Back to School Lunches

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Summer is almost over, school supplies are bought, uniforms are in the works and the house is gearing up for the first week of school. I found some new tasty choices for breakfast to make on school days, so now I am planning to have great lunches packed for my children.

In the past I have been rushed to make pb and j with hot dog buns or pack leftovers that no one wanted when they were first served! But this year is going to be different, so I intend.

I started planning lunches by making a list of ideas based on what my family likes (what I made that they raved about, and what they order when out to eat) and some ideas I gathered from the blogosphere. I came up with two pages of sandwiches, finger foods, and fun fruit and veggie ideas.

From there I cut and pasted, starting with a four week scheme. I picked one sandwich a week and then moved on to a finger food then went back through with duplicates to fill in where necessary. The following is what I came up with (notice the first week has a menu for only Tuesday through Friday for Labor Day off). Links are provided for those recipes I found on other sites or have already posted. Look for the others to be posted soon.

Week One
Tuesday~ BLT Salad Sandwich with Apple Rings, Honey and Craisins
Wednesday~ Pepperoni Bites with Salad Cups
Thursday~ Triple Decker Egg Salad Sandwich with Veggie Sticks and Dip
Friday~ Barbecue Beef Biscuit Cups with Frozen Corn

Week Two
Monday~ PB&J with Bananas and Cream Sandwich with Fruit Cubes and Yogurt Dip
Tuesday~ Chicken Nuggets and Dip with Orange Slices
Wednesday~ Chicken Pie Pastie with Steamed Broccoli and Cheese Dip
Thursday~ Turkey Buffalo Cups* with Salad Cup
Friday~ Sausage Pizza Bites* with Veggie Sticks and Dip

Week Three
Monday~ Tuna Salad Sandwich with Frozen Corn
Tuesday~ Bean Burritos with Apple Slices and Caramel Dip
Wednesday~ Philly Cheese Steak Roll with Veggie Sticks
Thursday~ Bread Sticks with Cheese Dip and Fruit Cubes with Nutella
Friday~ Pepperoni and Sausage Pizza Cup* with Salad Cup

Week Four
Monday~ Bagel Sandwiches with Veggie Sticks and Cheese Dip
Tuesday~ Egg Salad Sandwich with Steamed Green Beans and Ranch
Wednesday~ Pepperoni Bites with Orange Slices
Thursday~ Barbecue Chicken Biscuit Cup* with Salad Cup
Friday~ Salmon Salad on Croissant with Cantaloupe Wedges

Helpful Tips for Packing Lunches
Pack frozen drinks; they will thaw by lunch and be ice cold.
Freeze veggies or fruits when possible before packing in the morning.
Pack salad in plastic cups covered with plastic wrap: dressing on bottom, lettuce next then other on top, keep croutons in separate bag.
*When you find one recipe your family enjoys, alter it to be used more than once but as a new lunch. I did this with the barbecue cups and pizza bites, just change the ingredients but keep the same technique of filling a biscuit or pizza dough and baking!

Remember to check back this week and next for recipes and more tips on how to pack school lunches!


  1. I am like you, I have a great start then fall apart and have made pbj in hotdog buns too! I have the same type of plan, just rotating my summer menu as you are but I need a back up plan too for those days I have forgot to shop, have a sick person in the house, or am just plain too tired to care. So could this be things I have made in bulk and frozen like pizza bites or chicken nuggets or give myself a real break and purchase a frozen treat like bagel bites-sure it is not real and pricey but can give me a break until I am back on my game. I have a picture in my head on how I want to live but somehow my second and third personalites have not gotten on board!

  2. You rock!! What great menus!!!

  3. It all sounds good to me! Can't wait!!

  4. Ok like, tell me, you are not actually going to do each of these every day. Because if you are I am shamed. I bow my head. If this is an idea list rather, I rejoice because this I could do once or twice a week. Other wise their lunches would have to correspond to the previous nights meal. Sheila, oh my goodness. really?

    Want to hear what I packed my daughter most of last year. Partly due to pickiness and partly due to my laziness/lack of time. Here was the standard. Cheese cubed, pretzels accompanied by a veggie or fruit and a yogurt. Once in a while a treat. But mostly that is what I packed. She doesnt like sandwiches otherwise I am sure there would have been a ton of PBJ's in there.

  5. Lori~ Yes, this is my plan for each day. We will see if it actually works. I will have enough bread and pb and j on hand for emergency stand by. I think it will probably work really well the first week, but then I might loose steam by the Tuesday of the second week!

  6. Sheila- I admire your vision.

    In shame, I have packed my daughter cheese sticks, pretzels, carrots/celery/dip and applesauce. But you have inspired me to make some bread sticks with dip. I really like that idea!


Catching my breath. Be back ASAP.