The Best Lunchboxes for Back To School

Alright lets chat about lunchboxes. School is almost here and its time to start getting things in order. Making my kids lunches makes me SO so happy. I don’t know what it is about it… there is just something about the assembly line of bento boxes and delicious food. I am going to share with you some of my favorite lunch boxes for back to school. I will also say, I do not like making lunches when I am not prepared. I make a separate grocery list JUST for lunchbox items so that I am prepared for the week with healthy options that my kids love!

Some of our lunchbox staple items:

  • Grandma Sycamore Honey Whole Wheat Bread – makes for the softest Peanut Butter and Jellies & turkey sandwiches! For gluten free, we will do rice cakes with PB&J OR turkey/cheese roll ups!
  • Oatmeal
  • Yogurt
  • Granola
  • Roasted Red Pepper Triscuits
  • Tricolor Mini Peppers + Ranch Dressing
  • Chewy Bars
  • All sorts of Fruit
  • String Cheese
  • Popcorn
  • Trail Mix. THIS kind is our favorite.
  • Costco Muffins (We cut them into 4 pieces and freeze them! Helps them last longer!)


Planet Boxes. Totally dishwasher safe, perfect size, lots of styles to choose from. They even come with leak proof containers that fit inside of them if you want to send your kids to school with some yogurt, salad dressing or jello!


We have had yumbox lunchboxes for YEARS. Like since they first came out. It is embarrassing how many of them I’ve had over the years actually. They’re leakproof, the perfect size, cute colors, well thought out but NOT dishwasher safe which is a slight bummer.

Side note: You need this cooler backpack. It fits 5 Yumboxes PERFECTLY inside of it with a ice pack on top. We take this on adventures all the time!


This is a new one for us from last year but I think the concept of it is awesome. You can put anything HOT or COLD inside of it and it stays that way for hours. It is very heavy duty too!


If it isn’t in your budget to get any of the above or if you want to see if Bento style lunchboxes are for you, we have used THESE and love them! They’re a great size and are just a great basic container that keeps food separate (read: NOT SOGGY!!) and fit in most standard lunch bags.

Sometimes my kids just want to bring oatmeal to school for lunch or leftovers from the night before, we love making oatmeal in the morning and I’ll put a big helping of it in THIS container and it stays warm til lunch!

Always stick an ice pack in your lunchbag. These ones are our favorite!

A few other lunchbox tips:

I have my kids help make lunches the night before. They are each in charge of picking out what they want to eat the next day and I will make myself a lunch right along with them! I even make my 2 year old one as well. If we make them in the morning, we are usually too rushed and make a lot of unhealthy decisions.

You can FREEZE peanut butter and jelly sandwiches! About every other week, I will grab an extra loaf or 2 of bread at the store and whip up a whole bunch of PB&J’s. I freeze them in individual sandwich bags and then put them right back inside the bread bag. The kids can then grab out a sandwich if we are in a rush to get somewhere or if they want to add that to their lunch, they can do that too.

Wash & prep your fruits and vegetables at the start of the week. Try doing it together on Sunday. That way when it comes time to prep your lunches, you can grab a few containers out of the fridge and the kids have healthy options right at their finger tips!

I hope this helps to motivate you guys to be a little more prepared for back to school time. The key is to just BE PREPARED. It makes all the difference in the world!

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  1. Hey Tara! I was so needing this post. What it’s missing is your overall recommendation! Which is your favorite? Pros and cons of each? I’ve seen so many where people claim mold develops, lids don’t totally close, temp doesn’t retain, etc. Thanks! You know I buy basically everything you tell me to!

    1. I honestly haven’t had an issue with that at all! I do check every time incase build up happens under the lid but I haven’t had an issue just yet.

  2. What about drinks? Do you have a favorite water bottle? Which “bag” is best for fitting a bento, water bottle and ice pack? Thanks Tara for sharing all of your amazing hacks!

    1. My kids typically stick with water. My kids don’t really take bags so I don’t have a good recommendation on those but I am testing out a few this year!

  3. Hi Tara!!!! Love your website, IG, everything Tara I love it!
    The grey bell sleeve top you have in the photo above, do you remember where you got that? It’s so pretty!

  4. My kids need new lunchboxes so this post is perfect. Did you link to the pink one in your pictures, I can’t seem to find that one? Thank you!


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