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Lunch Box Ideas for Kids – Plus Free Printable

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Always be prepared and have plenty of ideas when it’s time to make school lunches again with this handy lunch box idea list.

A new school year is around the corner. Mornings will be busy again and we’ll be back to packing lunches for school. In order to be more organized and encourage the kids to be more independent, I put together a list of lunch ideas. 

Having a plan and ideas for kid’s school lunches will make the mornings easier and make sure that your kids have healthy, well-rounded meals at school each day. 

Below are some easy school lunch ideas to get you started

School Lunch Idea 1

Turkey cheese rollups, carrots, ranch and cucumbers, ranch dip, granola bar, an apple, and bottle of water.

School Lunch Idea 2

Banana and peanut butter sandwich, cheese crackers, apple sauce, carrots and ranch dip, and a bottle of water.

School Lunch Idea 3

Turkey and Cheese sandwich, snap peas and hummus, cookies, banana and flavored water.

The great thing about using a list to help you plan school lunches for your kids is that you have plenty of ideas that you can mix and match. You can add special items to the list that your family loves, too. Below I share one way to use this list. I like to give the kids some guidance so they have a variety of food in their lunch. It also avoids lunches full of cookies and no veggies.

Our School Lunch Bag Favorites

Plastic “bento boxes” – these are our favorites!! They fit a good amount of food and are dishwasher safe, so easy to clean up! You can even get snack-sized containers that are perfect for daycare or your own lunch bag.

Reusable ziplock bags – I’ve tried a few different reusable ziplock bags but these are our favorites. They are easy to clean and zip closed. We like to use these primarily for crackers, chips, and other dry foods.

Lunch Bags that fit the “bento” boxes that we love – available in a variety of patterns and colors. I love that our favorite icepacks fit in the inside pocket easily.

Big Lunch Bag (these are great for teens!)

Icepacks – these thin icepacks are perfect for lunchboxes and keep food cold perfectly until lunchtime.

Silicone cupcake liners – these are great if you’re using a bento box style lunch container and want to separate something that might be a little wet from dry food. It’s also great for corralling berries and crackers.

School lunch ideas for kids

Pick 1: Main Course

Sandwich Choices:

  • Meat and Cheese
  • Tuna Salad
  • Egg Salad
  • Veggie and Hummus Wrap
  • BLT
  • Chicken Salad
  • PB & Jelly
  • Meat and Cheese
  • Tuna Salad
  • Quesadillas
  • Salad
  • Soup
  • Leftovers
  • Mini Pizzas
  • Hardboiled Eggs
  • Corndog Muffins
  • Meat and Cheese Rollups

Pick 1 or 2: Fruits and Vegetables

  • Grapes
  • Berries
  • Carrots
  • Peach
  • Pear
  • Snap Peas
  • Oranges or Clementines
  • Celery Sticks
  • Cucumber Slices
  • Sliced Peppers
  • Apple Sauce
  • Dips
  • Peanut Butter
  • Hummus
  • Salsa

Pick 1 if Needed: Dips

  • Peanut Butter
  • Hummus
  • Salsa
  • Guacamole
  • Ranch Dressing

Pick 1 or 2: Snacks

  • Potato or Tortilla Chips
  • Cookies
  • Brownie
  • Crackers
  • Popcorn
  • Pretzels
  • String Cheese
  • Snack Mix / Trail Mix
  • Rice Cakes
  • Rice Crispy Treats
  • Granola Bar
  • Dried Fruit
  • Pickles
  • Graham Crackers

Pick 1: Drinks

  • Water Battle
  • Flavored Water
  • Juice Box
  • Milk Box

Need a little more help with your children’s school lunches?

We have been getting Nurture Life meals delivered to our home for a few months now and we really love their delicious and healthy meals. These are perfect for sending along to daycare, a babysitter, and even to school. You can find out all about Nurture Life and get 50% off your first 2 boxes by using my code: HEYDONNA at checkout. Check out Nurture Life here!

Get your Lunch Box Idea List Printable

You should receive your file link via e-mail within the hour. Be sure you check your SPAM or Promotions folder if you’re not finding the e-mail. If, after an hour, you have not received your link, please contact me and I’ll help you figure out what happened.

The fine print:
For personal use only. Please do not reproduce or redistribute without written permission.

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