Back to school season is just around the corner and for busy moms, they’ll need all the help they can get to provide kids with great meals even when they’re not at home. We’ve rounded up four amazing back to school recipes that will keep tummies full and full of energy throughout the day. Plus, we’ve also rounded up the best selling children’s top 5 lunch bags in the list below. Check them out as you get ready for the back to school season!
Leveled Up Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich
This recipe adds a fruity, nutty twist to your regular PB&J, making for a fun surprise for kids.
1. Oroweat Double Fiber Bread, Baked with Simple Ingredients & Whole Wheat, 24 oz, Amazon2. Smucker’s Natural Chunky Peanut Butter, 26 Ounce, Amazon 3. Organic Strawberries, 1 lb, Amazon 4. Crofters Organic Berry Harvest Premium Spread, 16.5 oz, Amazon5. NUTrition Lightly Salted Wholesome Snack Nuts Mix (7.5 oz Bags, 7 Count), Amazon
Wheat bread slices
Chunky peanut butter
Sliced fresh strawberries
- Prepare a peanut butter and jelly sandwich as you ordinarily would.
- Slice fresh strawberries and place them in the sandwich.
- Add some crushed nuts in the sandwich or opt to add a bag of mixed nuts to the meal.
Fried Bologna Sandwich
This recipe from Bon Apetit raises the bar for all bologna sandwiches out there.
1. Oscar Mayer Bologna Stack Pack (16 oz Package), Amazon 2. Oroweat, Jewish Rye Bread, 16 oz, Amazon 3. Organicgirl Romaine Heart Leaves, 7 oz Clamshell, Amazon 4. Vlasic Snack’mms Pickles, Kosher Dill Minis, 16 Ounce, Amazon 5. Kraft Mayonnaise (30 oz Bottle), Amazon
7 oz. thinly sliced bologna
4 slices seeded rye bread
Iceberg lettuce leaves, torn or sliced
2 Tbsp. spicy brown mustard
1 Tbsp. mayonnaise
1 Tbsp. finely chopped dill pickles, plus 2 Tbsp. brine
Freshly ground black pepper
- Combine mustard, mayonnaise, and chopped pickles in a small bowl and season with pepper.
- Arrange bologna slices in a stack and cut four 1-inch long slits starting near the center.
- On a heated cast iron skillet, arrange bologna slices in a single layer. Cook until brown over medium heat, about 2 minutes per side.
- Toast your bread for about a minute or two.
- On a cutting board, build your sandwich by spreading the mustard mixture evenly over each slice of bread. add in the bologna and top with lettuce. Drizzle with pickle brine to keep it moist. Don’t forget to cut the sandwiches in half!
Ham and Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breasts
This 3-ingredient recipe from Epicurious is a winner for busy moms.
1. Just BARE All Natural Fresh Chicken, Hand-Trimmed, Boneless, Skinless Breast Fillets, 1.0 lb, Amazon 2. Hillshire Farm Naturals Lunchmeat, Black Forest Ham, 8 oz., Amazon 3. Dietz & Watson Originals German Gruyere Cheese Block, 7 oz, Amazon 4. California Olive Ranch Olive Oil 16.9 FL oz, Amazon 5. Morton McCormick Iodized Salt & Pepper, 2 Count Pack, Amazon
4 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
4 ounces thinly sliced Black Forest ham
4 ounces thinly sliced Gruyère cheese
1 tablespoon olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Take your chicken breasts and make an incision on its thinner long side. Season inside of the chicken and stuff with 1 oz. ham and 1 oz. cheese.
- Place the chicken on a rimmed baking sheet and rub with olive oil. Lightly season with salt and pepper.
- Roast the chicken until a thermometer inserted into its thickest part reads 165°F. Cooks for about 12-15 minutes. Let cool before slicing.
This delicious and delightful recipe from AllRecipes will be a hit among Mexican cuisine-loving kids.
1. Perdue Fresh Cuts Diced Chicken Breast, 1.1 lb, Amazon 2. Mission Organics Flour Tortillas, 6 Count, Amazon 3. C&W Pepper Strips, 14 Ounce (Frozen), Amazon 4. Happy Belly Shredded Mild Cheddar, 16 Ounce, Amazon 5. 365 Everyday Value, Monterey Jack Shred, 12 oz, Amazon
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast, diced
1 (8 ounce) package shredded Cheddar cheese
1 (8 ounce) package shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 tablespoon bacon bits
10 (10 inch)s flour tortillas
1 (1.27 ounce) packet fajita seasoning
2 green bell peppers, chopped
2 red bell peppers, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- Preheat the broiler and grease a baking sheet. Season the chicken with the fajita seasoning and spread onto the baking sheet. Place this under the broiler to cook for about 5 minutes.
- Preheat over to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). In a large saucepan over medium heat, heat some vegetable oil. Stir in green bell peppers, red bell peppers, onion, and chicken. and cook for about 10 minutes or until vegetables soften.
- Build your quesadillas by layering half of each tortilla with the chicken and vegetable stir fry. Add Cheddar cheese, bacon bits, and Monterey Jack.
- Fold tortillas in half and place on a baking sheet. Bake for about 10 minutes or until cheese has melted.
