Lunchbox Notes and Food Ideas Your Kids Will Love

By Jake Schroeder
U07fcdjzqvgfihhlnxiszau5xbg4yzhjbzc0oumt1fqyxrcp05venju5zouyjd3 W F X82nvqwksgzxxln6ihzblnl51mi3rnayt8z22knao6s5ea No6swm7rtveznegeilejbuefju14pq
Photo Courtesy: Mihail_fotodeti/Pixabay

Lunchtime can be one of the best times of your child’s day. Not only do they get to open up a bag or box filled with food, but they also get a little piece of home.

You’re likely tired of sending the same old peanut butter and jelly sandwich with packaged snacks. It’s equally likely that your kids are tired of eating them. Make lunchtime extra special with some of the fun notes and food ideas below.

Write an Ongoing Story

Lunchtime is a special time to connect with your child even when you aren’t physically with them. Instead of the usual sticky note with a smiley face you might normally put into your kid's lunchbox, try to come up with an ongoing story.

7r9wriun3t Mrtlqsosh4avtkjp Sh88mcrbaxtvssyjrtsshtu0dd3aao8247atfvvncfs66s0uvneozljop31hzxwomry9ojmvwwpxbe6edj64ddaer Hz4br94c4cyzle2 Aymgp7get6nw
Photo Courtesy: kaboompics/Pixabay

You can start the story on the first note and add a few more lines each day. Your little one will be so excited each day to see what comes next in the story. You can stretch the narrative out for a few weeks or the whole school year.

Holiday Themed Food

The holidays are a great time to add a little sparkle to your child’s lunch. You can make sandwiches in the shape of snowmen over winter or heart-shaped pizzas for Valentine’s Day. You can make mummy-wrapped hot dogs for Halloween dye their milk green for St. Patrick’s Day.

1ogwwjdeppbpdqsvbjdvsjkwfktkar4fhrhfskqgmxfypisl4x8w 9xsvjzlej5mrvcgaha3vcnqvon1 I1xqzkqa8ff5wjf1jv74gvrpdu6qn 8 Aqicoplrtrdkzeglcnsunxfmeqiib0wca
Photo Courtesy: JillWellington/Pixabay

For any holiday, you can include festive cookies, candy or a tradition that is special to your family. During the 12 days leading up to winter break, for example, you can put a special treat in their lunchbox each day.

Pizza Roll-Ups

Give lunch a little twist with pizza roll-ups. This is a fun take on pizza that offers a little something different than cold leftovers. To make pizza roll-ups, you can also use a variety of toppings and ingredients. You can even sneak in a vegetable.

9lskewxny9kgtswt6gp Lulagcn4wc Y77txg82gplvcyedf98rsaggcfkxevq5tgoaondxly X K4o5w1sdjrmuukbpnonjdsumeqt4gccltjlg7qy Kokfrko Ntowwypjzbqusttlgw1umq
Photo Courtesy: Wow_Pho/Pixabay

Start with a tortilla shell. Next, use a red or white pizza sauce. Add cheese and any meat or vegetables your little one prefers. Melt these together quickly and roll them up. You can serve them as one roll or cut them up as mini rolls.


Personal Notes

Personal notes are a fun way to share a special moment with your child while you are apart. These notes are something your child will look forward to and remember forever. While you don’t need to spend hours crafting them, just a few minutes on a piece of paper will go a long way.

Osrophxf8jhydkxovmwrfhbsag9gvwvpktfj3twdutf8zs8rbxtskmk5foonyj1t4b Bzw3sq Ypjlbuus2p4gbmalktmlaub4kpj8u4dypwdavyolfb1njb18ebztpj7iitllsmresvp1bn3a
Photo Courtesy: Pexels/Pixabay

If you’re looking for inspiration, go with something personal between you and your child. Alternatively, refer to something going on in their life. If they have a big test coming up, wish them well or good luck on their test.

Breakfast for Lunch

Who doesn’t love breakfast at unexpected times? Kids, in general, seem to always finish their breakfast foods yet can never manage to eat all of their carrots. If you have a picky eater who thrives at breakfast, this approach can be a great way to get them to eat more as well.

