6 helpful school lunch resources and inspiration for parents

The tips, ideas and best products for back-to-school have been flowing in from every direction all month long. But soon we’ll be back in the swing of things and the back-to-school chatter will die down, but there’s one thing you can’t do at the beginning of the school season and have it over with: School lunch.

This is one back-to-school topic that isn’t just for back-to-school time, which is why we’ve rounded up 5 awesome, helpful resources that will help keep you–and your school lunches–inspired all year long.

School Lunch Pictures on Cool Mom Picks

I can’t talk about school lunch resources that will serve you the entire school year without mentioning the fact that I post daily school lunch inspiration on the One Hungry Mama Facebook page. Shameless plug? Perhaps–but not in vain. My posts are meant to inspire you, or, you know, give you a cheat sheet. This year’s posts will start on September 9th. In the meantime, check out my school lunch picture gallery from last year.

Best Lunch Box Ever on Cool Mom Picks

Two awesome school lunch cookbooks have just been released and both are full of great, easy ideas that are–lo and behold!–totally different from each other. The first is Best Lunch Box Ever (above) by Katie Sullivan Morford, a food writer, registered dietician, and the voice behind the blog Mom’s Kitchen Handbook. This book offers 75 recipes and, other than the ones in the Leftovers Made Easy chapter, they can actually be made the morning of school, or the night before. You won’t find her encouraging you to cook up some hot feast for lunch unless it also works for dinner the night before. Phew.

Weelicious Lunches on Cool Mom Picks

Weelicious Lunches is by Catherine McCord, the blogger behind popular site Weliicous and the Weeliicous CookbookNow she takes on school lunch with the same combination of playfulness, enthusiasm for health, and mom practicality that also defines Catherine’s family dinner style. Along with 160 recipes, the book offers strategies for picky eaters and dealing with allergies at the lunch table. There is also a chapter dedicated just to PB&J which, if you ask me, makes this book worth it all on its own.

Momables Lunch Menu Subscription Service on Cool Mom Picks

Rather just have someone tell you what to make? Momables is a school lunch menu subscription service that emails you a weekly school lunch plan every Friday, along with a shopping list. A Momables subscription is affordable: a 3-month plan is only $18 and a yearly plan offers big saving at just $60. Just know that for now, Momables only offers one plan that is not gluten-free or vegetarian friendly. It is easily adapted for nut-free lunches, though.

Lunchbox Awesome blog on Cool Mom Picks

Mario Brothers bento box lunch on Cool Mom picks

For wild inspiration, check out the Lunchbox Awesome Tumblr which we also featured in our 2012 back to school shopping guide as one of the best lunch resources. It’s packed with more pinnable photos than you know what to do with. Of course a lot of it is stuff you probably won’t attempt unless you spend your entire day planning school lunches–or have a professional chef to do it for you. But maybe you can steal an idea or two to make opening that bento box more fun.

ChopChop Magazine on Cool Mom Picks

If your kid is old enough to make his own lunch, gift him a subscription to ChopChop magazine, a quarterly publication for kids published in both Spanish and English that’s full of easy, healthy recipes that give kids their own lunch-making inspiration, along with games and interesting tidbits about food. Subscribe now and your first issue will be all about school lunch so that you can get kiddo to work. Sounds good for both of you, right?

For more school, lunch inspiration see our posts on

the best lunchbox snacks

9 lunch ideas beyond sandwiches

the best lunchbox containers and accessories

the best lunch boxes and bags for kids


Stacie Billis is a popular food blogger known for focus on nutrition and organics, and her non-judgy approach that does not preclude Nutella.


  • Reply August 28, 2013


    Hi! Love this website and I had a quick question about the very first picture with the very cool lunch container, where is it from? I absolutely love it! I think I’d use it for my own lunch

  • Reply August 29, 2013


    Thanks for including my book Best Lunch Box Ever in your terrific write up. Great ideas all around!

  • Reply August 29, 2013


    Thanks for the great links. My 5 year old daughter loves it when she gets Chop Chop in the mail.

  • Reply August 30, 2013


    Hi Susana,
    It’s a Planetbox. You can buy it through their website. We love this lunchbox :)

  • Reply August 30, 2013


    Susana, that first photo is a planet Lunch Box. You can buy them from the company or at pottery barn kids. I bought three for my kids and LOVE them.

  • Stacie
    Reply August 30, 2013


    Hi, Susana. Well, some folks beat me to it, but, yes, it’s a Planet Lunchbox container. I LOVE packing it and my boys love theirs. The one catch is that it’s big and does not really fit into their backpacks. I find it a bummer sometimes to have a backpack and a whole big cross body lunchbox, but we still use it which is a testament to how nice it is!

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