Sunday, October 7, 2012

Lunchbox Packing Ideas

Judging by the response I got from talking to many of you in person and on the Easier Simpler Better Facebook page, I can see that we're all in need of new lunchbox ideas for our kids. I pack lunches just about everyday for my 9 year old and 6 year old and a few times a week for my nearly 4 year old. It's a job of balancing nutrition with the eye candy that kids seem to need. I imagine that  for kids, opening a lunchbox at school is like opening a gift. What's inside, an awesome toy... or socks? To give you a little visual inspiration, I've put together a lunchbox collage below, made up of lunches I've been packing over the last month. And scroll down for a cheat sheet with lots of lunch packing ideas.

Lunchbox Ideas: visual inspirations

The larger silver lunchbox you see here is the PlanetBox, the smaller, oval-shaped box is a LunchBot and the clear, divided square box is a Lock and Lock. I'm a big fan of each of these bento-style lunchboxes because of how modular they are and easy to clean. We are in our second school year of using them, and each of the boxes has held up really well at school and in the dishwasher. Unless your kids are beacons of cleanliness, the Planetbox carrying case will get funky over the course of a school year with normal wear and tear, so plan on buying a new one each year.

Lunchbox Ideas Cheat Sheet

List of various lunchbox packing ideas

Here is another copy of the Lunchbox Ideas Cheat Sheet, which is easily printable and includes links to some of the items with associated recipes. A few notes about my lunch packing list: I didn't include the basics like PB&J or turkey sandwiches because they're already on our radar and I was hearing a need for out of the (lunch) box ideas. Also, my goal is to pack healthy, nutritious foods, but the list includes a little of everything and would need to be tailored for allergies, preferences for organic, etc. As we'd say at work, I consider this a "living, breathing document." I would love to expand it and share it again with your good ideas added, so please send them in the comments area below or email me directly at

Thanks and happy packing!


  1. Your list is on my fridge! Thank you! I am loving your blog.

    1. Thanks, Gayle! I'm so happy the lunchbox ideas and other items are useful!