Lifestyle & Human Interest

6 Easy and Creative Back-to-School Lunches Children Are Sure To Love


Back-to-school season is definitely going to look a little different this year.

While officials and parents have faced uncertainty about where children would be learning during the fall of 2020, the CDC has issued a number of guidelines for reopening schools. Suggestions include staggered seating and having children eat in their classrooms instead of cafeterias.

As kids head back to school and parents head back to work, the cooking skills that many may have cultivated during stay-at-home orders can now come in handy. Say goodbye to PB&J sandwiches and say hello to these creative and easy meals.

Here are six easy lunches for back-to-school season:

Kid-Friendly Cheese and Meat Kabobs with Fruit from Delightful E Made

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After a while, kids are sure to get tired of having a sandwich for lunch every day. Erin Indahl-Fink from “Delightful E Made” came up with a brilliant way to get kids excited about lunch again — put it on a stick!

The recipe requires three simple ingredients: cheese, lunch meat and fruit. While Indahl-Fink uses grapes, apples, ham and jack cheese on her kabobs, any alternative can be substituted for endless combinations of flavors.

Easy back-to-school lunch: meat and cheese kabobs with fruit
Courtesy of Erin Indahl-Fink

Simply slide each ingredient onto a kabob stick and put it into a lunch box or the fridge!

Indahl-Fink points out that this lunch presentation not only helps picky kids to eat healthily, but it also encourages them to help pack their own lunches.

Instant Pot Chicken Taco Bowls by Tastes Better From Scratch

For those who are curious about the famed Instant Pot but are nervous about getting started, this dish allows you to comfortably ease into the experience. It only takes about 25 minutes to prepare and it makes enough to send to school for a week.

The recipe calls for two chicken breasts, chicken broth, corn, rice, beans, salsa and taco seasoning. Every ingredient can be thrown into the pot and left alone. Just set the pressure valve, close the pot and wait. The chicken has to be manually shredded and added back into the mixture when it’s finished, but that’s the only part that requires effort.

back to school chicken taco bowls
Courtesy of Lauren Allen
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Lauren Allen, the creator of this recipe, shared this easy and delicious bowl of Mexican cuisine on her cooking blog, “Tastes Better From Scratch.” Her goal is to create recipes that anyone can make with real, unprocessed foods.

Mini Pizza Quiches from Laura Fuentes

There are few things that most children love more than pizza, but feeding them pizza every day for lunch is certainly not good for them. Laura Fuentes developed a recipe for mini pizza quiches, a brilliant pizza alternative that’s healthy and easy to make.

easy back to school lunch: mini pizza quiche
Courtesy of Laura Fuentes, of

To make this protein-packed dish, simply whisk eggs and milk together and add any desired pizza toppings. Pour the mixture into a mini muffin pan and bake it for around 15-18 minutes.

Voilà! It only takes about 23 minutes to make enough mini pizza quiches for the whole family.

3 Ingredients Meatballs from The Diary of a Real Housewife

While many think of meatballs as just a pasta pairing or party food, this easy recipe yields enough protein to pack for a week! Jennie from “The Diary of a Real Housewife” created three simple steps to make delicious meatballs.

This recipe only requires pre-made meatballs, grape jelly and barbeque sauce! Reviewers have used a variety of substitutes for the jelly and BBQ sauce, including chili sauce and currant jelly. The liquid ingredients should be added first, then the meatballs can be mixed in.

These meatballs cater to lovers of the slow-cooker — set the CrockPot on high for three hours and the meatballs will be ready to eat or pack for school!

Grilled Cheese Roll-Ups from Coupon Clipping Cook

Grilled cheese sandwiches probably aren’t too far behind pizza on a kid’s list of favorite foods. Nancy from “Coupon Clipping Cook” put a twist on the classic by marrying everything people love about paninis and wraps together — she rolled the sandwich.

This recipe only requires three ingredients: bread, cheese and butter. However, other ingredients can be added to spice it up a bit.

Grilled cheese roll ups: an easy back to school lunch.
Courtesy of Nancy from Coupon Clipping Cook.

The bread needs to be de-crusted and flattened a bit before the cheese is added and the sandwich can be rolled. Toss it around in the pan until crispy and enjoy it with soup!

Crispy Chicken Bites from Gooseberry Patch

Part of the reason that parents make lunch at home is to make sure their kids are eating healthy. While many may picture frozen boxes of crusty dinosaurs when they think of chicken nuggets, this recipe offers a homemade alternative to the crowd favorite.

This recipe is from Gooseberry Patch, a cookbook publishing company started by two moms in Ohio. To make these Crispy Chicken Bites, simply cut chicken breasts in pieces, dip them in milk, shake them in a bag with crushed cereal and seasonings, lay them out on a pan and stick the pan in the oven!

easy back to school chicken nuggets
(c) Gooseberry Patch, 101 Autumn Recipies

Panko crumbs or potato flour can be substituted for the crushed cereal to accommodate for any allergies. These chicken nuggets will fit nicely among any Pinterest-ready school lunch spread and will last for a few days — if you have self-control.

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Skye Malmberg started out as an editorial intern for The Western Journal in 2019 and has since become a Staff Writer. Ever since she was 10 years old, she has had a passion for writing stories and reporting local news. Skye is currently completing her bachelors degree in Communications.
Skye Malmberg started out as an editorial intern for The Western Journal in 2019 and has since become a Staff Writer. Ever since she was 10 years old, she has had a passion for writing stories and reporting local news. Skye is currently completing her bachelors degree in Communications.