Aldi Products That Were Practically Made For School Lunches

If you can hear the "Jaws" music of mornings filled with "Saved by the Bell" marathons, cold coffee, and rushing your kid out the door coming closer and closer, you know there are some things you must do to prepare for the school year. First, you must ensure you've got the school supplies covered. Second, and most importantly, you need to get your fridge and school lunch packing ready. And we're here to tell you one of the best places to get delicious, good-for-them, and easy-for-you school lunch eats is Aldi.

Yes, the art of the Aldi's find is alive and well not only during the holidays but for the school season. Of course, the beloved grocer has the usual lunchbox suspects, but there are also some not-so-secret and unsuspecting products on Aldi's shelves that, even though not marketed as back-to-school finds on the brand's website, may just be the pièce de résistance your kiddo's lunch box needs. Today, we're going to save you the trouble of stumbling through the halls of this beloved retailer by rounding up the Aldi finds you need to pack unbelievable lunches this school year. We assessed these findings based on fan opinion and health benefits and discussed their price points (which vary by state and are accurate as of August 2023). Mozzarella sticks, apple juice, hummus, and mini bagels fuel your kid's brain year-round with these must-have lunchbox treats.

1. Park Street Chicken Salad Singles

If your kid is sick of chicken nuggets (dino-shaped or not), Aldi's Park Street Chicken Salad Singles is here to save the poultry-based lunch entrée day. This lunchbox must-have comes with four individual cups of either original chicken salad, which features celery bites and a sweet-savory sauce, or a cranberry version, which leans on the sweeter side and contains cranberries and almonds.

Aside from being delicious and ready for the throwing-something-in-your-kids'-lunch-box-morning-of-Olympics (hey, we've all been there), these little cups are also a healthy lunch mainstay. Clocking in at 260 calories a pop, Aldi's chicken salads are packed with 7 grams of protein and made with premium, USFA-approved white chicken. Perhaps the best part about this ready-made lunch, however, is its versatility. Your kids can eat these salad cups as is or dip them with crackers or vegetables for an extra boost of fiber. At a reasonable price point of $4.95, we suggest putting the Park Street Chicken Salad Singles on your back-to-school shopping list.

2. Lunch Meats Grilled Chicken Strips

If chicken salad really isn't your kid's thing, but they can't get enough of Chick-fil-A's grilled chicken nuggets, here's another easy-as-pie chicken entrée idea for their lunchbox. Aldi's ready-made Lunch Meats Grilled Chicken Strips are basically the poultry equivalent of sliced lunch meat. Coming in two varieties — original and spicy southwest (which also features some grilled rib meat) — these chicken strips are only 100 calories per ½ container serving. They are pre-cooked and ready for lunch box munchin'.

Like the chicken salad cups, these chicken strips aren't one-trick poultry. They can be utilized to make several different main courses. You can throw them on a salad, roll them into a chicken wrap, or make them the base for a chicken sandwich. Costing $4.75 for two servings, the Lunch Meats Grilled Chicken Strips is on the pricier side of Aldi's lunchbox eats spectrum. However, given that it comes with no prep required and is 97% fat-free, we think it's well worth the price.

3. Park Street Deli Protein Snack Selects Assorted Varieties

So you've packed your kid's lunch box. You've got the dairy, fiber, and fruit covered, but you're looking to add a little more protein to their meal to push them through those last hours of school. Park Street Deli Protein Snack Selects will do the trick.

These small but mighty lunch box sides have it all — meat, cheese, and around 10 grams of protein, all for 140 to 180 calories. And with three different flavors priced at $3.55 per 3-pack (Colby jack cheese and turkey bites, sharp cheddar cheese and honey brown sugar turkey bites, and mild cheddar and sausage beef bites), there's a tasty combination for every young scholar.

Park Street's protein packs are individually packaged, so not only are they a no-brainer lunchbox add-in, but if your kids get hungry for a snack before they make it to the cafeteria, these snack packs are easily grabable.

