27 Quick and Easy Back-to-School Lunches Your Kids Will Love

27 Quick and Easy Back-to-School Lunches Your Kids Will Love

Prioritize nutritious lunches for your kids effortlessly with Rily's mouthwatering back-to-school recipes.

Quick list

The school year is upon us once again, and that means it's time to gear up for packed lunches and afternoon munchies. While we all want to provide our kids with balanced and nourishing meals, finding the time and creativity to whip up exciting lunches can be a daunting task. Enter Rily – your partner in making back-to-school lunches a breeze.

We understand the challenges parents face, and that's why we've curated a list of hassle-free, delectable lunch ideas that will not only keep your children energized throughout the day but also have them eagerly anticipating lunchtime.

We know the struggle – the battle of crafting lunches that strike the perfect balance between nutrition and taste. It's a dance between providing your kids with wholesome ingredients and ensuring their taste buds are tantalized. At Rily, we've taken the guesswork out of lunch prep, presenting you with a lineup of easy-to-make meals that are as delightful to eat as they are effortless to create.

From playful wraps to mouthwatering salads, our recipes are designed to make your life easier while ensuring your kids receive the nutrients they need to thrive academically and socially. So, let's dive into a world of culinary inspiration that will transform your back-to-school lunch game – no fuss, no stress, just scrumptious bites your kids will be begging to enjoy day after day.

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Rily's Apple & White Cheddar Chicken Salad

Apple & White Cheddar Chicken Salad

This delightful Apple & White Cheddar Chicken Salad combines the crisp sweetness of apples with the rich creaminess of white cheddar and lean protein from chicken. Packed with essential nutrients, it offers a balanced blend of healthy fats, protein, and greens, making it an ideal choice for growing kids. The fibre in apples helps support digestion, while the lean chicken provides the necessary protein for muscle development. The white cheddar adds a satisfying calcium boost for strong bones. Additionally, this salad's combination of ingredients supports stable blood sugar levels, ensuring sustained energy and focus throughout the day. With its vibrant flavours and diverse textures, this salad is not only nutritious but also a tasty and enjoyable option for kids' lunches, making healthy eating a delightful experience.

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Rily's Bolognese


Classic Bolognese is a timeless comfort dish that brings together the goodness of hearty tomato sauce and lean ground meat. This recipe is a clever way to sneak in a variety of vegetables, enhancing its nutritional profile while maintaining its familiar, kid-friendly taste. The tomato base provides a dose of vitamins and antioxidants, while the lean meat offers a source of protein crucial for growth and development. The inclusion of veggies like carrots and onions adds essential fibre and vitamins that support overall well-being. Plus, the savoury and rich flavours of Bolognese make it a winner in terms of enjoyability. Serve it over whole wheat pasta or zucchini noodles for a balanced meal that kids will love, making it a nutritious option that's as satisfying as it is wholesome.

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Rily's Braised Beef Tacos

Braised Beef Tacos

Savour the goodness of health and flavour with these delightful Braised Beef Tacos. Premium beef takes the spotlight, offering an array of health-promoting nutrients like CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid), a heart-protective healthy fat. Accompanied by the beef's nutritional benefits, the incorporation of bone broth provides a rich source of protein and collagen, essential for promoting robust joint function. Beyond its protein content, bone broth boasts a treasure trove of nutrients, including zinc, iron, and multiple B vitamins, which contribute to overall vitality. Embracing these nutritional elements, these tacos not only satisfy taste buds but also promote gut health, support the immune system, and fortify bones and joints. Elevate your kids' lunch experience with these tacos, as they're a scrumptious and healthful choice that merges the joy of a favourite dish with the goodness of nourishing ingredients.

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Rily's Carrot Muffins

Carrot Muffins

Enjoy the convenience of these wholesome Carrot Muffins, an ideal grab-and-go option for breakfast or a midday snack, catering to both kids and adults alike. These muffins strike a harmonious balance between taste and health. Packed with the natural sweetness and nutritional richness of carrots, they provide a dose of vitamin A for healthy vision and immune support. The muffins are crafted with care to offer a blend of fibre, which aids digestion, and complex carbohydrates, ensuring sustained energy levels throughout the day. Their versatility makes them a perfect addition to kids' lunchboxes or a quick snack during busy schedules. These carrot muffins exemplify the joy of indulging in baked treats while embracing the benefits of nourishing ingredients, offering a delightful option that seamlessly combines health and taste.

