Creative School Lunch Ideas for Back-to-School


Say bye-bye to brown-bag blues this school year. These easy-to-make lunches pack enough fun for even the pickiest of eaters, leaving them full and fueled for learning. Kick off the school year here in southeast Michigan right with these tasty surprises.

Lunchbox Taco Salad

Easy to toss together on-the-go, this simple concoction, created by Stella Zedmam, requires just a bit of assembly for something totally out-of-the-ordinary.


  • 2 cups lettuce
  • 1/2 cup chopped tomato
  • 1/2 cup canned kidney or pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup tortilla chips


In a large plastic container, toss together lettuce and tomato. In a smaller container, stir together beans and salsa and seal tight. Pack sour cream in a separate container, and cheese and tortilla chips in zip-top baggies. Ready to chow down? Pour bean mixture on salad, add sour cream, sprinkle cheese and crumble tortilla chips!

PB&J Sushi Roll Bento Box

Turn a kid classic into an unexpected surprise with this clever little recipe from the Another Lunch blog.


  • 2 slices whole wheat bread
  • Your favorite nutty spread and jams
  • Small sides of fruits and veggies
  • Yogurt or pudding cup


With a rolling pin (or large glass bottle), roll out one slice of bread slightly overlapping the other until you have one long, thinner slice. Spread desired amounts of peanut butter and jam, roll up and slice. Place six rolls inside a square container and balance out the bento box with a handful of berries, carrots, and a pudding (or yogurt) cup. Yum!

Dippin’ Dishes

Who doesn’t love finger foods? Make mealtime more fun with dunkin’ duos like pita bread slices, fresh veggies and hummus or baked corn chips and guacamole with fruit slices and chocolate dip for dessert.

This post was originally published in 2012 and is updated regularly.

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