Ideas for Balanced Lunchboxes for Kids + PRINTABLE


Lunchboxes! Anyone else need inspiration for the daunting task of creating balanced lunchboxes for kids? We can spend hours looking at blogs, Instagram post and many websites looking to gear up. For more seasoned moms, we might be passed that point and now skip the fancy bags to grab what was available at Costco. And to be honest, after years of lunchboxes, that’s where I find the best products.

Scroll to the bottom for a fun printable with lunchbox ideas! 

Before giving up creating balanced lunchboxes for kids, here is the rule of three to keep my packing easy.

Photo from Tatiana Laborde

1. Main dish & Protein

Don’t think too much on this. Ask your kids for their preferences and keep some easy items in the freezer. Corn dogs, chicken nuggets, mini pizzas, empanadas, the list goes on. Making them in the morning is easy if you have a small oven or an air fryer. Last month we found some frozen dumplings to microwave and they have become an instant hit. Think about a max of 15 minute heating time and make it part of your routine.

My other easy go it is leftovers like pasta. This has become challenging as my kids are getting older and eating more, but if you can, set aside part of your dinner and heat it up in the morning. For warm food, preheat your hot lunchbox container with boiling water and it will remain warm.

2. Veggies

Leave one of your lunchbox compartments for veggies. Carrots, celery, grape tomatoes (although they are really fruits), cucumber, or whatever your kids prefer. You can prep for the week ahead or if you have very little time, buy precut vegetable platters at the supermarket and you are ready to go.

3. Fruits

This is the easiest part. Berries and grapes are my favorite, because they are so easy to get ready. Eventually, your kids might ask for variety, so you can precut a melon, sandia (watermelon), or other seasonal fruit and off you go.

This might sound obvious, but I have found it that keeping the printed reminder in my fridge door with balanced ideas makes packing lunchboxes easy. It is also easier to get kids involved, asking what they prefer and making some adjustments. Also remember that specially during the first days, kids are excited to be back with their friends and might not have as much time to eat, so pack light and have a snack ready at pick up.

Lunchboxes with cute shaped bites are cute, but might not work for most of us. Whatever ends up working for you, just remember one thing: Fed is best! Do what works for you and keep as much pressure off your days.

Lunchbox Ideas
Photo from Tatiana Laborde

>> Click to Print Lunchbox Ideas <<

Click to Print Lunchbox Ideas for Kids

Do you have any favorite go-to ideas for balanced lunchboxes for kids? Please share below!

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Tatiana Laborde
Tatiana was born in Bogota, Colombia and moved to the United States at age 15. She moved from Houston to DC in 2007 to work for an international organization. She met her husband at work and married in 2011. She has two children: Santiago (2013) and Antonio (2015) and a Masters degree in Conflict Resoliution. After the birth of her second child, she decided to take time off to stay home and focus on the kids. She is passionate about nutrition, self-led weaning and homemade food. The Story of My Table is her Instagram account and blog where she shares her adventures in the kitchen. She strongly believes that a wine a day keeps the doctor away and that the key to parenting two boys is to keep in good shape. She is not a fan of baking, but would occasionally do it to avoid highly processed food. She is an advocate for natural foods, Montessori education and allowing children to get bored. One day she dreams of building an organization where she can combine her passion for food with peacebuilding.


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