Top Lunchbox Ideas

Sometimes, trying to figure out what to make the kids for lunch can be a hard task, so we’ve put together some of the best lunchbox ideas to get the kids excited about their lunch.

1. The three bowl approach

Fill one bowl with fruit, one with treats and one with dairy (such as cheese sticks or a carton of flavoured milk or a pouch of yoghurt) and then let the kids make their own lunches by selecting one item from each bowl. Just add a sandwich, a bottle of water and lunch is ready.

2. Slice, wrap and fill

Make the most of the different varieties of bread including multigrain, rolls and buns. Try bagels, wraps, pita bread and hot cross buns or, for a treat, scones or pikelets.

3. The surprise factor

Okay, so your kid will not budge from the Marmite sandwich. Introduce the unexpected by cutting their Marmite sandwich with a cookie cutter. It may well be their first step in understanding that variety is the spice of life.

4. Add some crunch!

Kids tend to love crunchy snacks. Try adding a few carrot or celery sticks, crackers, pretzels, sugarsnap peas, or dried apple or banana chips.

5. The leftover lunch

Cook a little extra dinner the night before and save for lunch the next day. Roast chicken, pasta salad, quiche, homemade pizza slices and sausages are just a few examples that are delicious cold for lunch the next day.

6. The lunchbox

If you use a lunchbox that keeps food chilled, you can send pouches of yoghurt, small containers of dip or cottage cheese mixed with crackers, vegetable or fruit pieces to school without fear of salmonella poisoning. Make your own chilly pack by freezing a pouch of dairy food – it will slowly defrost while keeping the other lunchbox ingredients nice and cool.

7. Perfect packaging

Pop hard boiled eggs, small tins of baked beans or tuna into a reusable leak-proof container for a sandwich’s best friend – no spills; no soggy sandwich. Another favourite is half an avocado – pack a small plastic knife and some crackers for a tasty, nutritious and filling lunch.

8. Filling fillings

Banana and honey; mashed egg and mayonnaise; ham, cheese and tomato; cream cheese, tuna, cucumber and carrot.

9. The love note

Add a little message from you to brighten their day, and their lunch!

10. Find something new

Check out the Kidspot lunchbox recipe section for new kid-friendly ideas.

Bonus Tip: No sneaking things in

Kids will be more likely to eat their lunch if they have had a hand in preparing it. See idea #1.


What’s your top tip for helping kids to enjoy their school lunch?

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This article was written for Kidspot New Zealand.


  1. Alezandra 03/03/2019 at 10:23 pm

    I feel like I have ‘lunchbox envy’ at people who are able to make good and healthy lunchboxes. I know it’s all about preparing ahead of time. I like the 3 bowl approach and getting kids on it. I tend to lazy at times and do it in the morning – and then it will look like a slap stick of a lunchbox.

  2. danielle2211 27/02/2018 at 9:31 pm

    I think the bento lunchboxes are a great idea gives you all those spaces to have a variety of choice. Getting the kids involved in making there lunches is a great way to get them to eat it too. Having a note in there is great way to show your love to your child and helps them with their reading too!

  3. kymmage 26/02/2018 at 3:20 pm

    We use almost a Bento style box. It has three compartments and has a little screw top container as well. My youngest likes to have a yoghurt so I send a cute spoon too. A little surprise – will it be the bunny one or princess one? I also theme some food but only occasionally. I have cookie cutters for Halloween, Easter and Christmas sandwiches.

  4. SarahBlair 13/02/2018 at 4:47 pm

    I think that I will have to get some fun lunch boxes and drink bottles, and definitely plan the lunches better! They might be enticed to eat if I do!!

  5. Mands1980 18/01/2018 at 2:54 pm

    I love the bento lunch box’s with the separate little areas but the chilled packit lunch box’s sound great especially over the hot summer months. We got the kids new drink bottles with insulated covers and can put ice in the morning and it stays chilled most the day.

  6. Bevik1971 17/01/2018 at 10:51 am

    My partner who has been stay-at-home Dad for our daughter will be making all the school lunches for our daughter who turned 5 on Boxing Day, so all new for him! He is a chef by trade and has always ensure she eats as healthy as possible. They will be brainstorming together in regards to her lunches as there is no point putting food in there she won’t eat (and she’s fussy). Some of the items mentioned above sound great, especially the Stainless steel items 🙂

  7. MuddledUpMolly 14/01/2018 at 2:32 pm

    It has been great to see how far and how progressively the humble school lunchbox has come! My son is almost 8 now and I think it’s time to get him a little more involved in making his own lunch.He just loves making his own food and having extra responsibilities as he grows older 🙂

  8. Shelz69 12/01/2018 at 5:53 pm

    The packit lunch bags sound like a brilliant idea. I also loved school lunch with nutritionist Kate Di Prima’s, easy five-day plan. Its just what I need to get organised.

  9. Jen_Wiig 12/01/2018 at 4:34 pm

    Omgosh love the sound of those packit bags deff buying these for my boys lunches. I haven’t really done the note thing before but like this idea too… I think my boys would appericate it esp as when I start work again and leave before the get up.
    We have purchased sistema bento lunchboxes for the boys again this year just upgraded to the larger ones… Love how they are waste free and don’t have babyish prints on them 🙂 I’ll be introducing making own lunches too esp as my eldest now at Intermediate i just hope he will make it healthy too haha

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