kids were so excited to pick what they wanted and told them I was open to suggestions!

16. Homemade Lunchables

Pack lunches on Sunday for the whole week!

 

Pack lunches on Sunday for the whole week! Pin now, read later...Great lunch ideas.

17. Mason Jar Fruit Salad

Prep everything on a Sunday and make jars for the week. Brilliant, beautiful, and so smart!

Mason Jar Fruit Salad - I prep everything on a Sunday and make jars for the week.

18. Mason Jar Lunchable 

A mason jar lunchable is a smart and creative on the go snacking idea.

How to make a Mason Jar Lunchable ("Mason-able")

19. Homemade Jello Fruit Snack Cups

Pre-made Jello cups can get expensive. We made 30 Jello Snack Cups for a total of $5.00!

Homemade Jello Snack Cups

20. Turkey and Cheese Biscuits

The smell, the gooey cheese, the flakey crust, the warm biscuit… these will be gone in no time!

Turkey and Cheese Biscuits - light and flakey biscuits separated in between ooey gooey cheese and turkey (or ham!). These will be gone in no time! #lunch #dinnerideas #easydinner #snackideas

6 thoughts on “Smart and Yummy Lunch Ideas”

  1. I love that you are using our Princess House 2 Tiered Basket. I am a consultant with Princess House and own 2 of these because I love them so much. Thanks for the wonderful tips!

  2. Wish there were more study, reusable containers. I hate to be responsible for the kids throwing away so much in a year! Will keep looking to adapt your idea to something that is sustainable for the kids’ future!
    XO

    1. I’ve purchases containers that have compartments to do my own lunchables, you have to look around, but you can find them. Depending on what I put in them I will also use muffin tin liners to separate items within a food storage container. hope that helps!

  3. You can cut your own cheese instead of buying cubes or rectangles.
    We make DIY lunchables by. adding meat and olives and pickles to silicone muffin cups in a gladware square container. The bread is Hawaiian rolls (2) sliced. To make sliders. We make a snack mix and divide into snack bags, gogurt, protein or granola bar, and the fruit snacks. And we do jello with fruit. Hates fruit only way he’ll eat it unless in pie. Capri sun and extra napkins. Snack in the top of the box and we are good.

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