back-to-school-lunch-ideas-300x199.jpgLike it or not, there’s no denying that back to school has arrived once again. Wasn’t it just yesterday we were all celebrating not having to come up with another lunch for kids who were sick of the ‘same old, same old?’ I know by the end of June I was ready to pull my hair out because my kids were sick of everything.

But when summer hits and you get a break from the routine, you tend to get a bit more creative. You suddenly start browsing Pinterest for lunch ideas again, and you come up with a ton of great ideas that you could whip up in 10 minutes or less. Or, you start to bake, cook, and stockpile snacks for September so all you have to do is pull them out of the freezer and you’re good to go.

Even if you haven’t hit that point yet or you’re just not a planner when it comes to lunches, there are a lot of great back to school lunch ideas out there that can simplify the process and get you back into the lunch-making swing of things. Here are a few of my favourite back to school lunch ideas.

Lunch Kit Taco BarTaco_Bar.jpg.rend.snigalleryslide.jpeg

Who wouldn’t love to make tacos at their desk? It might seem far fetched but it’s actually possible when you put together the Food Network’s Take-to-School Taco bar.


4 thin slices roast beef (about 3 ounces)
4 (6-inch) soft flour tortillas
1/3 cup shredded Cheddar, Monterey jack or “Mexican blend” cheese
1/4 cup Quickie Guacamole, recipe follows, or store-bought fresh guacamole
1/4 cup Speedy Salsa, recipe follows, or store-bought fresh salsa
2 tablespoons sour cream or plain yogurt, optional
Mini bottle hot sauce
Multi-compartment lunch box




Fold 1 slice roast beef inside each of 2 soft tortillas and sprinkle with cheese. Pack in the biggest compartment of the lunch box. Pack other compartments with guacamole, salsa, sour cream and other favorite toppings. Seal and send off to school.
Speedy Salsa:

Grate tomatoes on the largest holes of a box grater into a bowl all the way down to the skins. Discard the skins. Grate the onion into the tomato. Stir in olive oil. Season with salt, to taste. Serve with cilantro leaves on the side, or stirred in, if desired.
Quickie Guacamole:

Scoop the flesh from the shell with a spoon into a medium bowl. Squeeze the lime juice over the avocado and stir to coat evenly. Add the salt. Use a fork to stir and mash into a chunky guacamole. Stir in tomatoes or fruit, if desired.

Corn and Zucchini Fritterscorn-and-zucchini-fritters.jpg

I don’t know many people who don’t love pancakes for dinner, but this quick lunch box recipe will let them have healthy pancakes for lunch. If you’ve grown a bunch of zucchini over the summer that you don’t know what to do with, this is a great way to incorporate it in their lunch. Recipe and photo from


Prepare a batch of whole wheat pancake batter, using about 1/2 the liquid. Stir in a cup thawed frozen corn, one small grated zucchini and a handful of Parmesan, and a sliced scallion. The zucchini will add moisture; add more liquid if the batter is too stiff. Cook until golden, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Pack with Greek yogurt for dipping.


The Elvis Burritoelvisburritorecipe.jpg

It’s pretty well known that Elvis loved fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches, but I’ll bet you never thought of packing them in your kid’s lunch kit. Who can resist a peanut butter bacon wrap? If your school doesn’t allow peanut butter, you could substitute Wow butter or another peanut butter substitute. Photo and recipe from


1 whole wheat tortilla

2 tbsp peanut butter

Bacon crumbles

1 tbsp honey

1 banana



Spread peanut butter on tortilla

Sprinkle crumbled bacon

Drizzle with honey.

Place an entire banana at the edge of the wrap and roll it up. You can then slice it, put it in a container, and send it off in a lunch kit.

Those are just a few delicious lunch ideas you may not have thought of for back to school, and next week we’ll talk about what type of snacks you can put in their lunch too. Packing lunches this year will be a snap with these recipes and a few back to school must-haves.

You can get really creative when you pack the Marvel Avengers Lunch Set

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Strap your water bottle to the top of your lunch kit with the Vacu-Vin Lunch Locker

Need a backpack for their lunch kit? Take a look at the Top 5 new backpacks for 2015

 Main image from

Shelly Wutke

By , Editor Appliances and Home & Lifestyle

From blenders to laptop computers, I like to take everything I write and put a personal spin on it. As a Vancouver freelancer for 5 years, I’ve written for the Globe & Mail, The Vancouver Province, Chicken Soup for the Soul (grab your hanky, that one is a tear jerker), and on too many websites to list. My personal website is at and if you like Twitter, come find me and chat at @kidswap.