Mother and her two young daughters standing side-by-side in the kitchen together in front of three lunch plates.

Even if you intend to prep and pack lunch kits every night before bed, we all know that a wrench often gets thrown into the best-laid plans. That’s why it’s so important to have a few easy back-to-school lunch ideas at your fingertips.

When life gets in the way, you can whip up healthy, delicious kids lunches for school in a few minutes flat. These quick-and-easy lunch recipes were created by DIY and food expert Monique Taylor-Yee Shui (A.K.A. @bymeaux on Instagram!) and given the stamp of approval by her two adorable daughters, Sydney and Savannah. The best part? Each meal takes only 10 minutes to pull together—perfect for when time is of the essence.

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1Tortilla Roll-Ups

Tortilla rolls with a side of cookies, celery sticks and an apple wedge. Image source: Monique Taylor-Yee Shui

Ready in: 7 minutes


Why we love it: With just four ingredients wrapped up into bite-sized morsels, this easy school lunch will keep fingers (and T-shirts) mess-free.

How to prep: Spread a thin layer of cream cheese on each tortilla. Add a layer of spinach (sneak as much in as your kids will tolerate!) and a few pieces of deli meat (we used turkey slices). Roll everything up and cut the wrap into one- or two-inch portions with a sharp knife.

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If you practise Meatless Mondays, have a vegetarian in the house or want to stick to a budget, swap out deli meat for diced veggies like carrots and broccoli and mix them up with ranch dressing. Yum!

2DIY Pizza

DIY pizza with a side of berries and cucumber slices. Image source: Monique Taylor-Yee Shui

Ready in: 3 minutes


Why we love it: There’s no cooking or post-prep clean-up required for this lunch! Your kiddos will do all the assembly work when they’re on lunch break.

How to prep: Gather all of your pizza ingredients and put each one in a separate lunch container—cheese in one plastic tub, naan rounds in another. A bento box lunch kit works well for keeping items from mixing. Be sure to pack spoons so your little ones can easily spread the pizza sauce!

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Sneak vegetables, like red peppers, into your children’s pizza-making kits by cutting them into small pieces. Your kids will toss them on top of the pizza sauce without a second glance.

3Nut-Free Pesto Pasta

Pesto pasta with a side of grapes and graham crackers. Image source: Monique Taylor-Yee Shui

Ready in: 8 minutes


Why we love it: If you’re looking for back-to-school lunch ideas that keep their fresh taste in a thermos, this pasta dish has you covered! Plus, we love the way the cheese disguises the spinach taste.

How to prep: Add your ingredients into a food processor or blender, then blend for about 30 seconds. In a medium bowl, combine a few spoonfuls of the pesto with freshly boiled and drained pasta. To pump up the protein, add pre-cooked chicken or rinsed chickpeas to your dish.

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Prep this meal the night before, then quickly microwave the pasta before packing it into a thermos in the morning. (To save even more minutes, you might want to check out these five hacks to make school mornings run smoothly!)

Save these easy school lunch ideas on your Pinterest board

Tortilla Roll-Ups ingredients pin
DIY Pizza ingredients pin
Nut-Free Pesto Pasta ingredients pin

More Easy Back-to-School Lunch Essentials

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