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The 9 Lunchbox Essentials to Have on Hand

Created January 10, 2017
Stock your pantry, fridge and freezer with these essentials and you’ll have wholesome kid-approved lunchbox combos at the ready.
the 9 lunchbox essentials to have on hand

We’re keeping things fun and fresh with our new mix-and-match approach to packing lunches this school year. Perfectly customizable, having these nine things on hand will give you countless ideas for lunches your kids wouldn’t even think of trading!

  1. Meat and cheese skewers. Ham, turkey, salami, leftover steak—you name it! Cubing deli meat or leftover dinner mains and chunks of cheddar or Swiss makes for a filling protein-rich lunchbox.
  2. Crackers. Easy enough to eat on their own or use as the base for a cracker sandwich, kids will never complain with a handful/stack of crackers. If you’re looking for a great gluten-free option, we can’t get enough of Food Should Taste Good’s brown rice sea salt crackers.
  3. Mini pepperoni. Delicious by the handful, added to leftover pasta salad or sprinkled over a mini pizza boat (!), these cuties prove that sometimes size really does matter.
  4. Cereal. We know we’re not the only ones who love cereal any time of day, and a cup of your kid’s favorite cereal can be the perfect comfort midday snack or treat if you go the sweeter route.
  5. Fresh fruit. It’s as easy as including a tiny clementine or a banana, but we especially love to pack frozen grapes so they keep cool until lunchtime, because who doesn’t love cold fruit?!
  6. Go-Gurt. Another lunchbox staple, Go-Gurt is perfectly portable and easy to freeze, acting as a makeshift icepack to keep things cool.
  7. Yogurt- and chocolate-covered raisins. These classic snacks are a must. Covered pretzels and nuts work too!
  8. Tiny veggies. Keep healthy veggies cute and easily pop-able for small hands with baby carrots, sugar snap peas and grape tomatoes (ranch for dunking is always a good idea!).
  9. Cookies. Our shortcut cookies are a cinch to bake and freeze, making pulling a couple out of the freezer to pack in a lunchbox an effortless extra-special treat.