50+ Lunch Box Ideas!


Packing real whole foods for my preschooler and kindergartener is a huge priority for me. I know that by the time lunch comes, they’re usually starving, so they’re more likely to eat what’s in front of them. My goal is always to include the following: one fruit, one veggie, one source of whole grains, a protein, and a healthy fat.

I tell myself that if I can get 4 of the 5 in their lunchbox, then it’s a job well done. Here are some ideas for each of those categories:

FRUITS:

  • apple slices

  • clementines

  • pear slices

  • frozen mango chunks

  • berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries)

  • melon (watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew)

  • whole peaches or plums

  • apple sauce pouches (go for ones with an ingredient list that doesn’t include high fructose corn syrup or fruit juice concentrate)

VEGETABLES:

  • baby carrots with sunbutter or nut butter for dipping

  • celery with cream cheese

  • bell pepper slices with hummus

  • sliced cucumbers with yogurt or ranch dip

  • green smoothie

  • frozen mixed vegetables (they will defrost by lunchtime]

WHOLE GRAINS:

  • sandwich made with whole grain bread

  • oatmeal in a thermos (good for lunch or snack time!)

  • plain popcorn

  • whole wheat pita bread or pita chips with hummus

  • whole wheat pasta salad with chopped veggies

  • whole wheat muffins

  • whole grain granola bars. Check out our post on the healthiest store-bought granola bars! [ LINK HERE: http://peasfulkitchen.com/how-to-pick-the-healthiest-granola-bar/ ]

  • whole grain crackers with cheese

  • whole grain pancakes or waffles

HEALTHY FATS:

  • hard boiled eggs (all eggs also count as protein!)

  • egg salad sandwiches

  • egg cups (mix an egg with cheese and bake in a greased muffin tin)

  • nuts or pumpkin seeds for snacking

  • Nut butter or sunflower seed butter sandwich

  • avocado (avocado toast, guacamole, or use avocado as a spread on a sandwich)

  • carton of milk

  • string cheese

PROTEINS:

  • deli meats and cheese (we like the Applegate brand)

  • cheese and whole grain crackers

  • yogurt

  • chickpeas

  • hummus

  • rice and beans

  • breaded chicken or chicken nuggets

  • edamame (buy it in the freezer aisle)

  • mini cheese ravioli or cheese tortellini

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Nicole Jurick is a mom of three and owner of the cooking school Peasful Kitchen. Nicole shares healthy recipes, mealtime inspiration, and sane strategies for feeding picky eaters.


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HEADER PHOTO CREDIT: Danielle Guenther Photography

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