Wlaln423pulx1ahgm20neoyns2s9ckmxcnsoap4xiqz2bo8nq 7ogasqtf 87uisdnjky305wqsgbkjxtuermhno2seuswlqxc Kqygstp6nyj5elrzyed0xd4awtiouw5bc882uy911x6lwtg
Photo Courtesy: laundrya/Pixabay

For a breakfast lunchbox, you can do anything from mini pancakes, waffles, cereal with milk or even pigs in a blanket. In different containers, give them syrup, pancakes, fruit and even some chocolate chips for fun. Eggs, bagels, yogurt and muffins are also easy add-ins.

Tell a Joke

Kids love to laugh, whether it’s at TV shows, silly faces or just plain goofiness. Give your kid some extra smiles at lunchtime with a little joke inside their lunchbox. A quick search online can yield a month’s worth of jokes.

Elsdirtl5vorioj7t2cnvxfqvu5mn2okysmwdmcoysf09rgytlx Sxpwldaojenolzrpiz2y8bbxwqdq6apm6a3it Geizpyrnvmo4xx28ii3rs Dudsat3nmtfrzkwwun8ytxbm Eatfn0x0w
Photo Courtesy: Kranich17/Pixabay

To add a joke to your child’s lunchbox, use a sticky note or even a washable marker on something plastic within their lunch. If you don’t have time to add a daily joke, make it a Friday treat or something you do on special occasions.


PB&J Banana Dog

For a fun take on a hot dog, try a peanut butter and jelly banana dog. This whimsical childhood favorite takes the classic peanut butter and jelly and combines it with a favorite kid’s dinner food. If your little one loves bananas, peanut butter and jelly, this is sure to be a fan favorite.

Jfpdvhhwpgc3bit Seey5oqylg1zjlekedrtyq9v2cwn19iwezsqbr4lcrvf Bd5hsb0vmccepqalz5vc7f5uwrfck Sro2pdum031b7ommtpeqt N4yap7sjmikmzpctzgwwrt5j Vu0rlfq
Photo Courtesy: arnehomme/Pixabay

To make the peanut butter and banana dog, take a hot dog bun and place a banana in it like you would a hot dog. Add peanut butter and jelly to the top like condiments. You can also use whole grain bread.

Bento Box

Bento boxes make even an average lunch feel a little elevated. A bento box has different compartments of varying sizes to keep all of your child’s lunch items separate. If you have a kid that would rather snack than eat a meal, a this Japanese-inspired approach might just do the trick.

Jaiznv8hppahdgbgdmfrl5 1w2fzrvcfbqhysuzzf3uxf04zeozd3dafvukhg2stouylwiuepp84xi2uehqhsjnuaztiagglisutiolas3qamsuodt6jew5qjbohbwjqrkd98ubt58hhs Ilga
Photo Courtesy: silviarita/Pixabay

There are a few items that make stocking a bento box the night before really easy. For some go-to lunch items, choose berries, melon, cheese cubes, crackers, shredded chicken or pulled pork, slices of turkey, carrots, pita bread, string cheese, grapes or cucumbers.


Stickers can make any lunch feel special. Your kid won’t expect a fun roll of stickers in their lunch bag with their sandwich, and they can use them right there at lunch or save them for later in the day.

Fzw0sniboaittnxftqupl3ppjw80wopmtyn9iej3nfg5kzoxwfzkyqzxxblt9uyjdf2qsx Ga2helu32pnlsrqthd61gkeabpyrcvtzih0lv42bl4xuna99sodgvu Asa Dxezyiu2 Dwxrlhg
Photo Courtesy: MichaelGaida/Pixabay

You can choose stickers that match the time of year. For instance, near Halloween, put a roll of pumpkin or ghost stickers in their lunchbox. You can do the same for their birthday, Valentine’s Day or the Friday before vacation.


Add Some Color

If you really want to surprise your little one, give them something fun and colorful to do at lunch. A rolled-up from a coloring book or mini coloring pad with smaller pages and some crayons are all you need.

