Packing Lunch for Toddlers

There are lots of things I love about being a mom and then there are things I look forward to never having to do again. Packing lunch for toddlers is not a thing I love.

When they boys started going to daycare in the fall of 2021 I quickly learned how much I hate packing lunches. Trying to make it reasonably healthy but also guess what they’ll actually eat, ugh. Here’s how we’ve made it only semi-painful.

We got LunchBots lunch boxes, a snack size and a small lunch size for each. We use the snack size for their morning snack and small lunch size for lunch. I usually add one additional thing like a pouch, applesauce, or whole fruit (banana or apple). These seem to be enough food for them for the day. Grant is starting a new daycare where he’ll have afternoon snack as well so we need to figure that out.

We always pack lunch after dinner and start with leftovers, especially leftovers they like! We try to get two food groups in the snack and two to three food groups in the lunch. Here are some recent combos.

Packed lunch boxes
Goldfish are pretty much a lunch box staple in our house.
Packed lunch box
Grilled cheese is usually a safe bet. These Kodiak protein balls used to be popular; now, no one will eat them.
Packed lunch box
This is as fancy as it gets, pretty sure these fancy sandwiches weren’t eaten, either.
Packed lunch box
Some days we only have dried fruit and leftover pancakes.
Packed lunch box
I’ve been soaking cut apples for 5 minutes in honey water to keep them from browning. It works better than the lime juice method I used to use.
Packed lunch box
Banana muffins are always a hit.
Packed lunch box
Wowbutter and Sunbutter are daycare friendly non-nut butters. The boys don’t like them as much as peanut butter.
Packed lunch box
The bar is a blueberry Larabar.
Packed lunch box
Grant likes to eat chunks of granola, that’s what’s next to the cut up pizza there.
Packed lunch box with silicone cups
I bought these reusable silicone cups and they are great for containing small items or making additional divided spaces.
Packed lunch box and an apple
Grant has been asking for a whole apple instead of apple slices. Is it wasteful? Absolutely. Does it mean he actually eats some fruit, yes it does.

I know I won’t be packing lunch for toddlers forever, but does it have to be every. single. evening?! I can’t tell you how happy I am Friday nights when I don’t have to pack lunch for the next day. Do you have any lunch-packing tips and tricks? Please share!!

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