cold lunch ideas

Back to School Cold Lunch Ideas

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Make lunchtime exciting with these delicious cold lunch ideas! These sandwiches, snacks, and desserts don’t require any heating and make for a satisfying midday meal.

Summer is coming to a close, and you know what that means: it’s back to school time! Whether you’re sending your kids off to school or you’re headed back into the office, we all could use a little fun in our lunch boxes to fuel us through the afternoons.

Lavish lunchbox

For me, school lunches were all the rage in elementary school. Square pizza, nachos, and of course, chicken nuggets. In middle school it was cool to buy the slushies but you just *had* to bring lunch from home in a stylish lunchbox. Or that’s what I convinced my 12 year old self,

No matter how many times I tried to make hot food work in a mini thermos, I usually ended up with something lukewarm that was unable to be microwaved in a metal thermos.

Alas, it was the cold lunch ideas that saved the day. Sandwiches weren’t cool enough, so most days I ate cold Chef Boyardee ravioli. If only I had Blueberry Salsa, Summer Citrus Salad, or Morning Glory Muffins back then, I would have had such a more well-rounded plate!

But let’s be real, I maybe would’ve eaten the fruit but my picky taste buds would not have been pleased.

Lunches don’t have to be boring anymore. Now we have so many original ways to create a meal that’s perfect for the cafeteria or for the office!

Lucky for me, my job is fully remote but I am so ready for the next opportunity to come up with some cold lunch ideas!

Cold lunch essentials

Sandwiches, Wraps, and Other Mains

Snacks and Sides

Don’t forget the desserts!

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cold lunch ideas pin

Lunch on the Go

It isn’t always easy packing lunch on the go, but it doesn’t have to be a chore. I hope you found some great cold lunch ideas to try or got inspired to create something of your own!

What I want to hear is, what is your favorite food to pack in your lunch that you know will make your day? It’s hard to say no to snack-cakes, but having fresh fruit in the middle of my day is always a plus! Share yours in the comments below

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31 thoughts on “Back to School Cold Lunch Ideas”

  1. great list of lunch ideas! even for someone at work can prepare them especially me Im lazy to access the microwave in the office

  2. That blueberry bread looks tasty, I’m a big fan of blueberries and I’m back to the office soon, this might make it’s way into one of my lunches, let’s see how my cooking is first though! 😂 x

  3. This is perfect with so many ideas for back to school lunch ideas. I also love that you include allergy friendly options! I can’t wiT to try some.

  4. Great ideas! Even though I work from home, I like to have lunches made already so I appreciate the ideas. Also, that samoas popcorn is so calling my name!

  5. These are all great lunch ideas! And not just for kids, but some of these would be great for me to bring along to work as I prefer not to have to eat out or order food when in the office. Thanks for sharing!

  6. My daughter started school 3 weeks ago, but these are great ideas of what I can include in her lunch!
    She would love the chicken sandwich & muffins & I want to try making the goldfish too!

  7. Wow what a great list! Can’t wait to try some of these! The kids go back to school in just a few days! Those muffins look delicious!

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