Zyf Seab9y0v Uh4djmdddp2ll Qj9w1qnuzvpasfl Ktcphuff67b2ubt1csnbz8t2hga Ckg3dpeysfzjztlwfpcub6xhzta9pzbiadsvoyqutczsy2lkgmcegyzpkod9fxkk5io 6nf Nza
Photo Courtesy: ponce_photography/Pixabay

This fun surprise makes a quick and relaxing activity during lunch and guarantees your kid will have a good time even if their best friends are absent that day. It’s also good encouragement for those young Picassos out there.

Ants on a Log

You probably remember ants on a log from when you were a kid. This classic kid snack is an oldie but a goodie. To make this treat, you cut a piece of celery sideways like a log. Scoop some peanut butter into the inside and line up a few raisins like they’re ants.

Jvloztfwz5dxxjahthi0cecskkq7uyoasmqyp3deuhteoeoxi Zcezdjoet2pzaoujojq Phl16jrucyyvvkbei9xgn4qgmhtidkmh8wcnvrs Zkudyo8wzzidbcyxkrppn2pg4nexlbwe52yg
Photo Courtesy: inetaLi/Pixabay

Ants on a log are not only adorable but also good for you. The raisins have fiber and vitamins, while the peanut butter is filling and a good source of protein. It’s certainly better than an actual log and ants!

Flavored Milk

Many kids love milk in all its forms. Classic white milk is not only delicious, but also a great source of vitamin D and minerals. Even if your child can’t have dairy, there are plenty of non-dairy milk to choose from such as oat milk, soy milk or almond milk that can work for this treat.

Oor5vy8aimuptzruiumnyasikrjuywm4csy Yvtxl75hq3k8i04q F7bml4jj1npwdj Dezsdkxilutu Xjjw3xg Hzbhl1hsd92w8tv7qvs6bsxfi 6yngl Jcmubfstwbv1ctmtzfxdjvcq
Photo Courtesy: Kai_Vogel/Pixabay

Take the milk of your choice and choose a fun flavoring your kids will enjoy. For chocolate lovers, the classic chocolate milk is always a best. You can also try strawberry milk for something a little different.


Make Your Own Parfait

Meals that encourage kids to make something for themselves are always fun. Your little one will enjoy being their own chef. A parfait is an easy meal to make using a couple of containers and a cooler for the fruit and yogurt.

Yoyuyg9vsqtrgpg 0vnkxms007auyw9dzdcjvawdvgzvt7kcissvj3u0fzkhraiiqbghngdyuit4l1htwosjtv3jucyn9e0yatvoh8nx 10caimso8gamfawuiy24c6rihmqey33erncaorzg
Photo Courtesy: StockSnap/Pixabay

Start with a container of yogurt and add your child’s favorite toppings. Toppings may include granola, berries or honey. You can use strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, or bananas as additional fruit options. Cereal or granola add a nice extra crunch.

Fruit Pizza

If your kid loves pizza but you want them to eat something healthy, make a fruit pizza for lunch. Fruit pizza can be cut into triangles like a pizza and served with a variety of different fruits on top. Add an ice pack to their lunch bag to keep the pizza cool and you’re all set.

Iulahwjlox5nbjwlqbyti46amyefqhp7pj70mvrluwmpqmo6bxofuo H18bzczebbwtvz1zmlohbwniabxj1ca Pgyqceovh49mhim5vlvnczcuzaz5mzpffdxy20nnggnqv44j7xx1tixhxdg
Photo Courtesy: Einladung_zum_Essen/Pixabay

To make your fruit pizza, use a puff pastry as the bottom of the pizza crust. Add cream cheese to the crust and then your child’s favorite fruit to the top. Strawberries, bananas, blueberries and kiwi are all tasty options.

Make a Drawing

If you want to do something besides a note, consider giving your kid a fun drawing instead. A drawing is a cute way of conveying a little message to your kid while you are apart, and it makes for a sweet connection between the two of you. Unlike notes, a drawing also works for children who haven’t started reading yet.

Xf12ernisms14ryenps Crr Diszuyplx1s6fni3mjdqeukqrnlslpbk Dp66jz14mpg99ba0fu3wxfot71ntsrpxm6dwabbezoj 0nf7wxldrvzgbmq71kswldkahiczrjvdp 7vllg0qrzow
Photo Courtesy: coyot/Pixabay

For some design inspiration, remember that your child won’t care if you aren’t the best artist. Just do the best you can and doodle something meaningful to both of you. You can draw their favorite character or family pet.



