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Staff Picks: Healthy Lunch Ideas for Kids

Let’s be honest. Making weekday school lunches for your kids can be daunting. You want something healthy, but it needs to be easy to prepare too. Four OXO parents weigh in on how they keep lunchtime interesting for their kids.

5 min read

Your goals are twofold: feed them something nutritious they’ll actually eat and expand their budding palates. Sure, there are countless recommendations out there for the best kids lunches, but we feel that real life is messier than a Pinterest board, and sometimes you need a dose of inspiration from real (not virtual) caregivers. So we asked around the office for brown bag lunch ideas and got tips on what to pack for lunch for both the 10-and-under set and grownups alike. We’ve also included some favorite tools to make lunch prep even easier.

Bento Box

Send Lunch as a Kids Bento Box

OXO Senior Brand Voice Manager Rebecca makes bento-style lunches for her daughter Iris because she likes to graze on a bunch of little bites instead of a big meal. For school, she'll use Silicone Baking Cups to divide things up. Eating at home? Use a Divided Plate for that bento-esque feel. Some of Rebecca’s greatest hits include:

  • Baby carrots or carrot sticks with dip, like homemade hummus or Ranch
  • Ham and cheese roll-ups
  • String cheese
  • Dried cranberries mixed with dark chocolate chips for dessert

Let Kids Help Prepare Kid-Sized Versions

Former HR Manager Jess made hundreds of lunches during her two years as a nanny. She took care of a four-year-old, so these lunches are equally good at home or on-the-go. Good tip: Pull out the kid-friendly cooking tools and let your tot help prepare the meal—they’ll have a blast and be more invested in eating it. Here are a few of Jess’ faves:

Kids Snacking

Make “Toddler Tapas”

Senior Creative Project Manager Holly’s family loves snack-style lunching (something we like to think of as “toddler tapas”). These types of meals make successful school lunches because it allows kids to pick what they feel like eating from a variety of healthy, nutritious options.

Get Pinterest-Worthy Levels of Creative

Benat, Senior Product Manager, surprises and delights her seven-year-old Amelia with creative spins on her favorite snacks, much to the chagrin of other parents we imagine. The great thing about these lunch ideas is that although they look Pinterest-perfect, they’re each surprisingly easy to prepare.

  • Skewers (best for big kids!) with strawberries and grapes (de-stem a bunch of strawberries with this handy Strawberry Huller)
  • Skewers with salami and mozzarella
  • Apples or watermelon cut with cookie cutters
  • Snacks like crackers, cheese, hummus and hard boiled eggs in Baby Blocks paired with little cocktail forks
  • Fruit and yogurt mason jar parfait (this was the talk of the classroom!)

From kid-friendly meatballs to our favorite weekday bean salad, there are countless healthy lunch ideas beyond the fallback PB&J (although that’s good too!) Got any other ideas for kid’s lunches? We’d love to hear ‘em!


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