I am crying a little inside because I’m starting back to school posts in the middle of July, but I think I’m actually late! I’m also crying a little because I’m SO not ready for summer to end. Even though we still have about five weeks left, I know a lot of kids in other areas start back in the middle of August.

Give kids awesome back to school lunches and after-school snacks that they'll actually WANT to eat with these 17 awesome recipes and ideas for picky kids!

When my son does go back, I want to be better prepared this year with school lunch & after-school snack ideas that he’ll actually want to eat. Whether you have two weeks, four or six left of summer, keep these great recipes and ideas handy for when your child starts back to school!

School Lunch & Snack Ideas Your Kids Will Eat Up!

My fellow bloggers are so clever. They come up with the smartest ideas for just about everything. I would fiercely envy their talents if they weren’t so generous about letting other bloggers share their amazing work in roundups like this. Be sure to visit the links for the full recipes & ideas!

Clever Spins on Sandwiches

Let’s start with sandwiches! You can go the plain old bread and “something in the middle” route, or you can get creative and make it fun!

Back to school lunch ideas for kids

  •  One super easy way to do that is by cutting it into shapes! Check out these cute Flower Sandwiches for inspiration!
  • Another great idea: make your own DIY Uncrustables! I love these because my son doesn’t like jelly. He eats peanut butter and fluff, which they don’t exactly sell in stores. So I just swap out the jelly for fluff!
  • I could also try these Peanut Butter Roll Ups, since that’s what Tiffany uses to make them.

Apple-Sandwiches-Recipe: Back to School Lunch & Snack Ideas Your Kids Will Eat Up!

  • Of course, you could ditch the bread altogether and redefine “sandwich” with this super cute and tasty Apple Sandwich recipe! Don’t they look yummy? I have some apples on the counter, I may need to try these tonight for myself while I’m binging on Pretty Little Liars episodes!
  • Another fun idea is to put everything on a stick with Shish Kebab Sandwiches! Perfect for when you forgot to run to the store and discover you only have one slice of bread left!

Back to School Bento Boxes

For kids who like more variety, Bento boxes are ideal. My son eats “finger food platters” all summer long for his meals. Usually they consist of turkey pepperoni, some type of cheese, crackers, carrots, and black olives. None of that would hold up well if I threw it in a brown paper bag, but in a Bento box he can have all his favorites as he heads back to school.


  • I really love this adorable Puppy Themed Bento Box idea!  You can fill the sandwich with just about anything, although Felissa’s strawberry jam and cream cheese sounds so yummy!
  • My son would absolutely LOVE this Pizza Bento Box, especially since he’s such a huge fan of pizza Lunchables.

Back to school lunch idea: Halloween Bento Box

After School Snacks

Whip up these after-school snacks for kids while they’re at school or make them ahead of time together on a Sunday and stop your kids from reaching for the cookies!


  • These Homemade Strawberry Fruit Rollups are perfect for both after-school and in the lunch box!  They actually look really easy to make too! Like surprisingly easy! Plus, they only have ONE ingredient: strawberries! I wonder if you could use other fruits?
  • Speaking of strawberries, I really want to try out these Strawberry Peanut Butter Quesadillas! They sound so unique and delicious!
  • Another super unique idea: Edible Pencils! You have to check them out!

Apple Smiles


  • I am fascinated with the name of this after-school snack: Moon Balls. They look like yummy little energy balls, don’t they?
  • If your kids like cherries as much as Jake does, try out these Peanut Butter & Cherry Energy Bites!

These back to school lunches and snack ideas should definitely get you started! Do you have any go-to lunches or after-school snack recipes that your kids absolutely love? Tell me about it in the comments!