If you have an older child or a kid who enjoys puzzles and riddles, step up your note game with something to put together or solve. A riddle is a fun way to give your puzzle lover a little mid-day surprise.

Yvfcgvpyflmhg Ooxgijwevmv9spbot Qtzhc Tmaoasd9pzmkwcbimepi5oggzeadkurmyyw2fjioji8o1vkx0jitqmezneb7oiycarpgci7tudutkctnctue46uuf8w10hfv2m3aey6mn3a
Photo Courtesy: Organicmom30/Pixabay

You can make a maze, puzzle, word game, riddle or even a crossword puzzle on a brown paper bag, a piece of paper or a notepad. If this is something you and your child decide to do daily, consider a small dry erase board for reusability.

Write a Poem

If you like to play with words or are just good at searching online, you can add some sweet poetry to your child’s lunchbox. A poem can be as simple as two lines that rhyme or something longer.

D Pa Pxkqvzne6x1fufcj5maawuzkq0 3addx6kpx44k4v7qnefxtyhcc Mcl17qq7yafhgbxvlvoywsfnb8u38wvehaxynjhmxu1664hzvjag3xdu S8nyb3pjpwqd6kcd5mkul1 Srb4q7ga
Photo Courtesy: cromaconceptvisual/Pixabay

If you aren’t savvy as a writer, don’t worry. You can google some small poems or words that rhyme and just copy them down to a note card, a small piece of paper or a sticky note. You can use a chalk marker to write a poem as well.

Pizza Day

Pizza is always a crowd-pleaser. Kids love pizza and it is an easy way to give kids the delicious dinner they love during a stressful school day. You can make mini pizzas using small pizza crusts, bagels or English muffins. Add some vegetables to the top for a healthy (or healthier) bonus.

8j D0z0pqygqtpwvrgvj2j0yrgsu0mmdfrhdxhuvorelhtufgqofjhjqz17z9 Ce84jgxgoqfjrfvqnkdjbp6mmhwcz7ajbatohtvqmlc5tbangzj 8k6zeyi Gx Hsblyf5ixs6udxmdluooa
Photo Courtesy: Riedelmeier/Pixabay

Take the crust of your choice, add sauce, cheese and toppings and bake your mini pizzas as required by the crust. Cut your mini pizzas to fit into small containers or go with mini bagels or small English muffins for portability.


Food on a Stick

There is something about a stick that makes food taste better. If you have an older child who won’t harm themselves with a stick, this is a fun way to serve even regular lunch items. You can use a stick to serve their main course, a snack or even a dessert.

Mxvvoxqrhqgnzbltljfagij1a Y97lqvyt72mmly4qusvqo3 Ljypttxzfpptdou8tzhtqyrp5uqexzp 1evtsbifgeiuwdqzykxojkkalgaei7dnlz9khjnjy Io Bb7mojxwbnn Vfgsygnq
Photo Courtesy: StockSnap/Pixabay

Some great foods to serve on a stick are cheese, grapes, melons, chicken, cucumbers, olives or pickles. You can also take a banana covered in peanut butter and yogurt and freeze it on a stick. Pancakes or waffles work well, too.

Cookie Cutter Sandwiches

To add some whimsy to your sandwiches, use a cookie cutter with different shapes. Your kid probably doesn’t like the crust anyway, so make it easier on yourself and add in a nice little surprise. The nice thing is you can do this with almost any type of sandwich.

Ornx7mdvyujt3kvthf1yvwdsz9n34if6m2tfqyivmyswt9qnn6vym1ypxgnbmludzbg83 Vh8jttvwmytnbjxmjzbvz Pvjg31apgcgwajjvohoqfbn4l8g3az26cnkddxs49z9dtxgeewvgmw
Photo Courtesy: jessicabraider/Pixabay

Around the holidays you can make peanut butter and jelly into a Christmas tree. You can also make your kid’s sandwich into a pumpkin for Halloween or a heart for Valentine’s Day. Your kid will get their crustless sandwich, and you’ll get them to finish it.

