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Beyond the Sandwich Lunch Box Ideas

Beyond the Sandwich Lunch Box Ideas

Evan will be starting his new school at the beginning of September. After 8 months on the road homeschooling, I have to brush off some of my lunch box ideas because I haven’t packed a lunch in AGES.

Lunch boxes…..they are the bane of my existence. Evan eats like a horse at home but at school….not so much. Couple this with the fact that he gets HANGRY if he doesn’t eat and you get one of the major sources of stress in my life.

Popular questions that floated around in my head when he was in school before were:

What will he eat this week? Has he developed a hatred for a food that he ate every day for the last month? Will he have so much fun with his friends that he will forget to eat? All these questions swim around my head every time I try to make his lunch.

Greek Inspired Veggie & Feta Sandwich

I know what you are thinking….”Just send him a sandwich!” Well that would be PERFECT if he would eat them. Instead, Evan had a host of issues with sandwiches. (But if you don’t….check out my Greek inspired Egg Sandwich)

  • The bread gets gummy.
  • The mayo gets warm.
  • I don’t like Wow Butter (allowed peanut butter substitute).
  • I don’t like sandwiches.
  • It wasn’t the sandwich I wanted.
  • I know my lack of sandwich eating makes that vein pop out in your forehead so it is a really fun game.

Sometimes I think it is the last reason most of all.

Here are some ideas for the sandwich averse kids in YOUR life.

Lunch box Ideas: Kabobs

Let’s face it. Food on a stick is fun. You can put anything together to make a kabob.

For a main course kabob try chunks of pizza pretzel or cheese bun, cubes of cheddar cheese and pieces of pepperoni stick. For a veggie kabob, alternate chunks of cucumber, grape tomatoes, bell pepper or any other firmer veggie. Strawberries, grapes, pineapple and orange segments work great for fruit kabobs.

I used small 8 inch bamboo skewers. The longer ones are way too long and too thick. You can easily break the pointy tip off the skewer after you finish your kabob.

DO NOT USE TOOTHPICKS. Toothpicks are too small and could easily be swallowed by a child causing serious medical issues. Just don’t do it.

Pita Bread Pizza - Merry About Town

Lunch Box Ideas: Pita Bread Pizza

Kids love pizza but individual sized freezer pizzas can have some iffy ingredients. Instead, make pita bread pizzas and pop them in their lunch boxes.

All you need is pita bread, spaghetti sauce and mozzarella cheese. In fact, we keep a jar of spaghetti sauce going in our refrigerator at all times for lunches. It has so many different uses!

Pizza is one of those foods that taste great cold. Just make sure not to put too much sauce on or it may get soggy.

Tortallini - Merry About Town

Lunch Box Ideas: Thermos

Winter is coming and everyone loves a hot lunch during winter. Taking a thermos to school is perfect for long cold days. The key to keeping hot foods hot is to pre-warm your thermos. Pour boiling water in your thermos and let it sit for 5 minutes before adding hot food.


Some ideas for filling your thermos:

  • Pasta – I buy tortallini in the refrigerator section and pop it in the freezer at home. Most types cook in less than 5 minutes (check the label). You can cook just enough for lunch in no time. Boil, drain and add spaghetti sauce to the pan. Heat up to steaming and then add to your thermos. Sprinkle with mozza cheese, close thermos & your kid will love you!
  • Leftovers – Just make sure they are good and hot before you put them in the thermos.
  • Soup –  Kids love soup especially if you pack crackers for them to eat too. (Goldfish crackers love swimming in tomato soup!)
  • Cereal – This is a non-hot idea. Put cold milk in your thermos and add a baggie of dry cereal to their lunch bag. At lunch time they pour the cereal in to their thermos and have cereal for lunch.

alpaca lunch bag

Now to get all of my other must dos done before September like going to the eye doctor and buying school supplies (like the cool Alpaca bag above). Oh and print off some fun Pokemon lunch box notes too!

Non-Sandwich School Lunch box Ideas!



Thursday 18th of September 2014

We love to take granola, yogurt and fruit in a thermos! Just be sure to choose granola free of nuts if you're taking it to school.

Thanks for the ideas!


Wednesday 17th of September 2014

I love these ideas!! I am the least creative lunch person EVER. Pinning for future reference!

Merry Kuchle

Thursday 18th of September 2014

Thanks Katie!


Wednesday 17th of September 2014

All of these suggestions are great, if sitting at a table. Any ideas on how to get my 12yo to use the cafeteria instead of sitting in the hallways because "omg mom, (insert eyeroll) no one uses the cafeteria . It's just not COOL" .

Vein in forehead bulging....jr high is going to be the death of me. :-)


Wednesday 17th of September 2014

Oh geez Sherri, that is crazy. The thermos with pasta would work sitting in the hall but the rest.....not as much. Of course if he is hungry enough, he will figure it out.

Home To Heather

Wednesday 17th of September 2014

Hannah loves leftovers in the Thermos. She also really likes burritos - we make a bunch and freeze them so they're easy to grab and go.


Wednesday 17th of September 2014

That is a great idea! A friend of mine does a twist on burritos using hamburger meat cooked with just a few onions. She then adds cheese and condiments you would use on a burger (ketchup, mustard, pickles). She says they taste just like cheeseburgers and freeze well.