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Rily's Chewy Oat & Fruit Energy Bars

Chewy Oat & Fruit Energy Bars

Elevate your kids' school lunches with these delectable Chewy Oat & Fruit Energy Bars. Crafted to perfection, these homemade granola bars serve as an ideal midday snack, offering a delightful energy boost coupled with essential nutrients. Bursting with the goodness of oats, these bars provide a hearty dose of fibre, promoting healthy digestion and sustained energy release. The inclusion of nutrient-rich fruits infuses natural sweetness while supplying vitamins and antioxidants vital for growing bodies. These bars also feature healthy fats, which contribute to brain development and overall well-being. Such a scrumptious addition to kids' lunches, ensuring they have the sustained energy and nourishment they need to conquer the school day with vigour.

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Rily's Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

Introducing our irresistible Chocolate Chip Granola Bars, a delightful treat for kids' school lunches that bridges the gap between deliciousness and nourishment. These maple syrup-sweetened bars offer a fusion of flavours, enhanced by a delicate touch of flaky salt. Oats take the spotlight in this recipe, boasting a wealth of benefits derived from their high fibre content. Beyond their role in promoting digestive health, oats help regulate blood sugar levels and lower cholesterol, ensuring a balanced and heart-healthy option. What's more, these granola bars embrace the power of healthy fats, sourced from coconut oil and cashew butter. These fats contribute to hormonal health and overall well-being, mirroring the benefits of fibre. This delectable recipe stands as a testament to the fact that health-conscious choices can be utterly enjoyable, making these granola bars a delectable inclusion in kids' lunches, serving up a delightful blend of taste and nourishment.

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Rily's Fluffy Banana Coconut Muffins

Fluffy Banana Coconut Muffins

Indulge in the delightful allure of Fluffy Banana Coconut Muffins, a treat that effortlessly combines taste and nutrition for your kids' school lunches. These muffins, made with the goodness of coconut flour and eggs, deliver a satisfyingly fluffy and light texture that's sure to captivate young palates. Bananas lend their natural sweetness and a dose of potassium, which supports heart health and muscle function. The addition of chocolate chips infuses a touch of indulgence, making these muffins an exciting snack option. Notably, coconut flour contributes a unique twist while offering a source of fibre and healthy fats, promoting digestion and satiety. Eggs, a protein powerhouse, play a crucial role in muscle development and overall growth. These muffins prove that health-conscious choices can indeed be scrumptious, providing a delightful experience that's as enjoyable as it is nutritious – a perfect addition to kids' lunch boxes.

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Rily's Gluten-Free Cinnamon Raisin Loaf

Gluten-Free Cinnamon Raisin Loaf

Savour the heartwarming comfort of a slice of Gluten-Free Cinnamon Raisin Loaf, a delightful addition to your kids' school lunches that combines cherished flavours with wholesome ingredients. There's an undeniable sense of coziness in a toasted slice of cinnamon raisin bread with a smear of butter, and this loaf elevates that feeling. Expertly crafted to be gluten-free, this recipe prioritizes gut health while catering to a vegan lifestyle, ensuring it's inclusive for a range of dietary preferences. Bursting with plant-based goodness, the raisins contribute natural sweetness and a dose of antioxidants, while the cinnamon infuses warmth and aromatic delight. This loaf embodies the belief that nourishing food can be both satisfying and gentle on the body, providing a delectable experience that captures the essence of comfort food.

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Rily's Gluten-Free Zucchini & Cheddar Savoury Scones

Gluten-Free Zucchini & Cheddar Savoury Scones

Experience the delightful fusion of flavours in these Gluten-Free Zucchini & Cheddar Savoury Scones, a fantastic addition to your kids' school lunches that balances taste and health. Despite being gluten-free, these scones boast a remarkably soft and buttery texture, promising an indulgent bite with every mouthful. Crafted with care, these scones feature the goodness of shredded zucchini, infusing moisture and a dose of vitamins. The cheddar cheese provides a rich source of calcium for strong bones, and the green onions contribute a burst of freshness and flavour. These scones are a testament to the notion that gluten-free options can be both delicious and approachable, making them a welcomed treat for kids. From their wholesome ingredients to their savoury charm, these scones are sure to become a beloved lunchtime choice that combines nourishment with mouthwatering satisfaction.

