It seems like every parent I know (myself included) is frequently stumped over what to put in their kids’ school lunch box. It’s a balancing act between making lunch nutritious and interesting, while still packing items your kids will actually eat. Since Phoebe’s first day of school is today, I thought it would be perfect timing to share a few fun lunchbox ideas I’m planning for this year, full of her favorite foods that are also bursting with color — and most importantly, easy and quick for me to pack up the night before. I didn’t realize until I had a kid in preschool how many classrooms are nut-free these days due to allergies, so we partnered with our friends at Skeeter Nut Free for these lunch boxes featuring their delicious all-natural whole grain cookies and grahams. Click through the slides for some fun around-the-world inspiration — and I’d love to hear in the comments all of your go-to school lunch ideas!

*photos: Laura Alexandra

Italian-inspired lunchbox:

  • English muffin mini pizza’s topped with mozzarella cheese, cherry tomatoes, and fresh basil
  • Broccoli and garbanzo beans
  • Red grapes
  • Skeeter Nut Free shortbread mini cookies



Prep Tip: Top 2 english muffin halves with cherry tomatoes and shredded mozzarella, then pop under the broiler until the cheese melts and edges of the english muffin are toasty. Let cool, top with fresh basil, cut into wedges and pack up!

Asian-inspired lunchbox: 

  • “Sushi” sandwich with ham, carrots, and cheddar, wrapped in a spinach tortilla
  • Blueberries
  • Orange slices
  • Sugar snap peas
  • Skeeter Nut Free honey grahams

Prep Tip: Warm the tortilla before filling it to ensure it’s soft enough to wrap without ripping, then pile on your child’s favorite ingredients, roll it up, and slice.

Mexican-inspired lunchbox: 

  • Black bean & corn quesadillas
  • Bell pepper slices & cherry tomatoes
  • Avocado with lime
  • Skeeter Nut Free cinnamon grahams

Prep tip: Rinse and drain canned black beans, combine with fresh corn, then layer onto a tortilla with shredded cheddar. Top with another tortilla, then cook on a grill pan or under the broiler until cheese is melted and tortilla is golden brown. Slice into wedges and pack!

One tip that I’ve learned through experience: when kids are allowed to join you in the kitchen to help make their meals, they’re way more likely to actually eat them. I let Phoebe pull a chair up to the counter and weigh in on what ingredients go in her quesadilla or on her pizza. Then when she unpacks her lunchbox the next day, she’s excited to eat something that she had some choice in and actually helped make.

We put together this amazing backpack for Phoebe chock full of fun back-to-school supplies, and you can win it! Follow @SkeeterNutFree on Twitter for details on how to enter to win.

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Comments (6)
  1. 1
    Christine Somma September 1, 2016 at 11:22 am

    Thanks for the great ideas. Being a new mom packing pre school lunches is a challenge. The bento boxes in your pics are adorable. Where can I get them? Thanks!

    • Jessica September 10, 2016 at 8:01 am

      I just found them online at pottery barn kids.

  2. 3
    Casey September 2, 2016 at 12:11 pm

    Yes those bento boxes are great!

  3. 4
    Nancy September 26, 2016 at 7:26 am

    Thanks for this great idea. My daily problem solve for my children.