Food & Drink, Kids

Easy kid lunchbox ideas

Anybody else like seeing what other parents pack for their kids? I’ll show you what I’m sticking in the lunchbox as of late and how I do it. I’ve got an easy, yummy pinwheel recipe (you might eat it before it makes it to the lunchbox!) and a printable lunchbox idea list.

Luca has been getting school lunch lately, but I’m getting back in the groove of packing it for him. He doesn’t care so much one way or the other, as long I pack things he likes of course! Next year I’ll have two in school and will be packing two lunches every day, so I’d better get my act together. I’ve been looking around for inspiration; maybe you need some too.


Pinwheel recipe

That last lunch had these delicious pinwheels in them. They’re very simple and very tasty. If your little refuses anything green near their plate, you can just take those out. I barely put any in here, but wanted to push the envelope a little bit! Two out of my kids went ahead and ate it. One picked the kale out.

I used kale because that’s what I had leftover from this kale chips recipe, but put in whatever greens you have on hand.

Kid lunch box ideas - Turkey salami and cheese pinwheel

Kid lunch ideas - pinwheels with ham cheese and salami

Lunch box tips and tricks

Lunch packing station cabinet

1. Set up a lunchbox station.

I keep water bottles, lunch tupperware and lunchboxes all in one spot to make things simple.

Printable lunchbox idea list - easy kid school lunches to pack

Click image to download.

2. Print off this lunchbox idea list.

I made a cheatsheet for lunches so I can avoid doing the same thing over and over again. Have any great ideas to add here?

Lunch box breakdown

3. Follow a packing formula.

When it’s time for bed and I just remembered I haven’t packed lunches, I’m too tired to think. So I follow an easy formula. I use the small section of these containers ($7 for set of 6) for crackers or dry snack. The medium section for fruit or veggies — some kind of healthy option. And the largest section is for the main dish of the lunch. Like I said before, it’s not rocket science, but it works!

Lunch box trick - wrap crackers and dry foods in plastic

4. Pack for the week all at once to save time.

Sunday evenings I pack for the whole week. So things don’t get stale, I put certain items in plastic wrap — especially crackers, chips, pretzels and the like. I also bag some sandwiches or other foods that might fall apart easily when knocked around in a backpack.

I try to choose things that won’t get mushy and that can sit in the fridge a couple days. These pinwheels are great because they don’t get as squishy as easily as bread does. Quesadillas work well too.

It takes a little experimenting to find out what works when packing days ahead, but don’t worry, I’m sure your child will let you know what didn’t work ;)

Making school lunches for the week trick

5. Repeat lunches during the week.

Here Luca’s lunches sit in the fridge for the rest of the week. To simplify my lunch-making process, I’ll do three different meals for the week with two that repeat, like this:

  1. Lunch A
  2. Lunch B
  3. Lunch C
  4. Lunch A
  5. Lunch B

How about you? Do you pack your kids’ lunch or do they get school lunch? We do a little of both out of convenience, but we’re on a major spending freeze right now, so I’m back to packing. And next year, with two in school, it will be twice as much to buy lunch. Our elementary school currently charges $2 a lunch. How about yours?

Thanks to Kayla who sent me an email giving me the inspiration for lunchbox idea post! She said she modified this menu printable for her girls’ lunches. She’s even experimenting with putting command center printables on a full magnet sheet! Such a clever idea.

Easy kid lunch box ideas


7 thoughts on “Easy kid lunchbox ideas

  1. Hi Kate,

    Simple and easy lunch ideas! Thank you!
    And, like the welcoming intro part in the site! This new makeover is very nice and beautiful!

    Good luck! Happy February!

  2. Hey there, this is my first post as I’m a new subscriber! Thank you for great tips!
    First I must say that two dollars a lunch is a steal! Our lunch is $12 if BOTH my kindergartner and my first grader order! So once a week tops!

    I’m always looking for new ideas and definitely going to try some of yours! I too use those containers, my only tip would be to use saran wrap for berries or any kind of dips, otherwise by the time lunch comes @… “the juices have jumped ship into enemy territory!” As my 5yr old son has informed me! lol

    Honestly, I don’t know how my kids can’t eat another sandwich! So I set up crudités if you well. Fresh peppers, carrots, tomatoes in one part, fresh berries in another (covered in wrap) and I roll some ham and turkey as well. When my kiddos are being particularly sweet, I wrap a sugar-free cookie in a paper towel with a note that says “surprise! XOXO mama Seems to be a big hit!

  3. Love your lunch box suggestions Kate, I am going to use your tortilla roll-up for when I have to bring a plate of eats to a “ladies” get-together, I totally forgot about that and it is so versitile you can use whatever filling you wish. These ideas would work for adults as well as you just need a bite to keep you going till dinner. You are s Star Mommy!

  4. Hi Courtney! I’m so happy you thought my blog was worthing of subscribing! :) And about lunches, $12. Whoa! That’s outrageous. And peppers and tomatoes. Tell me all your secrets. I’ve heard of kids eating such things, but all but one of mine won’t go past the first bite. Peppers would be a great add to this list though. It was nice to “meet” you and thanks so much for taking the time to share your own tips!

  5. Thanks, Elize! Yes, that’s why I did this post. It’s not that any of these things are novel or mind-blowing, it’s just that sometimes we need a reminder of some oldies but goodies! Thanks for your encouragement :)

  6. wow, great tips for those kids who are choosing about food. these tips help me a lot. I think this article is very informative and important for everyone. thanks for sharing these amazing articles and tips.

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