Packed school lunches can be a gamble. Kids refusing to eat their packed lunch is a common occurrence, even if they are hungry!

children sitting with their lunchboxes

While we can’t (and shouldn’t!) be there to look over their shoulder and make sure they eat what we packed, we can do our best to set them up for success! Here are 7 ideas to help make a lunch that will keep them fueled until after school.

  1. Pack it together: Helping pack the lunch can help your little sprout create a positive relationship with food in general and get them excited to enjoy the meal they made with you! 
  2. Plan ahead: When you can, of course! Having a plan (hopefully) means less stress. Having a few go-to lunchbox items makes even hectic mornings a little bit easier to get out the door. 
  3. No surprises here: Lunch is probably not the time to introduce new things to your kiddo. The main goal is to make sure they are ready for the second half of their day. 
  4. Add a little variety: While lunch may not be the time for exploration, break out of the same ‘ol same ‘ol by rotating in foods that you know they enjoy. 
  5. Check-in after school: If you’re met with apathy when you ask, “how was your lunch?”, try asking in different or more specific ways such as, “did you eat the apple in your lunch” or, “were you full after your lunch today?” 
  6. A little treat goes a long way: Give your kiddo something you know they enjoy, like a cookie—and have conversations about the importance of foods we need versus foods we want. Of course, both are good! 
  7. Follow the rules: Always keep the school’s food guidelines in mind when packing, even individual classrooms can have specific rules. 

You know your kiddo best, but we hope that these ideas are helpful. Do you have any fun tips on packing a school lunch? Share with us on Instagram!

And Sprout Organics is here to help! Make the back-to-school transition a little bit easier with our top picks for a tasty school lunch.


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