Now that we’re in the final months of the school year, you’re likely getting a wee bit sick of packing those lunches (and the kids have pretty much sworn off PB&Js at this point). Trader Joe’s to the rescue! We scoured the aisles for some lunch alternatives to get your kids some protein and make lunch packing easy for you. No sandwiches made the list but we know the kids are going to be thrilled with all these new options. Next step: getting them to pack their lunches themselves!

Sandwich Alternatives from Trader Joe’s

Mediterranean Style Hummus Snack Pack

These little packs are a great option as they come pre-portioned with pita chips and have 9g of protein per container. Each pack contains two chip/dip pairs.

Chomps Meat Sticks

Found in beef, jalapeno beef, and turkey varieties, we like these as a lunch option because they don’t need to be refrigerated. Cut them up for smaller kids or leave them whole for the pre-teens.


Yogurt Smoothies
trader joe's school lunches

If you have a kid who complains that lunch isn’t long enough to eat what you’ve packed, then go for one of these drinkable smoothies.

Ciliegine Mozzarella Balls

trader joe's school lunches

Pop a few of these teeny tiny mozzarella balls into a tupperware for an on-the-go snack or addition to your kid’s lunchbox.

Fresh Hard-Cooked Peeled Eggs

Don’t sleep on these as an easy lunch option. There’s no cooking or peeling needed and they’re soft enough to send with even the little ones.

ABC Bars

As long as you don’t have any nut allergies in your classroom, we love to bring these Almond Butter Cocoa Bars to school for a recess option that comes in at 4g protein.

Volpi Snacks Roltini

Kids who like salty things will enjoy having these prosciutto-wrapped cheese sticks in their lunch. Add some crackers and that can get them through the afternoon with no problem.

Organic Mini Cheese Sandwich Crackers

We love these minis for a Bento box alternative. They also come in a peanut butter flavor but we like the cheese option for school lunches.

Indian Flatbread

Sometimes all you need to get yourself out of a lunch rut is a different type of bread. We like the plain version of this flatbread smeared with sunbutter or jam. They stay nice and soft until lunchtime.

This Fruit Walks Into a Bar

These fruit bars come in apple, blueberry, and other flavors and are easy to pop into a lunchbox for a sandwich swap or an after-school snack.


trader joe's school lunches

We love the unique flavor of these crisps and the fact that they have 5g of protein per serving.

Fruit Alternatives from Trader Joe’s

Apple Chip Duo

You just might be able to get away with ditching the Doritos if you add these “chip” options to their lunchbox. They are crunchy and the right balance of tart and sweet. Plus you won’t have anyone complaining about them turning brown during the day.

Bamba Puffed Peanut and Corn Snacks

trader joe's school lunches

We can never have too many chip alternatives.

Inner Peas

Another crunchy chip alternative, Inner Peas are a salty, baked green bean snack that are addictively delicious when served with hummus.

Organic Banana Chips

If you’ve ever tried to pack a banana in a lunch, you know it’s pretty much guaranteed to come out brown and mushy. These crunchy chips are a good option. We also love to bring them in our backpacks for a hike.

Soft & Juicy Mandarins

These can be hard to find sometimes but we’ve spotted them recently at TJs and that will make for some happy kids. They are super sweet and no peeling necessary.

Fruit Sauce Crushers

These organic beauties come in several flavors and are super easy for kids to open. You don’t need to include a spoon. They’ll just gobble them up!

Fruit Bars

We have yet to meet a kid who doesn’t like these chewy bars. The apple and mango flavor is particularly delicious.

New Zealand Sweet Apple Rings

These sweet treats have the texture of fruit leather and stand up well to the bumpy ride that lunchbox fruit must endure.

Freeze-Dried Fruit

These can get a little messy when not properly contained (hello, purple fingers) but we love the crunch and kids do too.

Fruit Wrap

These are an even-more-delicious version of the fruit leather of our childhood. Embrace them.

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