Back to school can be a stressful time of year. After a summer off, sometimes…
It’s Back to School time, and I’m sharing my favorite creative and stress-free lunch solutions. I’ve included time-saving tips for parents and creative lunch inspiration so the kiddos don’t get burned out. Your family will love these healthy and fun kid-friendly recipe ideas.
School lunches might seem a little bit more stressful this year after we’ve spent so much time with the kiddos at home. But don’t worry—I’ve got you covered with lots of great tips and fun and easy lunch recipe ideas!
Let’s get started!
Time Saver Tips
Make Freeze-Ahead Sandwiches
Did you know you can make sandwiches ahead of time and freeze them?
It’s true. Just take them out the night before and let them defrost in the fridge. Then they’ll be good-to-go by lunchtime.
A couple things to keep in mind:
- Be careful not to include veggies—those won’t defrost very well.
- Try to spread a layer of an oil-rich substance-such as peanut butter, regular butter, or olive oil on the inside of the bread to keep it from getting soggy (it locks in the moisture).
- Use pre-made sandwiches like Raybern’s.
These Raybern sandwiches are great for quick lunches—you just pop them in the microwave and then, voila -nice, warm sandwich. Raybern’s has perfected their bread recipe so that it heats up bakery-fresh. It’s super yummy.
Don’t have a microwave? No Problem–Use a classic thermos.
How to Make Sure Your Thermos Stays Warm
When you’re packing your lunch—boil some hot water. Fill the thermos with the boiled water. Let it set for a few minutes. Meanwhile, heat up your food. Next, pour the water out of the thermos—dry it out and add the heated lunch. This will ensure that the thermos will stay nice and warm through lunch-time.
Make Extra Food at Dinner for Easy Leftovers
Instead of saving leftovers for dinner, send them to school as a warm lunch.
And now that you have a great trick for the thermos, you can send your kiddo’s dinner favorites (like mac and cheese, chicken nuggets, spaghetti or even chili) without worrying that they’ll get cold.
Another Left-Over Idea…
Add cold dinner leftovers to a wrap and make a sandwich.
Now for the More Creative-focused tips.
Use cookie cutters or sandwich cutters
Make lunch fun by using cookie cutters or sandwich cutters to make fun shapes with the sandwich. When my girls were in nursery school, they LOVED this and couldn’t wait to see which shape they’d have.
They said the shapes made the sandwich taste better…which kinda makes sense since they say we eat with our eyes first.
Bottom Line-KEEP IT CREATIVE
I like to call it Parenting with Imagination ©—think of something your kids like-with the wisdom of a parent-= healthy solution.
For example, if your child really likes turkey but they’re tired of a turkey sandwich—try skipping the bread—roll the turkey up instead and maybe add some guacamole or humus.
Or if they really enjoyed dinner—send them to school with the leftovers in a warm thermos.
What are some more fun & unique sandwich recipes for the back-to-school season?
Bacon PB & J
This sweet and savory sandwich is packed with flavor and protein! It’s a great way to change things up so your kids don’t get tired of such an easy favorite. Simply add regular bacon or turkey bacon to the middle of your favorite PB &J! Voila! Fun, new sandwich!
This fresh and flavorful sandwich is perfect for the lunchbox especially on those warm, early fall school days. Simply use a crusty bread like baguette or ciabatta, spread some olive oil or balsamic vinaigrette, sprinkle some oregano. Then layer on fresh mozzarella, ripe tomatoes, and fresh basil.
Your kids will love it! And if they’re trepidatious–tell them it’s a Pizza Sandwich!
Raybern’s is America’s #1 selling Philly Cheesesteak and super kid-friendly. Warm it up in the microwave for 90 seconds before school, pop it in a warm thermos and bingo—super yummy warm lunch.
How to Make a Classic Kid-Friendly Caprese Sandwich
- 1 baguette or crusty roll
- 1 ball of fresh mozzarella
- 1 fresh ripe tomato
- 5-7 fresh basil leaves
- A drizzle of olive oil or balsamic vinaigrette
- Option: sprinkle of oregano or Herb De Provence
- Cut your baguette into 6-inch portions and slice in half lengthwise.
- Slice your fresh mozzarella and ripe tomato into ¼ inch slices.
- Drizzle some olive oil or balsamic vinaigrette onto the inside of the bread.
- Assemble your sandwich, stacking fresh mozzarella, ripe tomato, and fresh basil.
- (Option: Sprinkle on some oregano)
- Close the sandwich. Enjoy!
Looking for more Back to School Tips?
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And don’t forget to grab that handy checklist!
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HI! I’m a Shana, self-proclaimed Media Mixologist, wife, and mom to two little girls. I love to mix up cocktails of crafts, recipes, wellness, family and business with just the right amount of sparkle to help you shine everyday. So, grab a glass, and let’s celebrate the cocktail of life!