Lunch Box Improvement Project

Updated on December 03, 2009
J.D. asks from Minneapolis, MN
12 answers

My poor kids have been eating the same crummy lunch for the last two school years. a sandwich (pb&j or salomi or other lunch meat YUK), a piece of fruit(almost always an apple), some sort of veggie (usually carrots--they're easy to keep on hand), chips or crackers, and a cookie (or a brownie if they're lucky:>). Any great lunch box ideas??

2 moms found this helpful

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So What Happened?

WOW!! This is great. I can't wait for the kids to get home today to read all of the ideas. We will make a shopping list and go to the store together. (thankfully, today is payday). Thank you all so much for taking the time to care about kids. Overnight I got 6 responses with great ideas and some support and motivation.

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answers from Minneapolis on

I read the reviews and they are great for me too!! I would suggest using thermos ($15 at Target). Yes, its expensive--look for them when they go on sale, but I found I was able to be more creative once I had one. Worth every penny. My daughter was able to have different kinds of soups, Mac and Cheese and leftover dinners. Plus nothing beats having a hot lunch on a cold day, especially when you live in Minnesota!! :)

We can even use it for hot cocoa! :)

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answers from Minneapolis on

I recently started to 'mix it up' a bit for my preschoolers...maybe a few of these ideas will be a hit with your little ladies.
instead of carrots - sugar snap peas
instead of an apple - kiwi (kind of a pain to peel but worth it)
instead of a sandwich - Thomas mini brown sugar and cinnamon bagel with a little tupperware w/ cream cheese in it
instead of a cookie - a mini fruit roll up
I also usually pack yogurt or applesauce...I just picked up some pomegranate applesauce today - made by Mott's..really good and not expensive.
I will keep an eye on this post to get some new ideas! Mine are only preschoolers and it was already getting boring for them!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

we make veggie pizzas that my kids love and they always have to bring extra for their friends the crust is pillsbury cresant rolls in the tube un roll it so it is flat and squeez all the seems together cook it like normal just watch it every couple mn. mix cream cheese and powdered ranch dressing mix together and that it the sauce after it cools down and cut up veggies anything they like into very small pieces and put it on top and you are done. I also send tomato soup cooked in a soup thermos and send a small container of cheese and gold fish crackers and celery to dip and eat, My kids all time fav. is called cheesy taco pizzas you take 2 flour tortillas lay one down on micro safe plate and add shredded cheese, olives, pepperoni anything they like on pizzas NO sauce put other tortilla on top and micro for 1mn cut like a pizza and pack a small container with pizza sauce and they can dip it in, I also send them with celery with PB and raisins on it (ants on a log), cut up apples with little PB containers to dip in, fruit and yogurt to mix, frozen gogurt sticks they thaw by lunch and work like an ice pack. I hope some of these help and most are stuff the kids can do or help with which i think makes them eat it better. If you want mor ides let me know.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

Can't go wrong with pita and hummus. Or make your own "lunchables" with healthy crackers, slices of summer sausage (or something like that) and squares of cheese. Throw in a fruit, or frozen go-gurt and it's a complete meal.



answers from Lincoln on

I practice natural healing and study nutrition. Just wanted to give a little tip about fruit. proper food combining is very we eat determines how much energy we have and the number one energy taker is digesting food. Fruit is best eaten for breakfast or a mid day snack,eaten on an empty stomach. fruit digests best on it own. when mixed with food it ferments or rots the rest of your food,causing tummy aches and poor digestion. Veggies with dip is always a good snack. its so hard to be creative and think of new things.eating the same things everyday can cause allergies to certain things so it is a good idea to mix it up. Try different veggies,there are so many different types. Let them help with shopping. Things that are the closest to natural as possible are best. Reading labels is very important. So many things contain sugar and sugar is not only bad for you but depletes your body of essential vitamins. Remember to use whole grains!Home made lunches are best because when you make it with love it is giving the food good energy as well!



answers from Minneapolis on

I have my daughter help make her lunch. This way she gets input on what she would like in there. She has a cooler type lunch bag so she often has applesauce, yogurt, cottage cheese, etc... She likes to have the input because she knows I'll just do the "usual." Good Luck!



answers from Minneapolis on

Hi J.
when you make your shopping list ask the kids what they want in their lunch. You may be surprised that they ask for healthy food. My five year old daughter loves it when I make her a salad for lunch. she also likes leftovers. our school has a microwave avalible for the kids to use. so easy mac and those kinds of things would work also. It is a rare treat for them to get stuff like. Good luck :) T.



answers from Minneapolis on

tortilla roll up with meat/cheese inside

english muffin with jelly or pbj

crackers,meat,cheese in a ziplock

thermos with soup,mac/cheese,chili,spaghetti o's etc.....

chicken leg, or pizza if your kids eat them cold

bananas,oranges,strawberries, any fruit you can ziplock or put in alittle plastic containers

applesauce cup or fruit cup


string cheese


I know I carried a brown paperbag lunch to school EVERYDAY because my parents said hot lunch cost to much and I was so jealous of the other kids and I HATED the same ole lunch day after day. I to this day am not a "sandwhich" person and hardly ever go to subway because of this. PLEASE give your children some variety!

My daughter mostly does hotlunch at school but she likes me to pack her a lunch also and I'm always looking for fun creative new things to do.



answers from Minneapolis on

I totally agree with Anna V. in that the Thermos small lunch containers are terrific for lunch boxes!

I also send quesadillas, meat spread sandwiches, lettuce wraps, fish sticks or chicken strip salads, grilled peanut butter/grilled cheese, burritos, etc.

The Thermos may be a bit pricey, but it gives you a little more freedom where the lunch box/bag is concerned.


answers from Los Angeles on

There are some great recipe resources on the EasyLunchbox website here: And check out EasyLunchboxes at This clever solution to the lunch-packing chore is the simple two piece EasyLunchbox container: The bottom has three compartments to hold an entree or sandwich and two side dishes. The fitted lid covers all three compartments in a snap. No more mismatched plastic container pieces to keep track of or wasteful baggies. Fits perfectly inside the roomy EasyLunchbox custom carrying bag. And there is still space for a drink, ice pack and more. This is the most affordable lunch-packing solution on the market. You'll be amazed at how much faster, 'greener' and easier lunch box packing will be! FDA approved. No BPA, phthalates, lead, vinyl, or PVC. Safe for dishwasher and microwave. Visit Press release here:



answers from Milwaukee on

Some snacks I pack that my son loves:
Celery with peanut butter and raisin
Dry cereal in a ziplock back (kashi is good)
Crackers and cheese
Fresh fruit cups (watermelon, pineapple, and strawberries are his favorites)

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