It’s the strangest back-to-school season of our lives, and no matter where your child’s desk is actually located this fall: they have to eat. Every day. What even is school lunch in fall 2020? We’ve compiled stories, commiserations, and hopeful tips from a diverse crew of parents to help us all feel a little less alone in breathing deep, eating well, and unmuting that ever-elusive Zoom button.

My 3 Rules of School Lunch Were Born Out of Desperation — But Now They’re So Much More
Back to School 2020
"Out of necessity (and a touch of desperation), I pivoted to viewing lunch as more assignment than elective, a utilitarian assemblage of calories to power us towards the end of each day."
A Practical Guide for Teaching Your Kids How to Make Lunch at Any Age
Back to School 2020
Getting kids to prep or pack their own lunch is a game-changer. Here’s how to make it work for your family, no matter how old your kids are.
A Practical Guide for Teaching Your Kids How to Make Lunch at Any Age
Back to School 2020
Getting kids to prep or pack their own lunch is a game-changer. Here’s how to make it work for your family, no matter how old your kids are.
Lunch Ladies on the 12 Things Cafeteria Workers Want You to Know About School Lunch This Year
Back to School 2020
“The love and dedication of your lunch ladies will not waver.”
I Asked 14 Parents What School Lunch Looks Like for Them During This Weird Fall
Back to School 2020
The reality is that everything is pretty terrible right now, so the last thing you need to feel bad about is how or what you're feeding your kids for lunch.
My Daughter Desperately Misses Her School Friends. A Virtual Lunch Period Changed Everything.
Back to School 2020
One day, as we drove past her school on the way to the post office, my daughter burst into tears. When I asked her if she was crying because she missed her friends, all she could do was let out a wailing “YEAH!”.
A Practical Guide for Teaching Your Kids How to Make Lunch at Any Age
Back to School 2020
Getting kids to prep or pack their own lunch is a game-changer. Here’s how to make it work for your family, no matter how old your kids are.
How Unschooling Unlocked a Whole New World of Lunch
Back to School
Unschooling rose to the surface in a murky sea of options like the triangle in a Magic 8-Ball and said: Signs point to yes.
My Daughter’s Quaker Classroom Is Outdoors. What Do You Feed a Kid in Mittens?
Back to School 2020
While my daughter is delighted at the prospect of going back to in-person school, I am apprehensive.
Quarantine Flipped Our Family’s Priorities, and Now Lunch Is Our Biggest Meal
Back to School 2020
My daughter was staring at the computer screen for hours, and my husband was on conference calls from something like 7am until the end of the workday. Something needed to change.
Lunch Ladies on the 12 Things Cafeteria Workers Want You to Know About School Lunch This Year
Back to School 2020
“The love and dedication of your lunch ladies will not waver.”
This School Year Simply Doesn’t Work Without Meal Planning. Here Are My Favorite Easy Meals.
Back to School 2020
Maybe Sandra Lee, who I scoffed at for years, was onto something?
The Top 12 Grocery Heroes of School Lunch 2020, According to a Nutritionist
Back to School 2020
From honey-kissed pistachios to a smart frozen breakfast, here are the easy foods a dietician mom swears by for this school year.

