10 Back to school Lunchbox ideas

It’s that time of the year again. Christmas decor is fizzling out of the malls. Your bronze beach tan is now a mass of peeling skin and the kids are starting to walk around with long faces. Part of you is sad that the holidays are over and the kids are going back to school. Part of you is jumping for joy and turning cartwheels that the holidays are over and the kids are going back to school! Yeah, you know who you are.

So to make the back to school grind a little easier I’ve put together a few easy and interesting lunch box ideas. Some of these are my own ideas and some I’ve taken off various sites off the web. I hope these will take the what do I make for lunch question out of your daily equation.

Mini Tortillas

I did these for a Mexican night this holiday. I used Guacamole as well but rather omit for a lunchbox as the colour will turn by the time lunch break comes around.


  • packet of mini cocktail wraps (found these at Fruit & Veg city for R12,99)
  • Sour Cream
  • Leftover mince (preferably not curry mince)
  • Grated cheddar cheese


  1. Microwave tortillas 10 seconds to soften.
  2. Spread each with a teaspoon of sour cream.
  3. Top with a tablespoon of mince and grated cheddar.
  4. Roll up and secure with a toothpick.


Peanut Butter, Jam & Apple Roll-Ups

Source: Food.com by Tish

PBJ picPrzeoqIngredients

  • 2 flour tortillas
  • 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 4 teaspoons jam
  • 1 apple, cut into thin wedges (remove apple skins) or banana (I love banana and peanut butter)
  • 1 teaspoon melted butter
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  1. Microwave tortillas 10 seconds to soften.
  2. Spread each with a tablespoon of peanut butter and 2 tsp jam.
  3. Heat oven to 400°F.
  4. Place 2-3 apple wedges down the center of each tortilla.
  5. Roll up tortillas.
  6. Transfer rolls to baking sheet.
  7. Brush with melted butter.
  8. Combine sugar and cinnamon in a small cup.
  9. Sprinkle half of mixture on top of each roll.
  10. Bake 10 minutes or until golden brown.
  11. Let cool 5 minutes before eating.


Lunchbox Pizza Quesadilla


  • 2 -8 inches flour tortillas (small size to fit in lunchbox)
  • 3 tablespoons spaghetti sauce or 3 tablespoons pizza sauce
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheese (I like Monterey Jack, but use what you like) (Gouda is a good substitute)
  • 8 slices pepperoni or salami


  1. These are made just like any other quesadilla or grilled cheese sandwich.
  2. Spray the bottom of a non-stick pan with cooking spray and preheat.
  3. When the pan is fairly hot place 1 Flour Tortilla in the pan.
  4. Fairly quickly (because you want to get everything on before the bottom starts to brown) spread on a few tablespoons of sauce.
  5. Then add a layer of Pepperoni (and anything else you like).
  6. Then top with shredded cheese.
  7. Top it off with the 2nd Flour Tortilla.
  8. Just like any other quesadilla or grilled cheese let it brown then flip it over. If all of the cooking spray was absorbed you can spray on a little more, but you usually don’t need to.
  9. After both sides are browned and the insides are hot and melted take the “pizzas” out to cool.
  10. Once cooled slice in 1/4 like a pizza and wrap snugly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil.
  11. Tips and Ideas.
  12. My son is not super picky so I made these in batches and freeze and then take them out the morning of school and pop into his lunchbox. It is usually thawed and yummy by lunch time. If you freeze them you need to let the cool completely first the wrap them separately in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil to prevent ice crystals from forming.


Cornflake Buttermilk Chicken Strips with dip

Pack in some healthy homemade chicken nuggets or strips with a dip instead of the usual sandwich. Here is a recipe I tried recently that made awesome crunchy strips. They don’t look exactly like the picture below. More rough and rugged because of the cornflake crumbs.

Homemade fried chicken nuggets on wooden board,selective focus Ingredients

  • 2 Chicken breasts cut into strips
  • 1 cup Buttermilk
  • 2 cups Cornflakes, roughly crushed.
  • bbq spice or seasoning of choice


  1. Preheat oven to 200°C or use your Air Fryer if you have one. Cover a baking sheet with foil and set a wire baking rack on top; spray rack lightly with cooking spray.
  2. Sprinkle bbq spice or other seasoning over your chicken strips. Rub through with your hands and allow to stand for 30 minutes or so so the flavour can draw into the chicken.
  3. Dip the strips into the buttermilk and then into the cornflakes.
  4. Place on baking tray and bake for 12 to 15 minutes.
  5. Pop into lunch box when cool along with a small tub of dip like coriander and mint yoghurt.

“A great afternoon snack! If you don’t have a favoured pizza sauce use tomato paste and add some dried Italian herbs. Can be served hot or cold…great for the lunch box.”

pizza scrolls picgD2NZhIngredients

  • 1/2 small red pepper, chopped finely
  • 100 g salami, chopped finely
  • 1/2 cup cheese, grated
  • 1/4 cup pizza sauce
  • 2 sheets ready rolled puff pastry


  1. Preheat oven to 200c.
  2. Combine the chopped capsicum, salami and cheese in bowl.
  3. Spread the sauce onto each sheet of pastry, leaving a 2cm border along one side, and sprinkle the red pepper mixture over the top.
  4. Roll up the pastry to enclose the filling (like a swiss roll), leaving the plain edge until last.
  5. Brush the edge lightly with water and fold to seal.
  6. Cut each roll into 1cm rounds (use serrated bread knife) and place on lined oven trays.
  7. Bake for 20 min or until golden.

Turkey or Chicken and Cheese Pita Pockets


Lunch Kebabs

You can literally thread anything on a skewer to make an exciting, colourful and healthy lunch. Add some mini fruit skewers on the side to stay with the theme.
Try these combinations:
Roasted red pepper chunks, pineapple chunks and chicken cubes.
Cherry tomatoes, baby marrow rounds and mince koftas/meatballs.
Halloumi cheese, Roasted red pepper chunks and seeded bread cubes. Pack with pesto sauce for dipping.


Peanut Butter and Jelly Sushi Rolls

  • 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons jam (pick your favorite) or 2 tablespoons jelly (pick your favorite) or 2 tablespoons preserves ( pick your favorite)
  • 2 slices bread


  1. Remove crusts from bread. With a rolling pin or large soup can, completely flatten bread.
  2. Spread 1 tablespoon of peanut butter and 1 tablespoon of fruit spread on each slice of bread.
  3. Roll each slice into a tight spiral.
  4. Put the whole rolls in the fridge overnight and slice into 4 pieces in the morning. They are much easier to slice cold.


Snack Stackers (Lunch Box Surprise)

These are great for the younger kids or pre-schoolers.

snack stackers picW2WtKHIngredients

  • 1 slice lunch meat
  • 1 slice cheese
  • 4 Ritz crackers


  1. Cut 4 (1-1/2-inch) circles out of your choice of lunch meat (use a small glass if you don’t have a cutter that is that small and cut around it), then cut 4 (1-1/4-inch) stars out of your choice of cheese.
  2. Top each cracker with 1 lunch meat circle and 1 cheese star or place in container and ship off in lunch box.

This post has been included by Twinkl among their top picks for 10+ Healthy (and delicious) Lunch ideas for the whole family.

You may also like: Child Friendly Halaal Restaurants in Cape Town


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *