20 Yummy Cold Lunch Ideas For High Schoolers

As high school students navigate their busy days filled with classes, extracurricular activities, and homework, finding a quick and convenient lunch option can often be a challenge. Cold lunches are a great solution for busy high schoolers on the go, providing a satisfying and nutritious meal without the need for reheating. 

Whether you’re looking for a protein-packed salad, a hearty sandwich, or a flavorful wrap, there are plenty of delicious and easy-to-prepare cold lunch ideas that will keep you fueled and focused throughout the day. In this article, we’ll explore some of the best cold lunch ideas for high schoolers that are both delicious and practical, perfect for busy students who want to maintain a healthy and balanced diet while juggling their academic and extracurricular commitments.

Benefits of cold lunch options

There are many benefits to opting for cold lunch options as a high school student. Here are some of the key advantages:

  • Convenience: Cold lunches can be a great option for high schoolers who are always on the go. They are easy to prepare and can be packed ahead of time, making them a convenient option for busy mornings. Additionally, cold lunches do not require any heating, so they can be enjoyed anywhere, at any time.
  • Variety: With cold lunch options, high schoolers can get creative with their meal planning, experimenting with different combinations of ingredients to keep their lunches interesting and flavorful. They can try new recipes, mix and match different flavors, and incorporate a variety of nutritious foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy grains.
  • Nutrition: Cold lunches can be packed with a variety of nutritious ingredients that can help keep high schoolers fueled throughout the day. By including a balance of protein, fiber, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates in their meals, high schoolers can feel fuller for longer and avoid energy crashes. Cold lunches can also be customized to meet different dietary preferences and restrictions, making them a great option for students with specific dietary needs.
  • Cost-effective: Bringing a cold lunch from home can be a cost-effective option for high schoolers who want to save money. By avoiding buying lunch at school or eating out, students can save money on daily lunch expenses, and the cost of groceries for preparing a week’s worth of lunches can often be significantly less than buying lunch every day.
  • Environmental impact: By packing a cold lunch in reusable containers, high schoolers can reduce their environmental impact and help minimize the amount of waste generated from single-use packaging and food containers. This can help reduce the overall amount of waste produced, promoting sustainability and eco-friendliness.

Some Cold lunch ideas to try

We’ve compiled a list of 20 delicious cold lunch ideas for high schoolers that are both nutritious and easy to prepare. Whether you’re in the mood for a salad, sandwich, or wrap, we’ve got you covered with a variety of options that are sure to satisfy your taste buds and keep you energized for all your high school activities.

  1. Turkey and cheese roll-up: Roll up turkey and cheese slices in a whole wheat tortilla for a protein-packed lunch. Add some baby carrots or cherry tomatoes on the side.
  2. Hummus and vegetable pita: Spread hummus inside a whole wheat pita and add sliced cucumbers, bell peppers, and lettuce.
  3. Chicken salad sandwich: Mix chopped cooked chicken, celery, and mayo for a simple chicken salad. Serve on whole grain bread with lettuce or spinach.
  4. Greek salad with pita: Toss together diced cucumber, cherry tomatoes, Kalamata olives, and feta cheese. Serve with a whole wheat pita on the side.
  5. Peanut butter and banana wrap: Spread peanut butter on a whole wheat tortilla, add sliced bananas, and roll it up.
  6. Pasta salad: Toss cooked pasta with chopped vegetables, such as tomatoes, cucumbers, and bell peppers. Add in some diced cheese and a simple vinaigrette dressing.
  7. Quinoa salad: Cook quinoa and mix it with chopped vegetables, such as cucumbers, bell peppers, and carrots. Add in some feta cheese and a simple vinaigrette dressing.
  8. Turkey and cheese sandwich: Use whole-grain bread to make a turkey and cheese sandwich. Add lettuce, tomato, and mustard or mayo.
  9. Hard-boiled eggs and fruit: Pack a few hard-boiled eggs and some fresh fruit, such as grapes, berries, or apple slices.
  10. Tuna salad with crackers: Mix canned tuna with celery, onion, and mayo for a simple tuna salad. Pack it in a container with some whole-grain crackers on the side.
  11. Veggie wrap: Spread cream cheese or hummus on a whole wheat wrap and fill it with shredded carrots, sliced bell peppers, lettuce, and avocado.
  12. Bagel and cream cheese: Toast a whole-grain bagel and spread cream cheese on top. Add some sliced tomato, cucumber, or smoked salmon.
  13. Black bean and corn salad: Mix canned black beans, canned corn, diced tomatoes, and diced red onion. Toss with a simple lime vinaigrette and pack in a container.
  14. Chicken Caesar salad: Top a bed of romaine lettuce with grilled chicken, croutons, and Parmesan cheese. Pack Caesar dressing on the side.
  15. Egg salad sandwich: Mix chopped hard-boiled eggs, mayo, and mustard. Serve on whole grain bread with lettuce or spinach.
  16. Pita and hummus: Pack whole wheat pita and hummus with sliced vegetables, such as cucumbers and bell peppers.
  17. Turkey and cheese wrap: Wrap turkey and cheese slices with lettuce or spinach in a whole wheat tortilla.
  18. Veggie and cheese skewers: Thread cherry tomatoes, cucumber slices, cheese cubes, and olives onto skewers.
  19. Roast beef and cheddar sandwich: Use whole grain bread to make a roast beef and cheddar sandwich. Add lettuce, tomato, and horseradish or mustard.
  20. Apple and peanut butter sandwiches: Cut an apple into thick slices and spread peanut butter on one side. Place another slice on top to make a sandwich.


In conclusion, cold lunches can be a great option for high schoolers who are looking for a convenient, cost-effective, and nutritious way to stay fueled throughout the day. By packing a variety of nutritious ingredients and experimenting with different flavors and combinations, high schoolers can enjoy a delicious and satisfying meal that doesn’t require any heating or extra prep time.

Whether you’re a busy student who needs a quick and easy option or you’re simply looking for some new lunch ideas, cold lunches can be a great way to mix things up and keep your lunch routine interesting. So, try out some of these cold lunch ideas for high schoolers and discover new ways to stay energized and focused all day long! To make the lunch even more interesting, add a dunny lunch box joke or note with the meal!

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