30 Back-to-School Recipes for Prepping, Packing and Snacking
These recipes will turn you into a pro when it comes to planning breakfasts, lunches and snacks for the week. We've broken these recipes into different categories, so you can easily find recipes that work for both you and your kids—from flavorful energy bites to adorable bento-box lunches and easy take-along breakfast muffins. Recipes like our Granola & Yogurt Breakfast Popsicles and Rainbow Veggie Wraps are healthy choices you'll feel good about this school year.
10 Delicious Breakfasts to Prep Ahead
From yummy muffin-tin omelets to nutritious overnight oats, these easy breakfast recipes are a mix of sweet and savory bites that will help you kickstart any morning. Prepping these breakfasts ahead of time means you get a little extra time for yourself.
Granola & Yogurt Breakfast Popsicles
These fun yogurt pops studded with fresh berries make a great on-the-go breakfast for a busy morning--perfect for kids and adults alike.
These healthy pumpkin-oatmeal muffins will get you in the mood for fall. Sprinkling the muffins with pecans adds a nutty crunch to every bite. Serve them for breakfast or as a grab-and-go snack.
Peanut Butter Breakfast Bars
Apples and honey are the perfect additions for these satisfying breakfast bars.
Vegan Freezer Breakfast Burritos
Having a stash of flavorful bean burritos in your freezer means you'll always have a satisfying plant-based meal ready for a grab-and-go breakfast on a busy morning or to take to the campsite for an easy campfire meal. Our vegan breakfast filling--made with tofu and prepared to mimic scrambled eggs--is tossed with beans, veggies and salsa for a delicious and ultra-satisfying meal.
Make-Ahead Smoothie Freezer Packs
Smoothies are a great healthy breakfast for kids, but busy parents know there's no time for all that chopping and measuring in the morning rush. Make these easy DIY smoothie packs ahead of time and stash them in your freezer until you're ready to whir up a fruit-filled meal or snack kids will love. This makes enough for a workweek's worth of smoothies!
Apple Spice Muffins
Think of crème fraîche as sour cream's richer, thicker, less-sour sibling. In this healthy muffin recipe, it's the secret ingredient that gives these muffins a light texture and rich flavor. The batter is made with extra spices and tons of sweet fruit, which means you won't notice the minimal amount of white sugar.
Blueberry-Banana Overnight Oats
Blueberries, sweet banana and creamy coconut milk combine to turn everyday oatmeal into the best vegan overnight oats! Make up to 4 jars at once to keep in the fridge for quick grab-and-go breakfasts throughout the week.
Greek Muffin-Tin Omelets with Feta & Peppers
These Greek-inspired baked mini omelets are the perfect breakfasts on the go. Mix the batter the night before, and they'll be ready to bake in the morning. Once they're baked, you can keep these tasty omelet muffins in your fridge or freezer for future meals. Double score!
Pumpkin Cheesecake Overnight Oats
With pumpkin, ricotta and a little maple, this easy overnight oats recipe tastes like dessert, but it's actually good for you! Plus, it's perfect for a quick, on-the-go healthy breakfast.
Muffin-Tin Omelets with Veggie Sausage & Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Let your muffin tin help you meal-prep a week's worth of protein-rich vegetarian muffin-tin eggs with roasted red peppers, veggie sausage and mozzarella cheese. Stash these in the fridge or freezer for those extra-busy mornings.
10 Packable Lunches Everyone Will Love
These fun lunches will be the talk of the cafeteria—or the break room. Pasta salad bowls, flavor-packed pinwheels and easy DIY bento-box lunches make perfect totable meals that will give you the midday boost you deserve. (Our Test Kitchen editors rounded up their favorite bento boxes, so you can easily pack your lunch.)
Rainbow Veggie Wraps
There's definitely a sushi vibe to these kid-friendly wraps, which are stuffed with vegetables, cheese and hummus and then rolled and sliced. Serve them with store-bought green goddess, a creamy herb-filled dressing, to take it up a notch with ease. They look impressive but they're easy enough for kids to assemble themselves for an easy lunch or dinner.
PB&J Bistro Lunch Box
Inspired by Starbucks' bistro boxes, this peanut butter and jelly lunch will be loved by kids and adults alike. Accompanied by sandwich sides including a yogurt parfait, fruit, veggies and popcorn, this healthy packable lunch will keep you full until dinner.
Chicken Caprese Pasta Salad Bowls
Pasta salad is a classic summer side dish, but adding protein (leftover grilled chicken is perfect here) and extra greens makes it a super-satisfying lunch. We use baby spinach, but arugula or baby kale works too. Top with a bright and tangy basil vinaigrette just before serving. The great news is that these easy meal-prep lunches take just 20 minutes to prepare--that's 4 days of lunches in less than 30 minutes.