Our Best Resources for Feeding Your Family Right Now

The Ultimate Make-Once, Eat-All-Week LunchRecipes
This 15-minute bean and veggie salad can easily transform into a new lunch every day.
Our Absolute Best Lunch Box Recipes, All in One PlaceRecipes
You could pack 180 different lunches from this list alone.
5 Weeks of Family-Friendly Meal Plans — Because Dinner Is Still a ThingRecipes
Back-to-school time is unpredictable. Dinner doesn't have to be.
French Bread Pizza Lunch Is Always a Good IdeaRecipes
Pizza night, any night.
Our Most Brilliant Tips for Packing Better LunchesSkills
We'll help you stay organized, save time, and keep lunches delicious — and safe.
You Can Assemble and Freeze Sandwiches in Advance (and Yes, It's a Game-Changer)Skills
Because sandwiches are the ultimate make-ahead meal.
The Best Grocery Store Buys for No-Guilt Lunch Box ShortcutsGroceries
First, let’s agree that anything that makes feeding our kids easier, faster, or smarter should automatically get a pass on guilty feelings. Lunch box shortcuts help us make the make the most of lunch packing so that we can be less stressed and actually spend more time with our kids.
A No-Cook Veggie and Dip Board Is the Lazy Lunch We All Need
Family Snack Board
The perfect heat wave dinner!
3 Super-Fun Lunch Ideas Kids Can Build ThemselvesSkills
Welcome to Snapshot Cooking, the home of Kitchn’s easiest recipes. These mini recipes are so simple you can practically cook from the before-and-after snapshot itself.My kids are more likely to eat their packed lunches if there’s some sort of DIY component involved — and frankly I am too. It’s much more fun to get to assemble a pepperoni pizza or a shredded chicken taco than open up a lunch box to find a sad and soggy sandwich.
Wisdom for Making a Lunch Your Kids Will Actually EatPeople
Snacking has taken over the way we eat and, given our propensity for unrelenting schedules and processed foods, this is a mostly bad thing. But I found one way that snacking can serve the greater good. And by greater good, I mean us parents who have the tedious job of packing (literally) hundreds of school lunches year after school year. I’m not a huge snacker myself.
Expert Advice for Becoming a Make-Ahead Lunch ProSkills
Smart tips on what to make, how to pack, and how to make meal prep a part of your weekly routine.
The Lunchables Generation Grows Up
Back to School 2020
Every generation has food products that touch that tender part of themselves. You bring up Handi-Snacks with older Gen X people and they will stop everything and tell you how those Ur-Lunchables got through them a lot.
Sep 20, 2020
This School Year Simply Doesn’t Work Without Meal Planning. Here Are My Favorite Easy Meals.
Back to School 2020
Maybe Sandra Lee, who I scoffed at for years, was onto something?
Sep 20, 2020
A Practical Guide for Teaching Your Kids How to Make Lunch at Any Age
Back to School 2020
Getting kids to prep or pack their own lunch is a game-changer. Here’s how to make it work for your family, no matter how old your kids are.
Sep 17, 2020
Quarantine Flipped Our Family’s Priorities, and Now Lunch Is Our Biggest Meal
Back to School 2020
My daughter was staring at the computer screen for hours, and my husband was on conference calls from something like 7am until the end of the workday. Something needed to change.
Sep 19, 2020
The Top 12 Grocery Heroes of School Lunch 2020, According to a Nutritionist
Back to School 2020
From honey-kissed pistachios to a smart frozen breakfast, here are the easy foods a dietician mom swears by for this school year.
Sep 19, 2020
How Unschooling Unlocked a Whole New World of Lunch
Back to School
Unschooling rose to the surface in a murky sea of options like the triangle in a Magic 8-Ball and said: Signs point to yes.
Sep 18, 2020
My Daughter’s Quaker Classroom Is Outdoors. What Do You Feed a Kid in Mittens?
Back to School 2020
While my daughter is delighted at the prospect of going back to in-person school, I am apprehensive.
Sep 18, 2020
Lunch Ladies on the 12 Things Cafeteria Workers Want You to Know About School Lunch This Year
Back to School 2020
“The love and dedication of your lunch ladies will not waver.”
Sep 18, 2020
My Daughter Desperately Misses Her School Friends. A Virtual Lunch Period Changed Everything.
Back to School 2020
One day, as we drove past her school on the way to the post office, my daughter burst into tears. When I asked her if she was crying because she missed her friends, all she could do was let out a wailing “YEAH!”.
Sep 17, 2020
My 3 Rules of School Lunch Were Born Out of Desperation — But Now They’re So Much More
Back to School 2020
"Out of necessity (and a touch of desperation), I pivoted to viewing lunch as more assignment than elective, a utilitarian assemblage of calories to power us towards the end of each day."
Sep 17, 2020
I Asked 14 Parents What School Lunch Looks Like for Them During This Weird Fall
Back to School 2020
The reality is that everything is pretty terrible right now, so the last thing you need to feel bad about is how or what you're feeding your kids for lunch.
Sep 17, 2020