You’ll actually be excited to start making school lunches again

Whether you don’t want summer to end or you’re ready to get back into a routine, everyone is heading back to school. Once the school supply shopping is done, it’s time to focus on the next dreaded task: school lunches. After the initial creativity has worn off, rely on these easy-to-grab items from Trader Joe’s. From pre-packaged salami and cheese packs to tiny cucumbers that require no slicing and dicing, you can count on some of the best Trader Joe’s items for school lunches to keep your game going strong.

Note: Be sure to follow your school’s rules regarding whether nuts can be included in school lunches as we want to keep all kids safe! 


Cinnamon Schoolhouse Cookies

What better way to get back in the academic spirit than these fun alphabet cookies? Crunchy and cinnamon-y, they make a great option for snack time during the school day, or as a way to finish off lunch. Better yet, you can spell out a fun message that your kiddos can figure out at school!


Genoa Salame & Provolone Cheese Packs

Gluten free and perfectly portioned, these Genoa Salame and Provolone Cheese packs are great for packing protein. We like them especially for kids who tend to eat charcuterie style or as a late afternoon snack for athletes heading to practice.


Hummus & Pita Chips

Trader Joe’s

No need to scoop out hummus and bag up pita chips with this ready-made package. Grab some baby carrots to round out this snack (there’s a LOT of hummus in each one) and toss in an ice pack to keep cold and you’re halfway to a healthy lunch with minimal effort.


PB&J Snack Duo

Kids tired of boring PB&J? These lunchbox snack packs are one of the best Trader Joe’s items for school lunches. Each one comes with tons of raspberry jam and thanks to the rolled wafer sticks, this is a relatively mess-less lunch option. Be sure to check if peanut butter is ok at your school’s lunch tables before you send it in your child’s lunch!


Mozzarella Cheese Snackers

Trader Joe's mozzarella cheese snackers

Move over, string cheese. These mozzarella cheese snackers are the perfect way to up your lunch box game and bring a fresh twist. They are individually packaged and are great for on-the-go.


Mini (Almost) Everything Bagel Sandwich Crackers

If you’re lucky enough to find a box of these crackers, buy 2! But seriously, these Mini (almost) Everything Bagel Sandwich crackers are a snacker’s delight. They are filled with a cream cheese filling and the perfect mix of savory and sweet.

Yogurt Squishers

Trader Joe's yogurt squishers

Skip the spoon and toss in a yogurt squisher in your lunch boxes this year. Sure, this product has been around for years, but there’s no denying the convenience of indulging in yogurt straight from the tube. Plus, it’s just a darn good fun way to get your kids to get their daily dose of dairy. We like to freeze these so they are perfectly thawed by the time lunch rolls around.


Cereal Bars

Every parent needs a go-to snack and Trader Joe’s cereal bars are it. The grocer’s cereal bars are made with organic grains and are free from hydrogenated oils. They come in fun flavors like Strawberry, Apple, Blueberry, Fig, and even seasonal options like Pumpkin. They are great for just tossing in the lunchbox for either snack or lunchtime.


Salame Sticks

Trader Joe's salami sticks

These salame sticks are great for adding extra protein. The chewable snack is somewhere between a piece of beef jerky and a salami slice and tastes great all on its own or dunked in a tasty dip.


Dried Fruit Bars

Trader Joe's dried fruit bars

Let’s be honest, sometimes the only way to get kids to eat fruit is in the form of a bar, and that’s ok. If you’re trying to get in the daily dose of fruit, these fruit bars are a great option. They are shelf-stable and come in flavors that include Apple Raspberry, Apple Mango, Apple Apricot, and Apple Strawberry. Oh, and they’re gluten-free, too!


Plantain Chips

We all need a little treat for lunch now and then! Despite being drizzled with chocolate, these chips are actually made from plantains so are a tad bit healthier than a potato version. Your kids will love the salty and sweet combo!


Teeny Tiny Cukes

Trader Joe's qukes

When it comes to one of the best Trader Joe’s items for school lunches, these Qukes are a winner. The teeny, tiny cucumbers make for a great dipper and require no cutting before your kids can enjoy.


Many Things Snack Mix

Trader Joe's many things snack crackers

When everyone gets tired of the same chip and pretzels, check out TJ’s Many Things snack mix! It’s made with lots of savory, crunchy treats like bread chips, corn stickers, spicy and honey butter cereal squares, and more. It’s a great way to add variety without having to pack 10 different chip options.


Freeze Dried Fruit

Trader Joe's
Trader Joe’s

Don’t sleep on this sweet option that’s fun to include in your Bento box lunch. You’ll find tons of different freeze-dried fruits available like strawberries, mangoes, raspberries, and bananas.

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