4. Simply Nature Fruit Squeezies

What is a lunchbox without apple juice? We're here to ensure your kiddo will never know the answer to this heart-wrenching question. Simply Nature Variety Pack Applesauce Squeezies are like apple juice boxes but upgraded. These squeezable treats come in a box of 12 with three different flavors, apple, apple banana, and apple strawberry, and essentially taste like apple juice. And there's nothing artificial about these drinkable bad boys.

Simply Nature's squeezies are made with 100% real fruit and have no preservatives, high fructose corn syrup, GMOs, or artificial flavors. And they're also dairy and nut-free, making them an allergy-friendly drink option. At 50 calories for the full-blooded apple flavor, 60 calories for apple strawberry, and 70 calories for apple banana strawberry, you'll be getting all 12 squeezies for $6.95. And while we recommend the variety pack, if your kiddo has a favorite flavor Aldi also sells each individual flavor in 12 packs of their own. Plus, when fall goes into full swing, you can get your kid in the spirit of the season by trying out Simply Nature's apple cinnamon flavor.

5. Friendly Farms Moo Tubes

The yogurt tube is another hallmark of childhood and an absolute lunchbox favorite. And Aldi's answer to the great suckable yogurt phenomenon is Friendly Farms Moo Tubes. Adorned with an adorable cow floating in space on the box, you can buy an 8-pack containing either a combination of strawberry and blueberry or cotton candy and melon berry flavored yogurts for  $1.75. For comparison, an eight-pack of Gogurt usually goes for $4.49.

A moo-velous deal? Yes. Because this stuff is just cheap, not cheap, and bad for you, which is usually the case with bargain products. Each tube is filled with low-fat yogurt refortified with Vitamin A and Vitamin D. These little dairy snacks also have 150 milligrams of calcium and 100 milligrams of potassium while coming in at 50 calories a serving. Individually packaged, at a good price, and good-for-you-fuel, Friendly Farms Moo Tubes are the perfect way to check off the dairy box in your kids' school lunch.

6. Benton's Mini Alphabet Cookies

There is nothing more fun than including school-themed treats in your kiddo's lunch. And Benton's, which also makes knockoff Girl Scout cookies and Oreos and is pretty much just Aldi's go-to for all things cookie-related, sells a sweet that will have your little one singing their ABCs. Benton's Mini Alphabet Cookies are alphabet-shaped short-bread cookies that are not only school-snack certified (seriously, it even says so on the packaging) but nut-allergy friendly. They are also high fructose corn syrup-free. Like the best lunchbox finds, these ABC, 123 desserts are sold in individual pouches, making them another no-assembly required school lunch essential.

And while they are available on Amazon, a pack of 12, 120 calorie servings will cost you $10.32 at the online retailer. Meanwhile, at Aldi, you'll pay less than half the price. Yep, at $3.09 for the same amount, it's safe to say you'll be stretching your dollar pretty far. If your kiddo enjoys Benton's alphabet cookies, you may also want to invest in the brand's mini individually chocolate chip cookies, animal-shaped birthday cookies, and iced oatmeal cookies to keep your kids' school lunch dessert rotation fresh, fun, and budget-friendly.

7. Happy Farms Cream Cheese Dip Snack Pack

The secret to packing a truly enjoyable lunch box is to fill it with classic school lunch fare and unexpected goodies. And Happy Farms Cream Cheese Dip Snack Pack is an Ali-exclusive treat that, although unconventional, just makes sense. We mean, a snack pack all about scooping bite-sized eats with cream cheese? Yes, please.

These snacks come in three different dippable flavors. Jalapeno cream cheese and pretzels, which comes in at 200 calories a serving; garden vegetable cream cheese and pretzels, which is 190 calories; and strawberry cream cheese and graham crackers, which clocks in at 210 calories. Each variety comes with no artificial flavors, preservatives, or trans fat. However, they are delicious. In fact, these little dips were the customer-voted Best New Cheese Snack in 2020. And at $1.75 per individually wrapped-up pack (always a relief to hear, we know), your kiddo will love discovering this smooth-meets-crunchy snack in their lunch box.

