21 Creative Lunchbox Ideas Your Kids Will Love

We help you think outside the (lunch)box.

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When it comes to kids, sometimes the look of their food matters just as much as the taste. A plain ham-and-cheese sandwich? No, thanks. A ham-and-cheese sandwich shaped like a school bus? Yum! If you’re a parent just trying to pack a lunch your kid will actually eat (or if you’re just a super-cool, extra-nice parent), it might be time to call on your creativity. We’ve rounded up fun ideas your kids will love. Take a look, and see what you think.

School Bus Superhero

Make a sandwich into a school bus, complete with a smile. Use your scraps to make a stoplight and a mini cheese wheel to act as a stop sign.

Flying High

A diamond-shaped sandwich and fresh veggies make an adorable kite in this little’s lunch.

Beneficial Bumblebee

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Now your been can fly away!

Now your been can fly away!

Add this healthy bumblebee to your kite lunch for a whirlwind of excitement.

Make This: Veggie Bumblebee

Lunchtime Score

Got a football fanatic on your hands? Try out this ball-themed lunch for your little one.

Mermaid Masterpiece

Make lunch a maritime excursion with a mermaid-embellished sandwich. Get creative with fruit, vegetables and cheese to craft your sea goddess and her underwater friends.


Keep things easy by simply cutting lunchbox basics into moon and sun shapes for a celestial theme.

Fun With Frogs

Olives, toothpicks and some clever cutting take this ham-and-cheese sandwich from boring to brilliant.

Puppy Power

All you need to please a pup-loving kid are dog- and bone-shaped cookie cutters.

Very Berry Ladybug

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This week's red, white and blue ladybug is perfect for any time, but is an especially fun Fourth of July project!

This week's red, white and blue ladybug is perfect for any time, but is an especially fun Fourth of July project!

Add an apple-blueberry ladybug to any lunch to sneak in a dose of fruit.

Lunchbox Invasion

Prepare for sandwich take-off! And don’t forget the grape aliens.

Game Time

If your little one gets bored at lunchtime, create an activity inside his or her lunchbox. A simple game of Tic-Tac-Toe will leave both brain and tummy satisfied.

Sea Critters

Octopus hot dogs and waves of cheese, FTW!

Mean Green Alligator

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Green Gator

This ferocious alligator is a blast to create using a few simple, tasty supplies.

Photo by: Image courtesy of Ruth Meharg

Image courtesy of Ruth Meharg

Throw a pepper alligator in your sea-themed lunchbox to add some veggie crunch.

Make This: Pepper Alligator

Birthday Lunch

Every kid deserves a special birthday lunch. Celebrate him or her with this clever, candy-filled sandwich.

Donut Doozy

If your little one loves dessert, add an apple donut to their birthday box, too. Spread your apple rounds with nut butter before sprinkling with toppings.

Field Trip

Try different colors of peppers or tomatoes to add your own twist to this charming, edible giraffe.

Try different colors of peppers or tomatoes to add your own twist to this charming, edible giraffe.

Try different colors of peppers or tomatoes to add your own twist to this charming, edible giraffe.

Create a zoo-themed lunch by including this fruit-and-veggie giraffe. Throw in a kooky bird for kicks, and don’t forget to add a source of protein.

Make This: Edible Giraffe

5 More Kid-Friendly Lunch Ideas

Make-Ahead School Lunch Hacks
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