We’ve got back-to-school pantry essentials designed to make lunchtime score an A+ with your hungry student. We’ve got something for just about every taste and palate, from satisfying mains, snacks, and treats to more whimsical add-ins.
Essential school lunch mains
Go beyond the sandwich with these school lunch mains that you can dress up with dips and dressings to help give your scholar-in-training the best at lunchtime.
1. Deli meats
We’ve got a variety of deli meats to fill wraps, burritos, sandwiches, and subs, and to slice into salads or frittatas, from homestyle ham slices found in our Deli & Cheese Dept. to our Compliments Extra Lean Thinly Sliced Smoked Black Forest Ham and Compliments Extra-Lean Thinly Sliced Turkey Breast.
2. Compliments Naan Dippers
These fun-to-eat mini naan breads are just the thing for little hands. Use them to dip into hummus or your child’s favourite dip, slice them and stack them with preferred sandwich fixings, make mini pizzas out of them, or try them as mini grilled cheeses that you make on a panini press (because they’re mini, you can make several at a time!).
3. Compliments Fully Cooked Breaded Chicken Nuggets
Our breaded chicken nuggets are made for more than just dipping! Cook by following package directions and then try them as sandwiches by slicing each nugget in half and having your kiddo assemble them at school with some crisp romaine lettuce and their favourite creamy dressing (Caesar, ranch, or dill, for example).
4. New York–style bagels
Get creative with any one of our eight New York–style slow-ferment bagel flavours, including plain, sesame, and everything bagel. Who needs just cream cheese when we’ve got five fab sandwich-bagel ideas, from sweet to savoury, that are lunchtime perfect or just as good to sate those after-school snack attacks!
Snacks that satisfy
No lunchbox is complete without a tasty snack to shore up the energy until the next break. Here are some staples and fun ideas to recharge those batteries.
5. Compliments Naturally Simple Traditional Hummus
Hummus can be so much more than a dip (but we agree, it’s great with any crunchy veggie stick). Try it as a flavourful spread in your kid’s favourite sandwich, turn any vinaigrette into a creamy sensation for salads and rice noodles, or mix with yogurt and swirl into soup.
6. Compliments Medium Cheddar Cheese Slices
Cheese and crackers are an easy go-to for when kids feel like a virtuous snack. Pre-sliced cheddar makes layering into a sub or sandwich a breeze. Or take the snack offering up a notch and make grilled cheese soldiers that you can tuck into a thermal container for when hunger strikes at school or at home after the bell rings.
7. Compliments Plain 0% Greek Yogurt
Turn a tub of plain Greek yogurt into a flavour booster at lunchtime that includes sweet treats and savoury dips. Assemble layered fruit parfaits in mere minutes, and you control how much sugar goes into the mix! Or whip up a quick dip with pantry staples like garlic powder and black pepper to make those carrot sticks really sing.
8. Fall Apples
Few fruits say fall like a crisp bright-red or -green Canadian apple! There’s no better way to take a big, juicy bite out of apple season than with these awesome snack hacks, including apple nachos using apple wedges brushed with an apple jelly and topped with your kid’s favourite cheese (think cheddar or Emmental), and quick-fried “fritters” made using pancake batter!
9. Compliments Dipped Granola Bars
Granola bars are most kids’ go-to sweet treat. Made with whole-grain rolled oats, crisp rice, and chocolate chips in a peanut-free facility, our value-size box has snacks and lunchtime treats aced! Choose between chocolate chips and, for chocolate lovers, our chocolate-dipped granola bars.
10. Compliments Garden Salad
Rethink the veggie portion of your child’s lunch with a deconstructed taco salad! Pack tortilla chips separately from a good handful of premixed garden salad, cherry tomatoes, shredded cheese, and canned black beans. In a small sealable container, pack their favourite ranch dressing. If you want to add extra protein, precooked chicken or fried chorizo works well. Pack a fork and have them mix and dip their way to a happy tummy!
Fun lunch and after-school add-ons
11. Compliments Original Waffles
Waffles make the perfect after-school snack. They can be enjoyed savoury if you swap out bread for the waffles and layer in your kiddo’s favourite cheese and ham for a quick crispy grilled cheese sandwich; toast and serve with a fried egg on top, or try a sweet version with warm spiced apples!
12. Compliments Plant-Based Caesar Dressing
Sometimes, you just want a toothsome salad that transports well. Enter the Crisper Chopped Salad to the rescue, with any veg you’ve got in your crisper that needs using up (cherry tomatoes, radishes, broccoli florets, fennel…). You can make the tahini dressing this calls for, if you like, or dress with our plant-based Caesar dressing for a salad any veg-loving kid will dig!
13. Crescent rolls
Crescent rolls are versatile chameleons. Case in point, this quick and easy lunchbox favourite, using crescent roll dough, tomato sauce, some cheese and, if you like, pepperoni or your kid’s favourite salami. Wrap and bake up a fuss-free fancy bite in minutes!
14. Compliments Hot Dog Buns
Turn any leftover hot dog buns from last night’s dinner into a tasty and easy cheesy egg strata that your kid will love. Just heat the next day and pack in a thermal container or serve at room temperature if you prefer. The day-old buns get transformed in this recipe, making good use of what you’ve got in new and delicious ways!
15. Compliments Plant-Based Chickenless Breaded Strips
Going for a Meatless Monday lunch or have a vegetarian or vegan child? Take your lunchtime offerings up a notch with our plant-based chickenless breaded strips that you can use in salads, sandwiches, or pasta dishes.