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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

Compliments extra-lean turkey slices in a clear plastic container with a purple Compliments sticker and an image of an open-face turkey sandwich.

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.

More deli meat ideas

2. Compliments Naan Dippers

A Compliments Naan Dippers package with an orange label depicting the mini naan breads getting dipped into a spread.

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!).

More naan ideas

3. Compliments Fully Cooked Breaded Chicken Nuggets

An orange cardboard box of Compliments Fully Cooked Breaded Chicken Nuggets, featuring cooked chicken nuggets in a basket next to a dipping sauce.

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).

More nugget lunch ideas

4. New York–style bagels

Various New York–style bagels on a wire rack over a white countertop.

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!

Bagel sandwich inspiration

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

A plastic container of Compliments Naturally Simple Traditional Hummus with a yellow and orange sticker on the front.

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.

Get soup-and-sandwich combo ideas

6. Compliments Medium Cheddar Cheese Slices

A package shot of Compliments Medium Cheddar Cheese Slices with a green label and an illustration of a cow and a farmer.

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.

Get grilled cheese recipes

7. Compliments Plain 0% Greek Yogurt

A white tub of Compliments Plain 0% Greek Yogurt with an illustration of a Greek village and whitewashed houses by the sea.

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.

Get more ideas

8. Fall Apples

 Fresh red apples in a bunch.

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!

More fresh ways to use fall fruit

9. Compliments Dipped Granola Bars

A green box of Compliments Dipped Chocolate Chip Granola Bars with two bars emerging from a splash of chocolate.

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

A clear plastic bag of Compliments Garden Salad Mix with a green label.

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!

Get recipe

Fun lunch and after-school add-ons

11. Compliments Original Waffles

A yellow cardboard Compliments Original Waffles box, depicting two toasted waffles dressed with maple syrup and butter on a white plate.

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!

Get recipe

12. Compliments Plant-Based Caesar Dressing

A bottle of Compliments Plant-Based Caesar Dressing with a black label and a wedge of dressed lettuce on the side.

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!

Get recipe

13. Crescent rolls

 A blue tube of Pillsbury Original Crescent Roll dough with an image of a crescent roll on the front.

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!

Get ideas

14. Compliments Hot Dog Buns

A clear plastic Compliments Hot Dog Buns bag with a blue label showing a fully dressed hot dog on a red-and-white napkin.

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!

Get recipe

15. Compliments Plant-Based Chickenless Breaded Strips

A grey cardboard box of Compliments Plant-Based Chickenless Breaded Strips, with some strips cooked and presented on the front of the box with sliced fresh cucumber on the side.

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.

Get recipe

For more fresh fall inspiration

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