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Creative School Lunch Ideas For Every Type of Kid

How to Nail a School Lunch That Speaks to Your Kid’s Personality

We've partnered with Juicy Juice® to help parents turn just another school lunch into something that kids can get excited about.

When you’re trying to get everyone up, dressed, fed, and out the door in the mornings, packing a lunch is probably the last thing on your mind. If you’re inclined to toss a sandwich and some snacks into a brown bag and call it a day, you’re not alone — pretty much every parent has been there.

Not every kid is going to be excited about the same basic sandwich, though. If you want to pack a lunchbox your child will actually look forward to opening, you have to base it on their personality: a picky eater who hates greens won’t be thrilled with make-your-own lettuce wraps, but a creative artist-type might be. Take some inspiration from these four school lunch ideas for four different kids, and get ready to give your little one’s typical packed lunch a makeover.

For the After-School Athlete
Kids who follow up a long day of spelling tests and math lessons with soccer practice or dance class need an extra-filling lunch — just think of how much energy they’re expending! Pack something that will keep them going all the way through practice, like a turkey-veggie roll-up that uses lunch meat instead of a tortilla or wrap. Juicy Juice® Juicy Waters will quench their thirst and provide a splash of fruity flavor.
For the Budding Artist
If your fridge is covered in art projects and your dining table is littered with colored pencils, you likely have an aspiring artist in the family. A child with an eye for color and style needs a lunch that’s equally vibrant, like a rainbow bento box filled with fruit, veggies, cheese, and lunch meat arranged by color. The burst of flavor in Juicy Juice® Fruitifuls Organic will also appeal to their painterly sensibilities — plus, it boasts a half cup of fruit in every eight-ounce serving and has 45 percent less sugar than the leading juice. It's also available in a larger bottle, so kiddos can sip on their favorite flavor after school as well.
For the Picky Eater
When your child refuses to eat everything from salami to certain fruits on the grounds that they “looks funny,” you’ve got to get a little creative. First, stick a Juicy Juice® + Protein in their lunchbox: since each pouch contains five grams of protein, it gives your picky eater the fuel they need to get through the day and has a fruity taste that they'll love. For the entrée, opt for something familiar with a little twist. If they love pasta with cheese, they might be willing to try a caprese penne pasta salad. It’s worth a shot, anyway!
For the Social Butterfly
Lunch hour is really social hour for kids who make friends everywhere they go. While your little one is holding court in the cafeteria, she’s probably not paying a ton of attention to her meal — so pack finger foods she can easily munch on, like grilled veggie and cheese skewers paired with her favorite flavor of Juicy Juice® 100% Juice. (It's also available in full-size bottles, so she can pour herself an ice-cold glass after school, too!) Throw in some stickers or a knock-knock joke she can share with her pals as a fun surprise.
Credits: Photography: Chelsea Kyle; Art Direction: Samara Grossman; Prop Styling: Chelsea Volpe; Food Styling: Nicole Twohy; Manicures: Kayo Higuchi; Hand Modeling: Melissa Jackson; Production: Cassie Doyle