Party Food

10 Hot Lunch Ideas You Can Pack for School

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Sometimes a sandwich and chips just won’t cut it. Break up with the everyday school lunch routine and try these warm and satisfying hot lunch ideas you can pack.

Hot Packed School Lunch Ideas


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Especially as the days turn cooler, you’ll feel good about sending warm foods. Try homemade hot pockets, grilled cheese and tomato soup, chicken chili, pizza muffins, lunch box tacos, chicken nuggets, zoodles and meatballs, mac and cheese, hot dogs and homemade ramen.

Grab a great thermos and check out these hot lunch recipes!

Zoodles and Meatballs

1. Zoodles and Meatballs :: Nom Nom Paleo – A new spin on a classic, this Zoodles and Meatball recipe replaces traditional spaghetti noodles with zucchini!
Grilled Cheese Dippers
2. Grilled Cheese Dippers and Tomato Soup :: Momables – This recipe is sure to be a hit with the kids, and it’s an easy one for you to prepare.
Chicken Chili
3. Chicken Chili :: Today’s Parent – Perfect for a cool fall day, Chicken Chili is filling AND flavorful.
Chicken Nuggets
4. Chicken Nuggets :: Coupon Closet – A favorite of most kids: chicken nuggets! The trick to keeping them warm is a great thermos.
Mac and Cheese
5. Mac and Cheese :: Once a Month Meals – Another kid favorite, and it’s easy to make!   Serve with fresh fruit and a slice of whole wheat bread and your child has a meal he will love..

6. Pizza Muffins :: All My Great Ideas are Really From Pinterest – Who says muffins are just for breakfast? These easy pizza muffins are portable, yummy, and unique.
Lunch Box Tacos
7. Lunch Box Tacos :: My Kitchen Escapades – Using leftovers from last night’s taco dinner would be a great next-day lunch for your child. They will have fun building and eating their own taco. Make sure you pack napkins!
Lunch Box Ramen

8. Healthy Lunch Box Ramen :: Tasty Kitchen – Ramen Noodles are an easy lunch to pack, but plain noodles aren’t the most nutritious thing you can feed your child—that’s where this healthy homemade recipe comes in!

9. Homemade Hot Pockets :: The Allergic Kid – Homemade is better for you (and better tasting). Bonus: you can make these pockets in big batches and just reheat when it’s time to slide them into a thermos for school lunches.

10. Lunch Box Hot Dogs :: All Recipes – A nice break from a sandwich, this hot dog recipe won’t take long to prepare, and it can be customized to your child’s liking.

Need help keeping their hot lunches hot? Here are some great ideas and resources gathered by the Spaceships and Laser Beams crew.

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Easy School lunch Ideas

Stephanie Keeping

Stephanie is in love with a boy named Sam. He has taught her that it’s okay to jump first and look later, to wear a dirty shirt to the park and to decide that today is a good day to take a nap in your rubber boots. She hangs out here blogging at Spaceships and Laser Beams and at our printable party shop on Etsy.