31 Days of School Lunchbox Ideas

Before we get to the ideas in this 31 Days of School Lunchbox series, I wanted to be sure that you knew about the brand new “Work & School Lunches” Meal Plan that we just released on August 10th!

Learn more here, or by clicking on the image below!

10 Make Ahead Lunches Meal Plan

And now for the ideas….

31 Days of School Lunchbox Ideas | 5DollarDinners.com

Welcome to the 31 Days of School Lunchbox Ideas that we’ll be doing for the month of August!

I know how busy and intense the transition from lazy summer days at the pool to adjusting back to the 6:30 am wake up calls can be…so I thought I’d help out by sharing a different lunchbox idea each day this month.

Also, I’ve created 2 free printables for you as well:

Free Printable: School Lunchbox Ideas List | 5DollarDinners.com

Complete School Lunchbox Ideas List

Free Printable: Weekly Lunchbox Planner | 5DollarDinners.com

Weekly Lunchbox Planner

Lunchbox Love for Kids

lunchbox love for kids

What your kids take in on an emotional level is just as important as what they take in on a nutritious level. Lunchbox Love for Kids is the perfect way to stay connected with your child during the school day. Positive messages on the front of each card enlighten and the fun fact or joke on the back entertain your kids and their friends. Every card is unique and there are enough to send a different card every day of the school year.

easy lunchboxes bento system

Erin’s Favorite Lunchbox Packing Tools

When it comes to packing lunch boxes for the 3 older dudes, I need sturdy that will last ALL year and into the next! Which is why I recommend the following…

Pin all of our School Lunchbox Ideas on Pinterest:

Follow $5 Dinners’ board 31 Days of School Lunchbox Ideas on Pinterest.

The School Lunchbox Ideas (new ones will be added each day!):

Other 31 Days Series to Check Out


  1. Megann says

    Super excited about finding this. The hardest part for me is the planning & you’ve taken the guess work out of it! These look just as fun to make as I’m sure they’ll be to eat. can’t hardly wait for the new school year now.

  2. Alissa says

    My problem is adjusting for teenagers that eat ALOT. However, thinking of the 3 components helps so much. Thanks again.

  3. Kim says

    Hi I love the lunchbox ideas so far! My problem is my Son does not eat cheese nor will he eat lunch meats and Peanut putter is not allowed at school or nuts of any kind. Last year he took whole grain chicken nuggets and grapes everyday, This was his choice. Any way I can switch it up to something a little less boring. any help please. Thanks

    • Sophia Armstrong says

      Almonds are not a nut, they are a seed. I have had students that are allergic to peanuts that are perfectly fine eating almond butter. Look into it. That can open up so many fun snacks.

      • AD says

        Almonds are nuts. Nuts are seeds. Some people are only allergic to some tree nuts, but are fine with peanuts and some tree nuts. Some are allergic to only peanuts. Some are allergic to all of them. My child is allergic to all tree nuts but is totally ok with peanuts.

      • Shelley says

        Almonds are most certainly nuts!!!!!!!!!! Peanuts are legumes, and that’s why it was ok for someone with a peanut allergy to eat almond butter. Please don’t tell people that almonds aren’t nuts!

    • Tiffinay says

      How did your son heat of the chicken nuggets? Or did you cook them in the morning and put them in a thermos?

  4. Debbie Carson says

    No kids, but what a great way to spice up my husband’s lunches. Usually he eats leftovers, but with your weekly planner printout, I can write in what was made and also let him know the extras he can take. Very nice! Thanks!

  5. Jennifer says

    Hi Erin! I love all of these great ideas! Helps me think outside the cold cuts sandwiches I send everyday. I know this will sound silly but do you just send everything in those ziplock compartment boxes and not worry about temperature? Pretty much just send everything cold? I am assuming, yes? Some things will get yuck, texture wise, if put in a thermos (French toast sticks, etc) but I want to try to change it up so I am going to try several of these ideas and just keep it cold. Just curious! Thanks!

  6. Erin says

    Do you have a recommendation for a good thermos that will really keep the food warm until lunch time? I’ve tried one and it didn’t work too well. …just looking for a suggestion.


  7. Mrs.Bonsell says

    These are awesome ideas! I just wish my son wasn’t so dang picky :( I’ve been trying to work with him so he will eat more things. But he works himself up so much that he will gag and throw up as soon as the new food touches his tongue. keeping this though, just in case.

  8. Nicole says

    This is great. I love finding new ideas. I’d like to add one for you….a PB and apple wrap. This is one of my kids favorites. I would also add as a tip to readers…for warm foods — put boiling water in the thermos to heat it up first, after a few minutes, dump the water (dry if necessary) and then add the food.

  9. Adrianne Reid says

    Some interesting ideas, but I really wish that peanut butter was not featured so heavily. Many school boards do not allow any nut products in the school due to nut allergies, I know our schools do not allow them.

    • Jenn K says

      Adrianne – there are 5 recipes so far with peanut butter out of 24. As Erin states on her posts with peanut butter: For those of you who have peanut free schools, make sure you try Wowbutter! It’s a safe alternative to peanut butter that is made in a 100% Peanut Free, Nut Free, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, and Egg Free Facility, and most importantly, tastes just like the real thing!

      • Jackie says

        Even Wowbutter or Sunbutter are usually not allowed as it is so much like the real stuff that it is hard to tell the difference.

  10. says

    This is amazing Erin! It’s really helpful because I am on a healthy eating phase and I really need meal planning because I feel so lazy to make food at the last moment.

    I am pinning this right now! Thanks for the amazing post :)

  11. Andrea says

    Wow! This is really great. I’m a working girl and I want to save money by cooking instead of buying and this article really helps me a lot. I can’t wait to try those recipes. It looks really delicious and easy to make. I do not really cook but seeing those pictures keeps me motivated. Thank you so much Erin. :)


  12. Michelle says

    My son is in Kindergarten, so he does not have access to a fridge or a microwave. My biggest issue is figuring out lunches that can be eaten at room tempeture, and some of this have to be reheated, If you have any additional suggestions please send them my way :) I’ll be using as many as I can out of this fantastic list.

  13. Heidi says

    Are most of these eaten cold? Like the sloppy joe sliders, mini tacos, fajitas and beans… My child doesnt have access to a microwave so I was just wondering…

  14. Christi says

    These are wonderful ideas and I want to try some of them. I’m wondering the same as some above. Do you put waffles, sloppy joes, Mac n cheese in a thermos? If so, what kind? Will the foods be safe at lunch time?

  15. Tammy says

    I would like to save all 31 days of lunches but not seeing where I can do that. :( Please tell me I am just blind or at least how to do it. Thanks. Need to spice up my daughters lunches.

    • BillyRose says

      I agree. What is, I think, supposed to be the link for the lunch ideas on one page, is not blue/clickable. On another page, I can click it, but I still can’t seem to ‘find’ the recipes! :( I have a friend I would like to share these with; she is pregnant and working, and was just asking a couple weeks ago for lunch ideas/recommendations!

  16. Kelyn says

    Thanks so much for this! Really helps as my youngest is going to school this year and he’s picky! I think he will like a lot of what is shown here though!

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