It’s time for your child to head back to school. You roll your eyes, because that means coming up with a new lunch five times a week for the rest of the school year.
What’s a parent to do?
Even if you don't send a packed lunch to school every day, it can be a daunting task to ensure you are packing a variety of nutritious foods your kid will eat during their lunch break. It might take some experimenting to discover what will entice them to eat all the food you packed, especially when you introduce something new.
Get a free printable with five easy lunchbox recipes.
When my daughter was in preschool, she tried to tell me she wanted peanut butter sandwiches every day for lunch. After a few days she requested salami slices instead. Despite being one of her favorite options, it didn't take long before she grew bored of having the same old thing – again.
I couldn't blame her! I don't like eating the exact same foods all the time either, do you? A slight variation can make a big difference. So, here are some ideas for easy creative and healthy lunchbox ideas that you can send to school with your child.
6 Easy Ways to Pack School Lunches for Kids
This post contains affiliate links to items you might find helpful. If you shop through these links, we may earn a commission at no extra cost to you.
1. Bento Boxes
Bento boxes are originally from Japan and provide a creative way to serve your child food. There are containers made specifically for this purpose, such as EasyLunchboxes 3-compartment Bento containers, or you can use a variety of containers you already have and place them in your child's lunchbox.
Bento box food is generally shaped to look like flowers, animals, or cartoon characters. They can be super cute and practically works of art. The sky is the limit as far as creativity, but don't think yours must look super fancy. It's incredible how a few Bento box accessories transform ordinary food into something fun to eat!
There are plenty of websites dedicated solely to this artistic endeavor to help you make your child's school lunches fun each and every day. For example, check out this adorable Back to School themed lunch by Lunchbox Dad.
Pasta is an easy and quick lunchbox idea. Make a batch early in the week and load it up with various vegetables and sauces. One day pair spaghetti noodles with green peas and Parmesan. On another day add broccoli and a simple yet delicious tomato sauce to pasta shells.
Sandwiches are an old school lunch standby, but they shouldn't be completely ruled out. From peanut butter to BLTs, sandwiches filled our childhood lunch boxes and continue to do so for our children. Get creative by cutting sandwiches into fun shapes. Take a traditional PB&J and add a fun twist by making a peanut butter and banana burrito instead!
No one likes a soggy sandwich. Keep them fresh by storing any vegetables or other moist food in a separate container so your child can assemble it before eating. Add new tastes to expand your child’s palate and prevent boredom, such as wasabi or sriracha mayo.
4. Veggie Burritos
Why not turn an old favorite into a new lunch idea for your school-age child? Veggie burritos are easy to make and easy to store. What’s not to love about that? Simply choose one type of beans, veggies, cheese, and sauce, then wrap it up. Your child will never get tired of all the options and combinations available.
Soup is another great lunchbox standby and can be kept warm with an insulated thermos until it is time to eat. A broth filled with numerous kinds of vegetables such as cauliflower, carrots, broccoli, zucchini and onions is healthy and lasts well in a lunchbox. Simply add a piece of bread and a few cheese sticks for a tasted, well-rounded meal.
Salad is a great lunch option, and it does not have to be boring. Load it up with chickpeas, nuts, seeds, and top it off with their favorite dressing for a lunch your child will thank you for. There are salad storage containers with special compartments to fit all the components of the salad – even tiny squeeze bottles for the dressing.
With these easy ideas, there is no reason for your child to get bored with packed lunches. Thanks to a variety of storage options for packing school lunches for kids, their food can safely wait until lunchtime to be eaten. Fill up your child’s lunchbox with healthy meals to keep your child fueled all day long.
Need additional lunchbox ideas? Download these easy lunch recipes your kids will love for free!
5 Easy Lunch Recipes
Downloading this Lunch Recipes for Kids ebook will also subscribe you to our weekly newsletter to get our latest content, parenting tips, recipes, and activities by email.