Whether your little one is headed to preschool for the very first time or is a big fish in the little pond of elementary school, it can be hard to satisfy the lunchtime grumbles with foods that kids will love—especially when they won’t have access to a refrigerator. Fortunately, there any plenty of lunch snacks and meals that are tasty, satisfying, and don’t require storage in cold temperatures. The best part? These non-refrigerated lunch ideas are easy to make and affordable, especially when shopping at your local Foodtown supermarket.
Refrigerator-Free Lunch Entree Ideas
There’s no denying that peanut butter and jelly can get very boring, very quickly. Unfortunately, many parents believe it’s the quickest option for refrigerator-free lunches. Quite the contrary! Incorporate some of these tasty refrigerator-free lunch entrees into your child’s lunch box:
Nut Butter Waffle Sandwiches
Sometimes, a simple swap can breathe new life into a tried-and-true meal. If your school allows nut products, transform the typical PB&J by using waffles in place of the bread. For an extra dose of originality, use different nut butters, such as almond or cashew. For nut-free schools, try sunflower butter!
Bacon & Cheese Muffins
Bacon and cheese muffins can sit safely at room temperature through the morning and are packed with protein. Able to be made ahead of time and in batches, these are perfect for busy weekdays. Here’s a simple recipe from The Stay at Home Chef.
Simple Caprese Salad
Cut bite-sized chunks of a crusty bread and toss with cherry tomatoes and basil. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. If you have an ice pack handy, feel free to add a few pieces of mozzarella.
Soba Noodle Salad
Here’s a great thermos lunch idea. Toss cooked and cooled soba noodles with chopped carrots and green beans and drizzle with either a homemade or store-bought vinaigrette.
Crudités and Hummus
Both hummus and uncooked vegetables can sit at room temperature through the day. Baby carrots, broccoli and cauliflower florets, bell pepper, and cherry tomatoes pair perfectly well with a small container of hummus. Add a few slices of pita bread to make it a full meal!
Fridge-Free Lunch Snacks to Stock Your Pantry
Now that you have a week’s worth of refrigerator-free entrees at your disposal, don’t forget the snacks! These kid-friendly snacks require no refrigeration and are the perfect addition to the school lunchbox:
- Jerky—beef or chicken are kid favorites and packed with protein
- Dried Fruits—such as apricots, banana chips, and apple rings
- Fruits with Sturdy Peels—such as apples, bananas, grapes, and nectarines
- Whole Vegetables—such as baby carrots, broccoli florets, and cherry tomatoes
- Grab n’ go Yogurt Tubes—Freeze them overnight and they’ll be thawed just in time for lunch
- Hard-Boiled Eggs—Like hummus, hardboiled eggs can last at room temperature through the day
Don’t let the stress of preparing school lunches get in the way of your busy weekdays. These lunch box ideas for kids are simple to prepare, satisfying and require no refrigeration. If you’re really strapped for time, take advantage of Foodtown On the Go, which allows customers to shop online for the convenience of home delivery or in-store pickup.
Stocking up on school supplies can be expensive but shopping for back to school lunches doesn’t have to be! Take advantage of the savings in our Weekly Circular and download our digital coupons for everyday savings. Visit your nearest Foodtown grocery store today.