50 Back-to-School Lunchbox Ideas

Skip the same ol' sandwiches and upgrade to these outside-the-lunch-box surprises. Your kids' faces will light up when they see that you've taken lunch to the next level.

Pizza Roll-Ups

"Really easy and tasty. I added mushrooms and onions to mine."

-Dienia B.

Yogurt Fruit Bars

"I made these to freeze and pack in the kids' lunches — they're so good! It was easy to sub in the ingredients I had on hand for a yummy treat."

-*Pamela*

Ham & Cream Cheese Roll-Ups

"These roll-ups taste great. They're super easy to make and just delicious."

-SharonChen

Secret Sandwich

"These are so easy, yummy and a fun alternative to another boring sandwich. I used Hawaiian sweet rolls with turkey and Havarti, and they were delicious!"

-Mossymama

Lunchbox Pizza Quesadillas

"The whole family loved these. I used pizza sauce and mozzarella cheese. I will try freezing them for quick snacks for the kids."

-bmcnichol

Peanut Butter & Jelly Sushi Rolls

"I made these for my 7-year-old's lunch. She was so excited! I put the whole rolls in the fridge overnight and sliced in the morning. They were much easier to slice cold."

-Megan's Mommy

Copycat Pizza Lunchable

"I've been making the cheese-and-cracker Lunchables at home, but I never thought to make the pizza ones. My kindergartener loved it."

-~Donna~

BLT Pinwheels

"I made these for my grand kids and they loved them — as did their parents."

-Beansy

Zucchini & Corn Muffins

"Very moist and yummy muffins with a nice crunchy crust — YUM! I liked how easy these were to prepare and how quickly they came together."

-Lalaloula

Kiddos Favorite Trail Mix

"We had a blast making this. My kids polished off the whole batch and asked to make more."

-Becky, Katie & Eddie's Mom

Frosted Pretzels

"This was a fun project. My kids and I had a good time putting them together."

-Ilysse

Banana & Oatmeal Sponge Cookies

"My kid love these cookies. They're a great, healthy snack on-the-go."

-jfrank1

Apples & Peanut Butter

"This is a delicious and healthy way to start the day."

-Sharon123

Ants on a Log

"I made up a batch of these for school lunchboxes. They are very good! We like these better than the ones with the peanut butter."

-Queenofcamping

No-Bake Granola Bars

"This gets a 'seriously yum' rating from me! They were easy to make and are pretty healthy too!"

-Chef #494084

Two-Toned Sandwiches

"What a fun idea! I just used one cookie-cutter shape — a teddy bear — for my daughter's lunch yesterday. It worked great and she loved it!"

-~Leslie~

Ham & Cheese Muffins

"Easy to make and delicious! Great for a quick snack, but would also be great for breakfast, lunch, dinner, brunch or tea — or elevenses, anyone? Yum!"

-Desperada

Frozen Fruit Cups

"My kids loved these, and I love the fact that they don't have a lot of extra sugar. I put some in a large container for dinner and some into one-cup plastic freezer jars to use in lunchboxes."

-Bilette

School of Fish

Your kids will go gaga for these little swimmers. It's amazing what you can do with four simple ingredients!

Cheesy Pretzel Dippers

"I like opening up my lunchbox and finding these! I tell my friends they are magic cheese wands. They are awesome with honey Dijon mustard."

-Mini Chef Ty

Goldfish Checkerboard Sandwiches

"This was so fun! My son was a little freaked out by the white and wheat bread until I explained it was like a checkerboard. Then I made this when we had two extra kids over and it was a hit."

-CandyTX

Tortilla Stars

"This is a fantastic idea. They are everyone's favorite snack at my house."

-Sandi (From CA)

Cinnamon Apple Chips

"Fun and easy to make. Not very sweet at all, which I liked. Made a great snack alternative to potato chips."