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Rily's Grain-Free Seeded Sandwich Bread

Grain-Free Seeded Sandwich Bread

Enhance your kids' lunchtime with the exceptional Grain-Free Seeded Sandwich Bread – a loaf that effortlessly combines simplicity with a delightful interplay of textures and flavours. Crafted for ease, this grain-free loaf surprises with its soft and spongy texture that toasts to perfection, setting the stage for delectable sandwiches. This bread doesn't compromise on nutrition, offering a wealth of benefits. Packed with healthy fats, it supports brain health and overall well-being. The addition of fibre promotes digestion and sustained energy, ensuring your kids stay satisfied throughout the day. Embracing a medley of seeds, this loaf introduces a delightful crunch and texture that adds an exciting dimension to every bite. From its nutritional profile to its versatility, this bread stands as a prime example of nourishing food that's both satisfying and healthful. As the foundation for the "perfect lunch sandwich," it enriches kids' lunches with a harmonious blend of taste and nourishment.

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Rily's Hot Italian Sausage & Kale Frittata

Hot Italian Sausage & Kale Frittata

Introducing the Hot Italian Sausage & Kale Frittata – a delightful twist on a classic dish, specially crafted to elevate your child's lunchtime experience. Bursting with robust flavours, this frittata features mild sausage for a touch of spiciness that's kid-approved. Kale, cleverly tucked in, adds essential vitamins and nutrients while maintaining a tender texture that's easy for kids to enjoy. Infused with the essence of fresh herbs and garlic, this frittata ensures a harmonious blend of tastes that will captivate young palates. Plus, it's a lifesaver for busy mornings – make it ahead of time for a quick, hearty lunch box addition. This frittata showcases the magic of turning nourishing ingredients into a delightful culinary journey, making it a standout choice for kids who deserve the best of both taste and health.

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Rily's Lentil Shepherd's Pie

Lentil Shepherd's Pie

Experience the ultimate comfort with Lentil Shepherd's Pie – now with a wholesome twist for your kids' lunches. This classic favourite gets a healthy makeover by incorporating over eight nutrient-packed vegetables, ensuring a balanced and nourishing meal. The star of the show is the creamy topping, a delightful blend of mashed sweet potato and cauliflower, which perfectly complements the meaty texture of mushrooms. The medley of flavours offers a delightful journey for young taste buds, making it an enjoyable way to introduce a variety of veggies. As the weather cools, this pie brings warmth to lunchtime, providing the comfort of traditional flavours in a health-conscious package. With Lentil Shepherd's Pie, your kids can savour a taste of the familiar while embracing the goodness of wholesome ingredients.

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Rily's Mediterranean Style Tortellini Salad

Mediterranean Style Tortellini Salad

Infuse a burst of Mediterranean flavours into your kids' lunchboxes with our enticing Mediterranean Style Tortellini Salad. Elevate the classic pasta salad by incorporating tortellini, delivering a delightful twist that's sure to captivate young taste buds. Crafted with care, this salad features a vibrant array of bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, crisp cucumber, and fresh parsley, creating a harmonious blend of colours and textures. The creamy and tangy feta cheese adds the perfect finishing touch. Beyond its captivating taste, this salad offers a wholesome and balanced option that's easy to prepare in advance. With a medley of nutrients and a touch of Mediterranean zest, this dish embraces both deliciousness and healthfulness. Give your kids a lunch that's not only enticing but also nourishing, as they enjoy every bite of this inviting tortellini salad.

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Rily's Mushroom Pesto Pizza

Mushroom Pesto Pizza

Elevate your kids' lunchboxes with the delightful appeal of our delicious Mushroom Pesto Pizza – a creative take on the classic that's sure to ignite their taste buds. For young pizza enthusiasts who adore mushrooms, this pizza is a dream come true. Bursting with hearty mushrooms, it's elevated by the rich essence of pesto, the warmth of roasted garlic, and the irresistible gooeyness of mozzarella cheese. Every bite tells a story of taste and texture, with mushrooms adding their earthy charm to the playful medley. Beyond their delectable appeal, mushrooms bring valuable nutrients to the table, making this pizza both delicious and nourishing. As your kids enjoy each slice, they'll savour the joy of a pizza experience tailored to their tastes, one that combines fun and flavour in every mouthful.

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Rily's Pesto Veggie Flatbread

Pesto Veggie Flatbread

Pesto Veggie Flatbread is a delightful lunch option that kids will adore! Flatbreads are a world of taste waiting to be explored, offering endless opportunities for delicious combinations. This Mediterranean-inspired flatbread is not only quick to prepare, perfect for busy school days, but it's also a unanimous favourite among kids. The star ingredient here is arugula, which adds a burst of nutrition. High in calcium, folate, and Vitamin C, arugula supports strong bones, immune health, and healthy skin. This flatbread is a canvas for fibre-rich veggies that add both crunch and colour, creating a medley of textures that kids love. Whether it's the veggies listed or the ones you have in your fridge, this flatbread encourages creativity and personalized enjoyment. Elevate your child's lunchbox with this delicious and nutritious treat that's not only customizable but also introduces them to the world of healthy and tasty choices.