Energy Bites

Energy bites make for a great kid’s lunch. These protein-packed little gems are full of healthy foods that not only taste great but are also secretly nutritious. One of the best things about making energy bites is that you can throw them in lunches as well.

Zl804xn22urfkz4whlhl6pfgvptur30xl99o59lyetbs5d9h1fgouuhwvk8uyxeewnkmgpmahxlze9wnwdvbwybm6hjs02omd 1zwcqhlo9cvxzgdz43phkqux4 Zqb9vyoyt7mlmwrersk0 Q
Photo Courtesy: NickyPe/Pixabay

Energy bites are essentially oatmeal oats mixed with peanut butter, honey and chocolate chips. Once all of these ingredients are mixed together, you can roll them into balls and put them in the freezer. Take them out in the morning for a delicious treat.


Add a Dip

Kids usually like to dip their food. Even as adults, adding a dip to a meal can make it taste that much better. If you want to spice up your child’s lunch, consider adding a dipping sauce to their favorite meal.

Dimhzkvuiajnhd2tu8rfbb6buci24vnidvstkaj992ziaea5tz9ifhppgrls99g Uf7hsruxaza008ui1cijnby1q5znds2usumqdggykuveeos3bvo1s19xqn0gl4yqvvietflatflzkpgtyq
Photo Courtesy: nevena313/Pixabay

If you’re packing your child’s lunch with fruit, for example, add a fruit dip containing yogurt and a little vanilla pudding. For vegetables, send ranch dressing or hummus. You can also add condiments or sauces such as salsa, yogurt, ketchup, barbecue or mustard to serve with almost anything.


Quesadillas are a great lunchbox surprise. For something zesty and savory, add cheese to your favorite tortilla and serve it with a side of salsa in your child’s lunchbox. Add some tomatoes, avocado, black beans, chips, rice or corn.

Sm8otediu9cwxweti1cgi Mkxltjl55se0iqr2tgmerbw49phr F 5zw1t Urgqu5wiz J1ibv7dgdxjqfetz0ssmf0m4fylhxkj30 Zohj1vq6jkonzqihawncttsmhxj5n2rextsrkpnprda
Photo Courtesy: Pexels/Pixabay

If your child likes eggs, you can also make breakfast quesadillas using eggs, breakfast meat and cheese. Breakfast quesadillas are also delicious served with salsa or ketchup. Quesadillas are easy to prepare the night before and then heat up the next morning and wrap them in tin foil.

Use a Thermos

A thermos is one of those nostalgic lunchbox items that not everyone uses today. If you want to surprise your kid, get a thermos featuring a character they love. These thermoses are great for keeping cold and hot food at exactly the right temperature.

I2rqhtkxzn9fmpsgr2ziugsvzlgc3rc 0w3myy2nqmq3vullfse4hgv6icqt5nuvxfwuw597pcmsh2svclwnwpxw9eiox0leyelobkzgadatpjfe7esyso0eaugibfggzd8kdt6szxtkweng3w
Photo Courtesy: valdaar/Pixabay

For some fun thermos ideas, think about drinks, soup, oatmeal or even yogurt. These items will also be kept colder or warmer than if you just put them in a plastic container. Your child will have fun using a cup with their favorite characters on it.


Undercover Healthy Muffins

Muffins are a quick snack to throw into your child’s lunchbox. Muffins can almost look like cupcakes but undercover muffins will always contain a fruit or vegetable of your choice for some secret nutrition. The best part about making muffins is that you’ll have anywhere from 12 to 36 bakes at once.

Coo8opxx4lrjpssmjtueb6o29zipbwquqdmk3vfezveekcdkf928qjz0dzyktfp2lixbao4sxmkg5sb 05idiavcps06 Mgo8 Vyq4nxyjdiysxlgmao1dfsii9um23kfag4 F Qflbp4z9w
Photo Courtesy: ponce_photography/Pixabay

Some undercover muffin ideas and add-ins include carrots, blueberries, raisins, bananas, applesauce, strawberries or lemon. Make muffins as you normally would and slip in something healthy like a little sweet potato. They won’t even notice their blueberry muffin is a little healthier.


