Just because your kids aren’t in school in a traditional way doesn’t mean that parents aren’t thinking about school lunches. With so much on our plates these days (womp womp), it’s a good opportunity for us to teach our kids to be more reliant, and make school lunches themselves. No matter what their age.

Maybe your kids are going to school and eating lunch in a classroom instead of a cafeteria. Maybe they’re schooling at home, and have to have a grab-and-go lunch at the ready. Or maybe you’re homeschooling, and could use a little break yourself around noon-is each day.

Whatever your back-to-school situation, here are the terrific articles our team has shared over the years that we think will help your kids make their own lunches, now more than ever.

Top image: Lunchbots bento boxes are a must-have for school lunches, and their site has so many good ideas from the images alone!


Time saver: How to get the kids making lunch! | Cool Mom Eats

The essential school lunch packing list: everything to stock in your pantry and fridge
Start here.

Tips to get your kid making their own school lunch, by age
Or…maybe start here!

How to get a teen to pack their own lunch: 6 tips from teen chef Josh Reisner
Seen Josh rock the finals of MasterChef Junior? You’ll love his tips.

6 kid favorite hot lunches your kids can make if they’re missing their favorite cafeteria foods. 
We published this post as the school year wrapped up, and it feels more relevant now, that kids may be packing school lunch as they head out.

8 hot lunch box ideas if your kids need a little midday comfort
Perfect for packing, or if school is remote this year, you can even prep in the morning and let your kid take over from there.


Greek yogurt parfaits are an easy grab-and-go lunch option kids can make themselves | Cool Mom Eats

Ready-to-go Greek yogurt parfaits are so smart for lighter school lunches.
And S’well now makes very cool food storage solutions like these (from our affiliate Amazon)

9 non-sandwich school lunch ideas to help you change things up
10 more non-sandwich school lunch ideas kids love
Hey, they can only live on PB&J for so long

Gluten free school lunch recipes: Quinoa Pizza Bites at Live Well Bake Often

Homemade Quinoa Pizza Bites at Live Well Bake Often are gluten-free and full of flavor, for a satisfying school lunch

Gluten-free school lunch ideas, no sandwiches
No deprivation here, just deliciousness

7 gluten-free and allergy-friendly lunches that any kid will love
8 allergy-free, store-bought snacks to make school lunch safer
If your kids are eating lunch in a classroom, instead of separate cafeteria tables, allergies can be serious business.

Mid-morning lunchbox snack help: Top ideas from our readers
Our Recipe Rescue community totally came through with these creative ideas, especially helpful to have on hand if your kid needs to grab something between Zoom calls.


Picky eater school lunch fixes: DIY your own lunchables, for those who refuse to eat anything but, like this one at Eazy Peazy Mealz
Homemade Lunchables like this one from Eazy Peazy Meals can save money…
and keep food from touching for picky eaters!


DIY Lunchables: Easy, cheaper, and more fun
From ham & cheese to tacos. Yum. Your kids can do these!

8 school lunch hacks for picky eaters
One less thing to worry about. (Or, maybe 8 things, depending on your kids!)

5 make-ahead school lunch recipes you can store in the freezer to make mornings easier
Clearly we’re big fans of “easier.” Help prep, then they’re on their own in the morning.

Store-bought snacks that make lunch a little healthier
Great grab-and-go pantry staples here, because we’re not up for making our own homemade veggie chips every week.


How I prep a week of school lunches for 4 kids, all at once — and keep them fresh, too
If you have younger kids, these smart tips from Kate let them grab their own lunch each day with some preparation each weekend. But psst…they can help with the Sunday night prep!