20 Ways to Upgrade Your Kid's School Lunch
Forget the days of lunchbox messes and cafeteria trades. You won't mind packing lunches, thanks to these fun goodies, and — bonus! — your kid will love eating them.
All-in-One Stackable Lunchbox
Japanese-style bento boxes are not only adorable, they also make for an organized, balanced lunch: Pack leftover rice in one compartment, veggies in another, grilled chicken in another, and don't forget dessert. Or if your kid is a picky eater, the PB&J finger sandwiches will fit right in there too.
Buy It: Bentgo All-in-One Stackable Lunchbox
Recyclable + Sealable Paper Sandwich Bags
If you're trying to cut down on plastic consumption, try these 100% compostable, plastic-free baggies. They even have a little space near the seal to write a sweet "have a great day!" message to your kiddo.
Buy It: Lunchskins Recyclable + Sealable Paper Sandwich Bags
Breakfast may be the most-important meal of the day, but it's not always the easiest to pack when you're running out the door. This container makes it more convenient to nosh on oatmeal or yogurt on the way to school. With convenient stackable trays, you can pack a yogurt parfait with granola and berries in separate containers, or oatmeal with raisins and chopped nut toppings.
Buy It: Sistema Breakfast To Go
Salad Shaker with Dressing Container
Say goodbye to soggy salads with this salad shaker. Store your grains, greens and fruit inside the shaker; then when it's lunchtime, shake it up with a favorite dressing, which is conveniently stored in a separate little container.
Buy It: ClipFresh Salad Shaker with Dressing Container
Double Twist Mozzarella String Cheese
Change up the usual string cheese routine with this fun double twist of mozzarella and Cheddar — because why settle for one cheese when you can have two?
Buy It: Double Twist Mozzarella String Cheese
Lunch Bag + Reusable Sandwich Bag
Made from 100% organic cotton canvas, this Earth-friendly bag has cute apple and pear designs on the outside and waterproof linings on the inside for easy rinsing. It also comes with a matching reusable sandwich bag with easy-for-little-hands Velcro enclosure to cut down on plastic baggie usage.
Buy It: Keep Leaf Lunch Bag + Reusable Sandwich Bag
Thermos Food Jar
Remember the classic Thermoses with Barbie, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and My Little Pony on them? Here's a modern spin on the Thermos with rose gold polka dots. It still has the same great insulation (keeps food hot for up to seven hours and cold for up to nine hours!) and conveniently comes with a stainless steel spoon that neatly tucks into the lid.
Buy It: Thermos 16-Ounce Funtainer Food Jar
Your kid will score some cool points strolling into class with this colorful splatter-painted bag. With its interior zip pocket for sandwiches and an exterior pocket for juice box storage, it's as functional as it is stylish.
Buy It: Cat & Jack Splatter Star Lunch Bag
There's nothing wrong with regular Cheez-Its, but if your kiddo has a tolerance for spicy flavors, pack a little bag of this Sriracha-seasoned mix. The combo of spicy Cheez-Its, pretzels, corn cereal squares and cheese curls are finger-lickin’ good (so you might want to grab a couple of handfuls for yourself while packing lunch).
Buy It: Cheez-It Sriracha Snack Mix
Make sure your kid's lunch stays cool (literally) with these ice cooler packs — perfect for milk cartons, cheese, fruit and other perishable items. The BPA-free coolers are washable and reusable for tomorrow's lunch.
Buy It: Fit & Fresh Cool Coolers Ice Packs
Here's another great bento box option: The three-compartment plastic lunch box allows you to keep crustless sandwiches separate from grapes, cookies and other snacks. The lid's locks ensure the bento box won't leak or spill while bouncing around in a backpack.
Buy It: Cat & Jack Bento Box
Made with BPA-free plastic, this three-pack of sauce bottles makes it easy to pack vinaigrettes, Sriracha, Green Goddess dressing or any other condiment your kid needs to avoid a sad school lunch.
Buy It: Sistema Sauce To Go
Sea Salt Flakes
Maldon sea salt is like the Rolls-Royce of salts, and this smoked version is perfect for the little foodie in your life who needs some extra sophisticated flavor in his or her lunch. Teach 'em about gourmet salts while they're young!
Buy It: Maldon Smoked Sea Salt Flakes
Since when did lunch bags become so darn hip? This one is covered in very 2018 graphic icons — from peace signs to avocados to cats, this bag exudes chill lunch vibes.
Buy It: Icon Toss Lunch Bag
This three-in-one avocado slicer (a slicer, pitter and scooper) is safe for older kids to use if they want some fresh avo slices on turkey sandwiches or salads and want to avoid a sad pre-sliced-hours-ago brown avo situation.
Buy It: OXO 3-in-1 Avocado Slicer, Green
Stainless Steel Lunch Jar Set
Pack leftover soup, spaghetti or any other hot meals in this stainless steel jar set — it will magically stay warm for your little guy or gal until lunchtime. The set also comes with a matching handle bag for convenient transport to school.
Buy It: Zojirushi Ms. Bento Stainless Steel Lunch Jar Set
Annie's bunny grahams aren't just cute little bunnies, they're also organic and made with no artificial flavors or GMO ingredients (aka Mom-approved).
Buy It: Annie's Friends Bunny Grahams Baked Snacks
A bag of apple chips a day keeps the doctor away? Seriously though, if your kid isn't eating enough fruit, here's a sneaky way to get an apple in there. Bare Apple Chips are fat-free with no added sugar or oil — just dehydrated apples with a sprinkle of cinnamon. Swap out the potato chips for this crunchy, healthy snack.
Buy It: Bare Apple Chips Fuji Red and Cinnamon Snack Pack
Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle
Keep your little guy or gal hydrated after all that playtime at recess with this fun dino-decorated bottle. With insulated walls, it keeps water cool for hours and comes with a wide-mouth straw for easy sipping.
Buy It: Cheeky Kids Go 14-Ounce Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle
Take that minestrone, corn chowder, chicken noodle or any other soup to school in a fun cactus-clad container. It has an easy-to-grip handle to make sipping easier, just in case you forget a spoon. It's also both microwave- and dishwasher-safe (win-win).
Buy It: Soup to Go Lunch Box Set, White-and-Black Cactus Pattern