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Easy Gluten-Free Back to School Lunch Ideas

Lunchbox with fruit, bread, and chips
Easy Gluten-Free Back to School Lunch Ideas

Although getting the kids out of the house and into school in theory should free up time for parents, we all know back-to-school can be hectic. Between dropping off and picking up the kids, managing due dates, organizing afterschool activities, and getting homework done, it can seem like there’s little time left to pack a lunchbox for the next day.

This blog rounds up dietitians’ favorite easy gluten-free back to school lunch ideas. These recipes are quick and healthy lunchbox meals that will keep your child from getting bored of the same old lunch. Several can be made ahead of time so you can just pop them in the lunchbox in the morning.

In addition to recipes, you'll also find quick last minute healthy meals you can throw together five minutes before leaving the house in the morning.


Freeze your child’s drink and use that as an ice pack to keep lunch cold without the extra bulk of an actual ice pack!

Easy Gluten-Free Back to School Lunch Ideas to Make Ahead for the Week

These recipes take time to make a batch, but are ready to go all week:

Nicole Addison, RD, MHSc (Nourished by Nic)

Summer Yule, MS, RDN

These chocolate peanut butter muffins are a fun addition to the lunchbox and also happen to be gluten-free.

Lisa Andrews, Med, RD, LD, Owner Sound Bites Nutrition

Tansy Boggon, Nutritionist (ANutr) and Author of Joyful Eating

A nut-free, egg-free, gluten-free option for those with allergies.

Melissa Altman-Traub, MS, RDN, LDN

Energy Bite with Fruit & Whole Grain Crackers

Colleen Wysocki Woods, MS, RDN, CLC

Pumpkin Muffins with Apple Slices & Pistachios

Colleen Wysocki Woods, MS, RDN, CLC

Gluten-Free School Lunch Ideas to Make the Night Before

These recipes can be made the night before in 25 minutes or less and are best consumed within 24 hours.

Kristi Ruth, RD, LDN of Carrots & Cookies

Chef Vahista Ussery, MS, MBA, RDN of To Taste

Melissa Altman-Traub, MS, RDN, LDN

Colleen Wysocki Woods, MS, RDN, CLC

Overnight Oats with Chia Seeds (various recipes online)

gluten-free overnight oats for lunch
Pack jarred overnight oats with an ice pack for a balanced, gluten-free lunch.

Easy Gluten-Free Lunches You Can Make in the Morning

If you’re in a pinch and need something for your child’s lunch, these are quick lunchbox ideas you can throw together in less than five minutes. Because they offer nutrients from multiple food groups, they’re all dietitian-approved!

  • Chips & Salsa with Cheese Stick or Avocado Slices

  • Nut Butter & Banana Roll-Ups with Whole Wheat Bread or Tortilla

  • Nut Butter Sandwich with Whole Wheat Bread & Fruit

Easy Gluten-free back to school lunch ideas
Nut Butter, Fruit and Whole Grain Bead make a nutritious lunch!

Dietitian-Approved Gluten-Free Store-Bought Lunch Ideas

  • Veggie Sticks with Hummus & Cashews

  • Apple & Larabar

  • Yogurt Parfait in a jar with berries and granola

Easy gluten-free back to school lunch ideas
Hummus with Fruit or Veggies is a nutritious lunch idea!

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