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Rily's Pumpkin Spice Waffles

Pumpkin Spice Waffles

Delight your child's taste buds during lunchtime with the delightful Pumpkin Spice Waffles. These waffles bring a touch of autumn charm to their school day, filled with the cozy flavours of pumpkin and aromatic spices. Not only do they taste amazing, but they also offer a nutritious boost. Pumpkins are rich in Vitamin A, supporting their eyesight and immune system. These waffles are a creative and delightful addition to their lunchbox, ensuring a taste of the season in every bite. Make their school lunch special with the heartwarming goodness of Pumpkin Spice Waffles that add a touch of festive delight to their day.

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Rily's Red Lentil Patties with Cauliflower

Red Lentil Patties with Cauliflower

Discover a nutritious and delicious addition to your child's school lunch – Red Lentil Patties with Cauliflower. These patties offer a flavourful way to introduce plant-based protein and veggies into their meal. Bursting with the goodness of red lentils and cauliflower, they provide a harmonious balance of essential nutrients for growth. Red lentils contribute protein and fibre for sustained energy, while cauliflower delivers vitamins and minerals. These patties promise not only nourishment but also delightful taste, making lunchtime enjoyable and health-conscious. Your child can savour the wholesome blend of flavours in Red Lentil Patties with Cauliflower, ensuring a satisfying and nutritious lunch at school.

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Rily's Rutabaga and Red Pepper Ragu

Rutabaga and Red Pepper Ragu

Give your child a lunch that's as delicious as it is nutritious, with the heartiness of Rutabaga and Red Pepper Ragu to keep them fuelled and focused throughout the day. The delicious combination of chickpeas and rutabaga pasta, topped with red pepper ragu, offers a nourishing meal that's both satisfying and full of goodness. Rutabaga brings a sense of fullness while delivering compounds that fight inflammation and support overall health. With potential cancer-fighting properties, rutabaga adds an extra layer of nourishment. The red pepper ragu offers a tasty twist, making it an excellent option for those sensitive to tomatoes.

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Rily's Samosas


Introduce a burst of excitement to your child's lunchbox with these classic samosas that are not only delicious but also packed with veggies. These golden bites are fried to crispy perfection, featuring a delightful cumin and mustard seed tadka for an extra punch of flavour. Whether your child shares them with friends or enjoys them all for themselves, these samosas are a scrumptious addition to any lunch. With their crispy exterior and savoury vegetable filling, these samosas offer a delightful break from the ordinary, ensuring that lunchtime becomes a cherished adventure in flavours and fun.

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Rily's Seedy Pumpkin Granola Bars

Seedy Pumpkin Granola Bars

Experience the deliciousness and nourishment of Seedy Pumpkin Granola Bars in your child's lunchbox. Say goodbye to store-bought options filled with less-than-ideal ingredients, and embrace these homemade bars as a wholesome alternative. Packed with antioxidant-rich pureed pumpkin, fibre and omega-3 heroes like chia, flax, and hemp seeds, along with complex carbs from oats, these bars are a smart choice. They're ideal for a gut-healthy breakfast or a quick snack on-the-go during your child's busy day. With plant-based ingredients, these granola bars offer protein and heart-healthy fats from peanut butter, hemp hearts, and almonds, ensuring long-lasting satisfaction. Rich in fibre and with minimal added sugar, these pumpkin granola bars are even a great option for diabetics. Treat your child to a lunchbox delight that's not just scrumptious but also packed with nourishing goodness – Seedy Pumpkin Granola Bars are the answer.

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Rily's Sheet Pan Chicken Shawarma

Sheet Pan Chicken Shawarma

Looking for a lunch box winner that combines ease, flavour, and nutrition? Look no further than the Sheet Pan Chicken Shawarma – a mouthwatering option that's tailor-made for kids' school lunches. Imagine succulent chicken and cauliflower, marinated to perfection and roasted to a flavourful crispness on a single sheet pan. This recipe is a true time-saver, making it a superb choice for busy mornings. Unlike fast food alternatives, this homemade meal is a wholesome treat, providing essential protein from the chicken and a dose of vitamins and fibre from the cauliflower. Beyond its nutritional value, the Shawarma spices infuse excitement into every bite, ensuring lunchtime isn't just delicious but also engaging. Versatile and flexible, it's perfect for meal prepping, allowing you to offer a balanced lunch even on hectic days. Whether enjoyed with a chopped salad or toasted pita, our Sheet Pan Chicken Shawarma transforms lunchtime into a delightful adventure of flavours and nourishment. Your kids will relish this homemade masterpiece, and you'll appreciate the convenience and satisfaction it brings to their school lunches.