A smoothie is a great way to pack a little nutrition into your child’s lunch. Your kids will enjoy a cold, sweet treat, and you’ll be happy knowing you snuck in some vegetables, too. You can keep a smoothie cold using an insulated metal cup, thermos or an ice pack.

Hyq4wpmnmasjxareuxajvqxr8rxilf R3gmkegzzv7tyq4cvnybtalg0dk4etiil0tr0rkzrir7hrffvq0fxrtz Iqon3ugce5vajj2fs2k7lhiaankodgh0luaftuwqoycp7luxvdlttnmugg
Photo Courtesy: skeeze/Pixabay

For some delicious and healthy smoothie mix-ins, start using any cow’s milk or non-dairy milk such as oat or coconut milk of your choice. Add bananas, fresh or frozen fruit, spinach and kale. You can also add avocado, honey or peanut butter.

Surprise Toy

Think of a McDonald's happy meal when you brainstorm ideas for this tip. A surprise toy is like a homemade happy meal that your little one can look forward to at lunchtime. A small toy is a fun way to make your child smile.

6cakbmdcc1piblk8m7ywzzst6 Ewgyvhgaqtxybxfr2 Mzldupmoybrs Fdaolgqvfgsg2sqk5qth8byrcfn 16fe 4qsnmk6xfqa7w4frj2 Dhmnznv3xx6yit0dckzhtb7m8dqlbh K4os8g
Photo Courtesy: Alexas_Fotos/Pixabay

They don’t have to be expensive, either. A trip to the dollar store will do. Small surprise toy ideas include a bouncy ball, stickers, bracelet, stamp, eraser, or new pencil. Pens or school supplies are a practical surprise, too.


Meat and Cheese Platter

Kids love little snacks. If you’re having a hard time getting your child to eat full meals, try to make food look a little more like a snack at lunchtime. A meat and cheese array with fruit and some veggies is like a lunch disguised as an appetizer.

Ktcjhgnur Ueexglv3mfy5l22o7fqjncv5izxuiyladslhiepiy4ix70jcm707kqdr8dadaa0vyikxhng5gwxtkj6dyh4qgxfjpojjgk4oee27g8 Pnkehig61wo6jcb E8z4g L2tiswqd3ba
Photo Courtesy: Alexas_Fotos/Pixabay

Your kid will enjoy stacking crackers, meats and cheese together like little sandwiches. Meat and cheese ideas include turkey, turkey pepperoni, cheese cubes or slices, grapes, pretzels and crackers. Berries, carrots, cucumbers and little pita bread triangles go nicely here as well.

Mini Chicken and Waffles

Making anything miniature instantly makes a lunch cuter. You can quickly make mini waffles using pre-made batter if you have the right size waffle maker. You can also buy mini waffles frozen from the store for an easier way to prepare this meal.

In3mzui0tcbjt2jj4eqw10lv6mgfea3nyvcpyra2qhm7rtnvhius67pubytspc3epqyz75uuvt342nlylpdmkbxe2zzeual4qpnd7dwul P Va8ytat89a8tqtwbgig6av Mxxaxnesg Ob1ca
Photo Courtesy: congerdesign/Pixabay

Pack a small plastic container of syrup with another one or two filled with some strawberries and blueberries. Next, cook a couple of frozen or fresh chicken tenders or even pulled rotisserie chicken. You can also add a dollop of yogurt, whipped cream, ketchup or hot sauce in their lunch.

Taco Tuesday

Taco Tuesday is a fun theme that your child will look forward to each and every week. Every Tuesday, pack some variation of a taco in their lunchbox. You can serve everything separately and have them assemble their meal at school or pre-make it and wrap the taco(s) in tin foil to keep them warm.

Ez47txlqe9xggs Y R4zu37evdf Htepgspbfu8rcngdoutaq4wob5efmo21ceeercvlfjw4cq59ukazjbq4ra3rqrnciyyxvivi0upsdmf0rk4b2z9wbcv8qexprobqteerffmfkfkswvjwzw
Photo Courtesy: adoproducciones/Pixabay

Taco Tuesday ideas include a flour or corn tortilla, your child’s protein or vegetable of choice and small containers of of salsa, cheese, black beans, corn, lettuce, sour cream or avocado.