8. Park Street Hummus Mini Cups

Heart-healthy and full of fiber, you can't go wrong with hummus. And you also can't go wrong with Aldi's Park Street Hummus Mini Cups. These mini individually packaged cups will prevent you from having to endure trying to divide a large container of hummus into resealable bags for your kiddo's lunch and give your budding student some extra calcium and potassium.

Priced at $4.19 a pop, these individually packaged hummus cups come in 6 packs — if you were wondering, Sabaro's version of the same product costs $5.99. So, as with many of the Aldi Finds on this list, you are getting a deal here. There's a classic version for those who love that signature hummus taste and a red pepper flavor for any kiddos who like it hot. Bots clock in at 140 calories a serving. These little cups are perfect to pair with crackers or vegetables. If your kid can't get enough of these simple yet effective lunchbox sides, you may also want to look into Aldi's individually packed guacamole for more nonstop, easy lunchtime dipping action.

9. Baker's Treat Mini Muffins

Do you know the muffin man who lives on Aldi Lane? Let us introduce you if you aren't acquainted with the grocer's Mini Muffins. These tiny treats are under the Baker's Treat label, which is the same brand a former Hostess employee alleges desserts are produced by Hostess — a pretty likely claim, given that Aldi's bread is made by the same company that churns out Sara Lee. Now that your mouth is watering let's get into the facts.

One $2.19 pack of this Aldi product comes with eight packages of four mini muffins. There are three flavors available at the grocer: blueberry for 110 calories a serving, chocolate chip for 190, and confetti cake for 210. The blueberry and chocolate chip varieties are made with real chocolate chips and blueberries, and every version of these tiny treats comes without trans fat, high fructose corn syrup, or artificial flavors. This may be why many Aldi lovers have stated these desserts have a fresh taste despite being prepackaged. And also why the store almost had a revolt on its hands when it discontinued the banana variety. So, it's almost guaranteed that your kid will love having this grab-in-go dessert in their lunchbox.

10. Simply Nature Peanut Butter & Jelly Bites

Do we dare say the PB&J sandwich as we know it may soon be replaced? We do because Aldi's famed Simply Nature Peanut Butter & Jelly Bites are just that good. These are perhaps Aldi's most sacred and, admittedly, hard-to-get lunchbox snacks. And here are the reasons for not only why these PB&J bites are often out of stock but why they are worth the hassle of looking for.

First, Aldi's PB&J bites are a bit like a peanut butter cracker filled with jelly instead of PB. A lethal and tasty flavor duo, according to Aldi shoppers. Secondly, while these individually packaged, throw-it-in-the-lunch-box and forget-it treats are on the pricier side (they sell at $4.99 per six 110-calorie servings), they are certified non-GMO, gluten-free, and kosher. A twist on an old favorite, Simply Nature Peanut Butter & Jelly Bites are a fun treat your kiddo will look forward to finding in their lunch box each day — if you can beat out the other parents and find it on Aldi's snack shelf.

11. Savoritz Six Cracker Assortment

Crackers are the most crunchy vehicle for enjoying hummus, chicken salad, and just about everything else. But if you're wondering which crackers you should choose for your kid to undergo the great dip-and-munch process (Ritz's? Maybe Saltines?), with Aldi's Savoritz Six Cracker Assortment, you don't have to.

As this product's name suggests, the Savortiz assortment kit comes with 6 different types of round, square, and even octagon-shaped crackers. The flavors include sesame wheat, seeded multi-grain, rosemary, five-grain, poppy and pepper water, and cracked wheat. The first four clock in at 70 calories, and the last two at 60 per serving. While Savoritz doesn't explicitly state how many crackers come in each box, judging by the serving sizes, each package comes with 17 crackers. Costing $4.65 per pack, these crackers come in a conveniently resealable package, so you won't have to worry about your food going stale between lunches.

And aside from being a why-just-pick-one-solution to the great what should I pack lunch box debacle, you might want to also pick up an extra Savoritz Six Cracker Assortment box for yourself to finally make the perfect charcuterie board for your next dinner party.