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Rily's Spiced Lentil Phyllo Pocket

Spiced Lentil Phyllo Pocket

Discover a nourishing and flavourful addition to your child's lunchbox with the delightful Spiced Lentil Phyllo Pockets. These pockets bring together flaky layers of phyllo, creamy feta, and spiced lentils for a satisfying and tasty treat. The crispy phyllo layers, combined with the richness of feta and the warmth of spiced lentils, create an enticing blend of textures and flavours that kids will thoroughly enjoy. Beyond the deliciousness, the spiced lentils offer essential protein and fibre, promoting healthy growth and sustained energy throughout the school day. Moreover, this recipe easily adapts to a vegan diet by substituting ghee with olive oil and feta with vegan cheese. These portable pockets make for a convenient and mess-free snack during lunch breaks. By adding these Spiced Lentil Phyllo Pockets into your child's lunch, you're providing a delightful culinary experience that's both appetizing and nourishing.

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Rily's Strawberry Rhubarb Muffins

Strawberry Rhubarb Muffins

Treat your child to our delightful Strawberry Rhubarb Muffins – a moist and scrumptious option perfect for celebrating the rhubarb season. These muffins offer a balanced blend of flavours and nourishment that make them an excellent addition to school lunches. Infused with moisture from creamy Greek yogurt and naturally sweetened with dates and coconut sugar, these muffins provide a lower-sugar alternative without compromising on taste. Whether enjoyed in the morning or as a midday treat, these muffins offer a delightful combination of flavours and a nourishing boost that kids can enjoy throughout their school day. By introducing Strawberry Rhubarb Muffins to your child's lunchbox, you're treating them to a delicious and health-conscious option that not only celebrates seasonal ingredients but also brings joy to their lunchtime experience.

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Rily's Sundried Tomato Pesto Pasta

Sundried Tomato Pesto Pasta

Treat your child to this delectable Sundried Tomato Pesto Pasta – a flavourful twist on classic pesto that brings both taste and health benefits to their lunchbox. The vibrant flavours of sundried tomato pesto provide an exciting change while the versatility of using it as a sandwich spread adds extra value. This dish is a smart option for various dietary preferences, catering to diabetes, kosher, low sugar, and gluten-free diets when paired with gluten-free pasta. With Sundried Tomato Pesto Pasta in their lunchbox, your child can enjoy a delightful meal that's both delicious and accommodating to their needs.

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Rily's Gluten-Free Chicken Fingers

Gluten-Free Chicken Fingers

Introducing our delectable Gluten-Free Chicken Fingers, the ultimate school lunch treat for kids and parents alike. What sets these chicken fingers apart is the surprising twist: a crispy coating made from puffed brown rice, replacing traditional breadcrumbs. This means a gluten-free, allergy-friendly option that doesn't compromise on taste or crunch. Quick to prepare, packed with protein, and universally loved by kids, these chicken fingers are the perfect addition to your child's lunchbox, ensuring both their taste buds and nutritional needs are met. Say goodbye to lunchtime monotony and hello to smiles all around!

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Rily's Mini Pizzas with Veggie Tomato Sauce

Mini Pizzas with Veggie Tomato Sauce

Remember the joy of mini pizzas from your childhood? Well, they're still a cherished favourite, and our Mini Pizzas with Veggie Tomato Sauce are a delightful twist on this timeless classic. What makes them even better? We've sneaked some veggies into the tomato sauce for a nutritious boost! These mini pizzas are just for school lunches; as well as work lunches, dinner, and any occasion. With their kid-friendly size and deliciously fun flavours, the whole family will devour them happily. Nutritious and enjoyable, these mini pizzas are a guaranteed hit that you can't go wrong with.

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Kid-Friendly Recipes
Erin Horrocks-PopeBorn and raised in Toronto, Erin is a dedicated freelance journalist, accomplished copywriter, and meticulous copyeditor. Beyond her bustling career, she's a devoted mother of four young kids who can't get enough of the mouthwatering recipes curated by Rily's culinary experts.
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