School Lunch Ideas for Tweens and Teens | i should be mopping the floor
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School Lunch Ideas for Tweens and Teens

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As my boys get a bit older, lunch making is a bit trickier. The nice thing is that they're open to more flavors and tastes, so I do have some fun options. Check out some of our family's favorite school lunch ideas for tweens and teens. I've included some free printable lunch notes, too!

School Lunch Ideas for Tweens and Teens | Easy ideas for older kids' lunches. | Free printable lunch box notes, too!
Y'all...we just got home from Meet the Teacher at middle school. Middle school...where half of the kids are as tall as me, the boys have facial hair, and suddenly I'm missing crayons and blocks and all of those sweet little things of childhood. We're in the preteen zone of life. And I'm not even sure how we arrived here so quickly. But, we're up to the challenge...errr, fun.


School Lunch Ideas for Tweens and Teens

I've always tried to make fun lunches for my kids full of variety and nutrition, but middle school means it's time to up my game. No longer will fun cookie-cutter-shaped sandwiches work out (I'll be given the look for those). I've come up with some fun options for my boys. 


School Lunch Ideas for Tweens and Teens | Easy ideas for older kids' lunches. | Free printable lunch box notes, too!

Salad Idea

I always get asked about this stainless lunch box when I post photos of it (pictured above). IT'S FANTASTIC. We've now had a set for over ten years and I still use them. They're called Lunch Bots and I can't find anything comparable. 

School Lunch Ideas for Tweens and Teens | Easy ideas for older kids' lunches. | Free printable lunch box notes, too!

Semi-AntiPasto Idea

  • This lunch box is a very loose interpretation of an antipasto platter with mini pepperonis, cheese cubes and grape tomatoes.
  • The Pearls Olives To Go Black Pitted Olives are perfect for this (available at most grocery stores or in a big 16-pack here on Amazon). They're packaged with no juice, so they're super easy and not-too-messy.
  • I also added in some crackers, as too.
School Lunch Ideas for Tweens and Teens | Easy ideas for older kids' lunches. | Free printable lunch box notes, too!
  • A yummy bowtie salad is always welcome in a lunch box (simple recipe below). 
  • I added a stick of cheese.
  • Some berries also round out this lunch.
  • And those same olives! 

School Lunch Ideas for Tweens and Teens | Easy ideas for older kids' lunches. | Free printable lunch box notes, too!
This salad was an easy one to throw together. I just make a double batch for dinner one night (usually early in the week) and then have more than enough for school lunches that week. The beauty of this salad is that it works for my husband to take to work, too (he's a high school principal, so he's off to school every day, too). This original recipe was from my mom...she made it as a side dish for Christmas Eve Dinner when we were growing up (alongside our traditional tamales!).

Easy Pasta Salad

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces dry bowtie pasta
  • 1 can Pimento Stuffed Olives
  • 2 medium zucchini, scrubbed and chopped in bite-sized pieces
  • 5 ounce package of mini pepperoni
  • 2 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1 cup Italian dressing
  • salad seasoning to taste (I've found this in the seasonings section, but you can make your own with a simple mixture of equal parts regular paprika, smoked paprika, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, celery seed, onion powder, garlic powderonion powder, Kosher salt, and black pepper).

Directions: 

Cook the pasta according to package directions. Rinse under cold water until pasta is cool. Combine pasta with rest of ingredients and sprinkle liberally with salad seasoning.


Free Printable Lunch Box Notes

School Lunch Ideas for Tweens and Teens | Easy ideas for older kids' lunches. | Free printable lunch box notes, too!
My kids may be getting older, but I still like to tuck in a little note every once in a while. I created some fun ones for your to download and use for your kids' lunches, too. Be sure to print these onto white, letter-sized cardstock for the best results.
School Lunch Ideas for Tweens and Teens | Easy ideas for older kids' lunches. | Free printable lunch box notes, too!

11 comments:

  1. Those lunches look so yummy!!! Where did you get the little pepperonis?

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    1. They were from Walmart...they're with the regular pepperonis. Thank you so much!

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  2. Those lunches look so yummy!!! Where did you get the little pepperonis?

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  3. These are such great ideas. I absolutely love them if only my little was older.

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  4. I have to say that you teen/tween lunch boxes look like nothing I had growing up, with that being said I love how you threw in some olives. I am an Olive addict so I can go get a small serving to enjoy them when I want them.

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  5. The lunch notes are adorable and makes me wish that I had to pack a lunch for my daughter. I am a huge olive fan so is more daughter so anything we can put olives in the better. I might make her up some of these lunches just because.

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  6. Loving these lunches...and the lunchbox! It's so cute, and functional!! Pasta salads are often packed in my kids lunches...they are easy to make and maintain their flavour.

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  7. I think those printables are so much fun! What a cute way to dress up a lunch. I like the pairing of strawberry with the crackers and olives. It's a simple way to fancy up a boring lunch!

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  8. I love the idea using olives for kids school lunch. It's so much healthier for kids to eat salad. Your recipe looks so tasty. Thanks for sharing.

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  9. Oh my goodness those lunch choices look amazing. I totally want to eat at your house every day! My kids make their own lunches for school every day because they complained once too often about the lunch I sent with them. Now I just make sure there are plenty of healthy choices in the fridge and pantry for them.

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  10. I would totally eat these lunches myself! YUM! My kids love those mini pepperoni--I'm going to try some of these! It's nice to have some new ideas for lunches.

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