Highest Rated Lunch Bags for Kids
Your child’s lunch is only as good as the bag it comes in. Remember that it’s important to have a bag that will carefully preserve the food you’ve worked hard to prepare. Here are five of the highest rated and most recommended lunch bags for kids, as reviewed by parents.
1. ARTOVIDA Art of Lunch Insulated Neoprene Lunch Bag, Summer Mermaid by Monika Strigel
Your kids (and you!) will love toting around this Art of Lunch Neoprene Lunch Tote, which features a gorgeous one-of-a-kind design you won’t find anywhere else in the playground. It effectively keeps food fresh for longer because of its 4 mm-thick neoprene that’s durable enough to last for years to come. It measures 12 x 12 x 6.5 inches, enough to fit containers measuring 7 x 6 inches. The best part is that the lunch totes conveniently fold and lie flat for when lunchtime is over. Simply slip it inside your child’s bag so she won’t forget. These colorful bags feature a variety of unique prints that your children will surely love. Let them show off their personal style with these lunch totes that are made of lead-free and PVC-free materials, ensuring their safety all the time. It’s also stain-resistant and washable, making for easy cleaning. It’s so well-loved that customers rated it 4.7 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
Parents’ promising review: “My daughter uses this for her school lunches and loves it! Plenty of space! Love having the zipper to close instead of the Velcro on her last bag.” Shayna Hanus
2. Wildkin Lunch Box, Under Construction
Opt for a more environmentally friendly lunch bag and say goodbye to single use paperbags and plastic bags with the Wildkin Lunch Bag that’s expertly made with PVC, BPA and Phthalate-free materials, ensuring your and your child’s safety. The Wildkin Lunch Box offers insulation that retains hot and cold temperatures throughout the day to ensure that food is kept fresh and tasteful. It has a compact, lightweight design made of premium fabric so it’s easy to clean for parents. It offers plenty of room for snacks, utensils, drink boxes, and more. It also includes a zippered front pocket for storing other meal essentials. Measures 9.75 x 7 x 3.25 inches. Parents and kids love it so much that it’s rated 4.6 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
Parents’ promising review: “Works great for my toddler to bring his lunch in. A bento box fits perfectly inside with room for a thin ice pack and even a juice box.” C. Oost
3. Thermos Under Armour Lunch Box, Geo Stripe
Two of the world’s most renowned lifestyle brands combine to design a line of premium lunch boxes that effectively keep food fresher for longer. This lunch box is constructed with durable, 420D polyester & IsoTec premium foam insulation that helps maintain food’s internal temperature. It features a Flex-A-Guard liner that’s strong, sturdy, crush-resistant, and easy to clean. An exterior zipper pocket and interior mesh pocket provides extra storage for wipes and other meal essentials. It’s also equipped with an adjustable, molded rubber handle and easy to use side clip to attach to any backpack. Rated 4.7 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
Parents’ promising review: “I am always a fan of Under Armour! It’s tough, it’s light, easy to clean out from messy kids. It has a hard thermal case on the inside that keeps everything inside from being smooshed and cool. Would definitely recommend.” Stephanie Nicole
4. PackIt Freezable Lunch Bag with Zip Closure, Watermelon Party
Welcome the back to school season with a spunkly PackIt freezable lunch bag, with a patented cooling technology. It has freezable gel that’s permanently built into the bag so you need not purchase other gel packs. It’s freezability lets you store in the freezer overnight so its walls can chill and keep food cool throughout the day. It’s perfect for packing healthy food, fruits, and vegetables to they stay crisp and fresh. It also features a zip top closure to lock in cool, dry air, and a buckle handle that clips onto totes, backpacks, strollers, and other bags. Rated 4.1 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
Parents’ promising review: “I bought this as a replacement for one (same brand same size) my kid used for over two and a half years. Bought a new one because the old one was getting a beat beat up in the interior by cutlery and she had outgrown the pattern. We love how cold it keeps food in the Phoenix, AZ climate. Easy to clean, too.” J. Erickson
5. Skip Hop Zoo Kids Insulated Lunch Box, Ferguson Fox, Red
Transform lunchtime into fun time with the Skip Hop Zoo Kids Lunchies that are perfectly sized for little kids and little hands. These soft insulated lunch bags offer a large main compartment that’s large enough for a sandwich, fruit, and juice box, and interior mesh pocket for utensils and other essentials. Its top handle clips onto any backpack while its fun matching zipper-pulls make for easy access. This BPA-free and phthalate-free product meets or exceeds ASTM and applicable safety standards so you’re sure of its quality. Rated 4.6 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
Parents’ promising review: “Not only is this lunchbox adorable but it also holds everything I need to send with my son each day. So far this lunch box has been durable and I am very happy with my purchase!” Cole
We’ve got more great back to school ideas in the links below so make sure you check that out too!
Just a disclaimer – We have partnered with these companies because we use their products and/or proudly trust and endorse them – so we do receive a commission if you make a purchase or sign up for services. Often, we are able to negotiate special discounts and/or bonuses, which we will pass on to you via our links. We often get short notice on sale items available for 24-48 hours as we will pass these savings onto you.