-Mama's Kitchen (Hope)

Pizza Scrolls

"I love these. They are perfect for my kids' lunchboxes, as they don't love traditional sandwiches. I will be using this recipe forever!"

-Liza at Food.com

Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins

"My kids loved these. Mention was made of giving them 'a gazillion stars.' They were very tasty."

-Amanda Beth

Sweet & Salty Cereal Bars

"These are so good and so much cheaper than buying them in the grocery store! Definitely a keeper!"

-Lisamt321

Cheesy Taco Pockets

"These are very family-friendly, and the cheese ties the ingredients together well. They are awesome with sour cream and salsa!"

-NcMysteryShopper

Thermos Noodle Soup

"I'm giving this recipe five stars for sheer simplicity. It also happens to taste really great. Soup with no stove? Yes, please."

-LifeIsGood

Lunchbox Muffins

"These are great! My 4-year-old is super picky, so her lunch-box gets a little boring — these are perfect. Next time I'm going to make a double batch!"

-Liza at Food.com

Lunchbox Fun-Due

"Wonderful! This is such a great idea. My daughter isn't a big sandwich fan, so this really was right up her alley."

-CHRISSYG

Hummus Pizza

For a fun twist on a lunch-room favorite, try packing the veggies separately so your kiddo can build his or her own pizza at lunch.

Snack Stackers (Lunchbox Surprise)

"Great idea! My first-grader loved it. He's always begging for the ones already made up at the store, which I refuse to buy."

-JESMom

Taco Roll-Ups

"My daughter and her friend ate these and loved them. There are some more in the freezer that I am sure will be great!"

-quick meal

Angry Birds Bento Box

"My son loves rice balls (onigiri), so I decided to make him an Angry Birds lunch box! My hubby was more impressed and snatched it for his office lunch instead!"

-blackswanst

California Rollwich

"I made this for my grandson. He loves avocados, so that made it easy to sneak in other veggies."

-Galley Wench

Parmesan Puff Pastry Twists

"These were so easy and so delicious. I only had a small package of puff pastry and it worked just fine."

-Dreamer in Ontario

Chocolate Peanut Butter Frogs

"These taste good and look adorable. They are great for a kids."

-momaphet

Club Wraps

"What a wonderful lunch idea. These are just delicious."

chris_tam

Ants on a Raft

"This is a yummy snack. I love that they're made with things that I always have around the house."

-breezermom

Yummy to the Tummy Clocks

"This is a very cute idea for snack time."

-Brenda

Cream Cheese & Cucumber Sailboats

"This is such a fun recipe for kids and adults alike. I love the cute look and the fresh taste."

-Lalaloula

Lady Grapefruit

"What a great idea. This motivated me to look for more recipes where I can decorate food for my kids."

-littlemafia

Orange Julius Roll-Ups

"This is like a healthier way to make candy. It is a great recipe, I was very pleased."

-free-free

Zoo Cupcakes

Pick your kid's favorite animal to re-create as a tasty cupcake, or go hog-wild and make the whole zoo.

Frozen Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwiches

"I pack three kids' lunches every day and it's something I dread, but this makes it so much better. Also great to keep on hand for a super-quick dinner or snack when you're running out the door."

-LonghornMama

Ultimate Lunchbox Muffins

"These are so tasty and also have a lovely texture — very moist and soft on the inside, with a great crunchy crust. Who knew that healthy muffins could be this easy and tasty?!"

-Lalaloula

Lunchbox Taco Chicken Soup

"Great recipe! My son always asks for me to make it to take in his school lunch."

-mlhuston

Nemo Clownfish Snacks

"Easy and cute - who doesn't love Nemo?"

-Linky

PB&J Apple Roll-Ups

"I made these for lunch and they were absolutely wonderful. I wouldn't change a thing."

-Skooch

Muffin Weenies

"These were really easy to make, and they taste even better the next day. These are great quickie after-school snacks and are also very portable."

-Meowmix318