12. Simply Nature Kids Bites

While some kids are born loving to chomp down on leafy greens, others may need a bit more encouragement to get in their daily dose of veg. And if you're worried that vegetables may not be eaten if you're not there to supervise lunchtime, Simply Nature Kids' bites are here to save the day by making eating veggies fun.

This Aldi find turns broccoli, sweet potato, and spinach/kale into edible teddy bears, dinosaurs, and stars. The broccoli bites come in at 130 calories per 5-piece serving, the sweet potato for 160, and the spinach/kale bites for 170. These happy lil' veggies are all non-GMO certified, and the broccoli and sweet potato bites boast being made of only 7 and 9 ingredients, respectively. Plus, both the broccoli and spinach bites are gluten-free friendly. 

Every flavor costs $5.35 per 5-serving package. However, one thing to remember is that these fun-shaped vegetable bites require more prep than many other items on this list. As it is a freezer section product, it needs to be baked for at least nine minutes before it can go from oven to lunchbox. However, the delicious flavor and texture will make your kids eat their vegetables with or without you.

13. Happy Farms String Cheese

For many, Frigo Cheese Head is the top dog of the string cheese world. However, for those in the Aldi circle, Happy Farms' String Cheese is the best cheesy snack inside and outside of the lunch box. In fact, this Aldi-brand cheese was voted a fan-favorite product by shoppers in 2023. So, let's compare these two cheesy snacks, shall we?

While both Happy Farms and Frigo offer good nutrition with 220 milligrams of calcium a serving, at 70 calories a stick, Happy Farms' version of the snack is 10 calories less than Frigo's. And most importantly, there's the price difference. A 12-pack of Frigo's Mozzarella cheese sticks will set you back $4.33. Meanwhile, Happy Farms' String cheese is priced at $2.85 per 12-pack. And according to Aldi shoppers, although it's cheaper, these hunks of peelable cheese are still irresistibly delicious. So, in other words, if you're looking for a lunchbox string cheese, ditch the name brands and head to Aldi's to look for Happy Farm's cow-covered treats.

14. Mini Bagels

Is your kid religiously against sandwiches, wraps, chicken tenders, and just generally anything you could easily throw into a lunch box? Here's an Aldi find that was mom-with-a-picky-eating-kid certified on an Aldi Facebook recipe group: mini bagels. Here us out here.

Currently, the store is carrying three mini-bagel varieties. Aldi offers the classic cinnamon raisin and plain flavors, which both clock in at 350 calories in a 3-bagel serving and cost $3.85 per 12-bagel bag. However, the store also sells the coconut-pineapple-infused mini version of its famed Hawaiian bagels, which come out at 130 calories a bagel and cost $2.85 for the same number of servings. And every variety can be dressed in several ways to create delicious and easy lunchbox entrée.

You can, of course, opt to spread these tiny bagels with your kid's favorite flavor of cream cheese or try spreading them with hummus or avocado spread. However, the same Facebook mom who suggested this Aldi's find swears by combining mini cinnamon raisin bagels with PB&J dips. What we are getting at here is you are very likely to find a combo that your kid will eat.

15. Never Any! Lunch Kit

Lunchables are as simple to pack for a school lunch as they are ridiculously processed. In what can only be described as the most side-eye-type move ever, Aldi has created its own version of these ready-made lunches without any of the chemicals. However, though a better-for-you Lunchable alternative, the brand's Never Any! Kits, which feature uncured meat and products free of nitrate (studies show nitrate in uncured meats is a potential carcinogen) recently fell onto hard times. Earlier this summer, it was uncovered that the cookies in the brand's ham and cheese kit had previously unreported traces of peanuts.

Although Aldi stopped selling these easy lunch kits even before the announcement was made, they are back, allergy-clear, and better than ever. At the moment, Aldi goers have found the brand's Any! Lunch Kits in two different varieties. There's ham and cheddar cheese, which comes in at 270 calories a package and features teddy graham desserts, and pepperoni and provolone, which go for 340 calories a pop and offers mini oatmeal cookies for dessert. Both packs feature crackers and go for $2.39 a pack, making them only a dollar more than your usual Lunchables pack for a lot more wholesome lunchbox treat.