8 Cute Lunch Box Ideas

Remember the giddiness you felt around this time of year, anxiously awaiting school to start again, and with it a new grade, new teacher, and new classmates?  Back to School time was so exciting, and I just couldn’t wait to go shopping at the local K-Mart (aka our small town’s “mall”) for new clothes, a new back pack, and of course, a special new lunch box that I could proudly swing back and forth, ensuring that the eyes of every kid (at least every girl) in the lunchroom were glued to my shiny New Kids on the Block lunch box.

This year, some of you will be packing your child a lunch for the first time (sniffle, sniffle), while others of you are veteran lunch box packers.  Either way, you can give your child a little piece of you while they are away, using some creative inspiration.  Here are 8 cute ideas to become your kid’s lunch box hero.

1. Creative clips

Make some cute sandwich bag clips using clothes pins and already painted wooden figures that you can find in any craft store.  I love these things; check out what I did with them in this post!

8 Cute Lunch Box Ideas

Just hot glue them onto the clothes pins for quick, adorable clips.

8 Cute Lunch Box Ideas

Use them to secure trail mix, raw almonds, fruit slices, vegetable sticks, and other snacks.

8 Cute Lunch Box Ideas

2. Portable smoothies

Get containers like the one below to freeze your kid’s favorite smoothie in.  Just take the container out of the freezer and pack it with their lunch.  By lunchtime, they will have a delicious smoothie!  Plus it couples as an ice pack to keep the lunch cold.

8 Cute Lunch Box Ideas

3.  From plain old pb&j to PB&J-Wow!

Transform that boring pb&j by using cookie cutters to make fun designs, like the flower below.  The possibilities are endless!

8 Cute Lunch Box Ideas

Add a few vegetable garnishes to really glam it up.

8 Cute Lunch Box Ideas

3.  Add unique notes

If mushy smooches and hugs are just too “embarrassing” for your child, you can show your love discreetly by packing a unique note with their lunch.  Print out plenty in advance and have them on hand to slip in on hectic mornings.  Here are some ideas:

Encouraging words, jokes, riddles, random facts, a quick note to recognize one of their strengths or accomplishments, a lunch survey they take about their day and share with you when they get home, a snapshot, or a hand-drawn comic strip.

Get some FREE ones from HDS, HERE!

8 Cute Lunch Box Ideas

8 Cute Lunch Box Ideas

8 Cute Lunch Box Ideas

4. Rocky Road Pudding Cups

Give the mundane pudding cup a twist by simply including a small container of nuts and marshmallows, along with instructions to add and stir.

8 Cute Lunch Box Ideas

5. Funny Fruit

Add googly eyes and a pipe cleaner mustache to apples, pears, or bananas.  Adhere them with small dabs of honey.  Make eating those fruits and veggies fun!

8 Cute Lunch Box Ideas

6. Variety is key

No one wants the same old, same old every single day.  If you are stuck in a lunch rut, instead of sandwiches, try pitas stuffed with turkey, cheese, and lettuce, or peanut butter, honey and bananas.

Wraps and roll-ups also give much needed variety.  Try spreading cream cheese on a colorful wrap, topped with ham, lettuce, and tomatoes.

8 Cute Lunch Box Ideas

* free printable love notes above found, here.

7. Kabob it!

Let’s face it, anything on a kabob becomes a lot more appealing to eat.  It’s incredible how my kids won’t touch a red pepper when placed on their plate, but when skewered on a kabob with string cheese cubes, they munch it right up!

Put fruit, vegetables, and cheese on a kabob.  The more colorful, the better!

8 Cute Lunch Box Ideas

8. Some more S’MORES please!

Instead of processed granola bars and pre-packaged cookies, give your kiddos a fun treat that is super easy.  Get creative with s’mores by spreading graham crackers with some of my favorites:

Cheesecake S’more: strawberry cream cheese, jam, and blueberries (or any berry)

PBB&H: peanut butter, honey, and banana slices

Apple Nutella: chocolate hazelnut spread, apple slices

Yum!  I end up making extras for myself, they are such a delicious snack!

8 Cute Lunch Box Ideas

Send your kids off in style, knowing that you’ve given them a fun, healthy lunch, plus a little piece of you to power them through the day.

8 Cute Lunch Box Ideas

16 Comments
COMMENTS
  1. August 15th, 2012 at 10:09 am
    Missy says:
    I am always looking for new kids' lunch ideas - these are fun and yummy - thanks!
  2. August 15th, 2012 at 7:41 pm
    Wendy says:
    What kind of paper do you use to line inside the lunchbox, cute!!! :)
    • August 16th, 2012 at 9:34 am
      Nicolette says:
      I just used scrapbook paper! Thanks:)
  3. August 15th, 2012 at 9:08 pm
    Shelley says:
    Adorable!!! I hope you sent this custom lunchbox with Zac to work. ;) --I'm so using the S'more treats for my little boys Pre-K lunch. This is the first year I have to (get to) send his lunch with him. :) Thanks for all the inspiration.
    • August 16th, 2012 at 9:36 am
      Nicolette says:
      Of course my hubby got a lunch box full of lovin'! Do I spoil him by making a lunch for him every morning???
  4. August 15th, 2012 at 9:14 pm
    Amy Hadden says:
    Hi, Great lunch packing ideas! I love the creative clips. I wanted to share with you that I post free printable lunch notes every school morning on my site http://littlelunchnotes.com/. Jokes, fun facts, etc. - please take a look.
    • August 16th, 2012 at 9:37 am
      Nicolette says:
      Perfect! How cute and thank you so much for sharing!
  5. August 17th, 2012 at 11:15 am
    Christine says:
    I seem to be having trouble with the link for #3. - Add unique notes
  6. August 17th, 2012 at 11:16 am
    Christine says:
    I seem to be having trouble with the link for #3-Add unique notes. Suggestions?
    • August 18th, 2012 at 10:55 am
      Nicolette says:
      You may need to use the password: welcome (all lowercase) to access the printables. You could also check out Amy's from the above comment:). Hope that helps!
  7. August 21st, 2012 at 10:20 am
    anita says:
    Nicolette... oh thank you so!!! my baby is about to start kindergarden and I do not know anything about lunch bpxes.. but this ideas are great!!!
    Thnak you!!!!!
    Anita (Argentina!)
    • August 21st, 2012 at 12:58 pm
      Nicolette says:
      Wow Argentina! Good luck to both of you as school starts!
  8. August 21st, 2012 at 10:44 am
    Olesya K says:
    Those are great ideas that look pretty on the blog but will hardly work in real life! Just think how much the lunch bag is going to be shaken and rocked and flipped before it gets to school - the pbj flower will be squished by the bottle, the paper wet and soaked from condensation of the defrosting shake, etc. etc. I tried the cracker sandwich idea once - bad bad idea - by the lunch time, the crackers were soaked and squishy, and not yummy at all - came back untouched. And what happened to "no nuts" policy in schools? plus, even with two lunch breaks my kindergartner would never last through the day if I pack one cracker sandwich and a handful of nuts.
    • August 23rd, 2012 at 3:33 pm
      Nicolette says:
      Just hoping to give a little fun, creative inspiration. Tweak how you want to make it work for you. Have a great school year!
  9. August 28th, 2013 at 2:48 pm
    Sam says:
    I love the idea of sending my child something new and creative. I hope it will make her happy ! I know I am excited to start trying things new and different!
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