Picnic Bento Lunch
Get all the flavors of al fresco dining wherever you are. This easy and healthy packable lunch idea includes all your picnic favorites for a satisfying meal to take to work.
Deconstructed Sushi Bento Lunch
This healthy bento box idea makes it easy, healthy and affordable to have sushi for lunch as often as you'd like! Skip the rolling and place sushi ingredients like rice, shrimp and avocado in a bento for a packable lunch for work.
Southwest Black-Bean Pasta Salad Bowls
Meal-prep a week's worth of delicious and satisfying high-fiber lunches with just 5 simple ingredients and 20 minutes. In this Southwestern-style pasta salad, we're using pasta made with black beans to bump up the fiber to an impressive 14 grams per serving. Paired with seasoned chicken strips and a flavorful corn salad--shortcut ingredients you can often find at your local specialty grocery store--this meal-prep lunch is one you'll get excited for.
Breakfast-for-Lunch Bento for Kids
This bento box idea is full of your kid's breakfast favorites, even waffles. This lunch is packed with healthy foods you will feel good about serving and kids will actually be excited to eat--no more half-eaten lunches!
Pizza Roll-Up Bento Lunch
This easy pizza-inspired roll-up is a kid-pleaser. Make crunchy vegetables more appealing by selecting colorful varieties like orange and purple cauliflower--and don't forget the dip! Keep 'em smiling with watermelon cut into fun shapes with cookie cutters.
Turkey & Cheese Pinwheels Bento Lunch
Bite-size pinwheels of turkey, cheese and lettuce make an appealing centerpiece of this bento box. Crisp celery sticks and juicy blueberries are tasty accompaniment, while popcorn, mixed with chocolate chips, makes a satisfying snack or dessert. Plus, this healthy lunch is so easy to pack and can even be made the night before.
Rainbow Bento Lunch for Kids
This bento box idea makes lunch fun. With its colorful carrots and swirled yogurt, this packable lunch is a healthy meal kids will actually want to eat--no more half-eaten lunches.
10 Healthy After-School Snacks You Can Make Ahead
After a long day at work or school, treat everyone to these simple snacks you can make over the weekend. Granola bars, chocolate chip cookies and refreshing popsicles are all on the menu, so get ready to take your pick. (Or, check out these big-batch snacks that help this mom get through the week.)
Apricot-Sunflower Granola Bars
Easy to make at home, these nut-free granola bars can be adjusted to your taste preferences. Simply vary the add-ins to your taste, swapping 2 cups of any combination of small (or chopped) dried fruit, seeds and/or chocolate chips for the apricots and seeds in this version. We tested several sticky sweeteners, including maple syrup and honey, but found brown rice syrup held the bars together the best.
Strawberry-Oat Streusel Bars
The dough in this easy dessert recipe does double duty--it creates a sturdy crust to hold all the gooey strawberry filling and also makes a crisp crumb topping. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream to take this to the next level.
Iced Lemon Cookie Energy Balls
Next time you have a Girl Scout Cookie craving, try these healthier no-bake cookies instead. Their bright and lemony flavor is balanced by sweetness from Medjool dates, and they're held together with millet and almond meal. Keeping the dough chilled and dusting your hands with confectioners' sugar will keep them from sticking to your hands while you shape them.
Fresh-Squeezed Pink Lemonade Ice Pops
These pink lemonade popsicles will keep you cool all summer long.
Whip up a batch of these diabetic-friendly Banana-Oat Muffins for a quick and easy snack or add them to complete a balanced breakfast. These muffins can be eaten over several days or frozen and enjoyed for up to a month.
Cooking chickpeas from scratch is the best way to make your own hummus, but it can take hours to soak and cook them yourself. Enter the pressure cooker. Even without an overnight soak, your beans can be done in less than an hour, making this the ultimate last-minute appetizer option.
Nutritional yeast mimics the flavor of cheese, lending a pizza-like flavor to these playful spiced pistachios.
Hummus-Covered Pretzel Rod
Hummus adds a flavorful protein punch to a pretzel rod for a fun, healthy after-school snack that the kids can even help with.
Cinnamon Streusel Fresh Apple Bars
These sweet, cinnamon-flavored apple bars are the perfect accompaniment for your afternoon cup of coffee or tea.
Peanut Butter Energy Balls
These healthy peanut butter and chocolate energy balls deliver a mixture of simple and complex carbohydrates to help fuel you up whenever you need a little boost. They're no-bake and easy to make with ingredients you probably have on hand, like oats and nut butter. Feel free to experiment with different mix-ins--for example, dried fruit or chopped nuts--in place of the chocolate chips and coconut.