20 School Lunch Ideas Kids Will Love

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Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Rubbermaid through their partnership with POPSUGAR. While I was compensated by POPSUGAR to write a post about LunchBlox, all opinions are my own.

school lunch ideas kids will love

Something I finally learned last year is that if I want my kids to eat lunch I have to make them a lunch that they really want to eat.

It’s pretty basic, and it’s kinda embarrassing that it’s taken me this long to really get it… since this is the 11th year that I’ve had a kid at school and I’ve been making school lunches. Think about that for a minute. My 15 year old has been going to school for 11 years! Yikes… time sure does fly by!

All of my kids are pretty easy when it comes to food.

They have their favorites and thankfully they are pretty healthy choices. I stick to the old tried and trusted foods and I never introduce a new food in a school lunch… never! I just create our school lunches based on their favorites lists.

rubbermaid lunch blox

The best lunches for my girls have always been a little of this and a little of that.

They are the snacking type so even a full meal means snacks put together. This means I always have some basic items on hand and I build their lunches from there. Using a Rubbermaid LunchBlox is the perfect tool for quick prep and making lunches that they really want to eat. Plus LunchBlox containers snap together and remain organized in lunch bags. My little one won’t touch a messy lunch so this is a huge deal to us to keep everything in order just by snapping one on top of the other. It also makes keeping her lunch bag itself clean!

easy school lunch list ideas

When it comes to what goes into their school lunches I pick 4-5 items from this list and we are good to go!

Here are some of our favorite 20 school lunch ideas Kids will love.

  1. Berries- I buy whatever is in season.
  2. Hummus and pita bread or baby carrots, depending on who’s lunch it is.
  3. Half a sandwich, saving the other half for the next day. PB&J or veggies.
  4. Cut veggies.
  5. Crackers and cheese (and meat, regular or veggie).
  6. Fruit salad.
  7. Peanut butter and apples.
  8. Cold pasta salad.
  9. Pretzels.
  10. Cold Quesadillas.
  11. Applesauce.
  12. Bagel and cream cheese.
  13. Chicken nuggets.
  14. Cold grilled cheese.
  15. Pizza.
  16. Olives.
  17. Nuts (as long as you don’t have a nut-free school).
  18. Tortilla chips.
  19. Hard boiled eggs.
  20. Leftovers. There is a good chance that the meal I made for dinner is something the girls love, so I just make some extra and they have it for lunch the next day.

school lunch easy food ideas

What’s even just as important as what you serve is how you serve it.

It has to look exciting and delicious. Get out the cookie cutters and the special knife and get working! I’m not talking about spending hours making each lunch (unless you want to)… but I add a couple minutes to lunch prep and it makes all the difference. Also keep “like” foods with “like” foods. I love that the Rubbermaid LunchBlox has three separate compartments so that the fruit is separate from the veggies which makes eating their yummy lunch more like a fun experience than a chore. Plus they love opening each compartment to see what’s in it! Keep food fresh and cold is easy with the Rubbermaid LunchBlox because it comes with a Blue Ice ice pack too that clicks right in with the rest of the compartments.

lunchbox dividers

What are your favorite things to pack in school lunches?

Heather Reese
the authorHeather Reese
Heather Delaney Reese is the storyteller and photographer behind the lifestyle and family travel blog, It's a Lovely Life®! For the past decade, she has vacationed over 150 days a year with her family. She is a vegan, and loves being by the water, spending time with her children, husband, 2 Shih Tzus and Cat.


  • I literally was just looking at these on! My kids are gluten-free and have always taken their lunches to school. I’m starting to think about back to school already and getting some new containers. So glad to read a full post about this rather than short reviews!

  • These are all great lunch ideas. My kids are adults now but I remember those days of packing their lunch and my lunch and getting out the door in the morning. These containers are adorable and I would love them to pack my own lunch in.

  • These are great ideas! I’m always racking my brain trying to think of creative ideas for their snacks. They get bored if I send the same things over and over again.

  • Those are definitely great lunch ideas. My son can be picky when it comes to vegetables though. But we’re working on it.

  • I need this idea for when school gets back in session, I am on a mission to pack lunches like this for the new school year and having it be more successful with my picky eater actually eating lunch! I will have to go pick some of these containers up!

  • those Tupperware sets look awesome! I definitely need to pick some of those up for my own lunches! Thanks for sharing these awesome ideas!

  • Omg these are some great lunch ideas! My daughter starts school for a full day in Sept so I will have to keep some of these in mind

  • These are great ideas! My kids like to buy lunch most of the time but I really want o pack this year so I know what theyre eating!

  • We have that kit and used it just today for a hiking trip. It is great to take on the go when you are packing light and yet need to keep snacks colder. Glad you figured out to pack foods your kids want for lunch – I did that same thing for a while before I got it!

  • I like the look of these lunch kits! Our boys have not yet started to attend school. However when they do I will definitely include fruits and vegetables in their lunch. They both enjoy eating these and are not fussy eaters.

  • Rubbermaid makes the prettiest containers and it’s good to know that they have these lunchboxes now. These are very convenient especially if one wants to bring fruits or veggie sticks for snacks. Obviously, they’re not just for kids but for grown-ups too.

  • We don’t normally pack the kiddos lunch but have been thinking about it this year. I love those rubbermaid dishes.

  • All these are great lunch ideas for kids. This Rubbermaid Lunch Box looks so pretty and I love those beautiful colors as well. Your tips are very helpful. Will definitely check this out for my girls.

  • I love these little containers! My kids would love if I packed them some homemade lunches and treats. I may just pack their lunches this year if I can find these cute little containers.

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