Lunch Box Love: 9 Quick and Easy Ideas

Featured Article, For Moms
on August 27, 2012
lunch sandwich
Mark Boughton/Styling by: Teresa Blackburn

Ready to think outside PB&J? From wraps to homemade chips, lunchtime possibilities can go far beyond the expected servings. Here are our favorite ways to liven up lunch:

Wrap It.
Wraps travel well, can be made the night before, and aren’t messy. Here’s the perfect wrap formula— something creamy (mayo, cheese spread, hummus, ripe avocado), something crunchy (lettuce, carrots, red bell peppers) and some protein (ham, turkey, beans). Click the image below for the recipe.

Stuff It.
Stuff pita bread with chicken salad; cashew butter and bananas; hummus and vegetables; or ham and spreads like artichoke and spinach or baba ghanoush.

Carry It.
Invest in a reuseable lunch tote. They’re insulated to keep lunches cool and cut down on waste. This one has a write-on name tag on its back. Available at

Cup It.
Invest in 2- to 3-ounce plastic soufflé cups with lids to pack peanut butter, salsa and other dips and dressings so kids can dip and spread themselves. For a great sandwich side, make a simple cucumber or carrot salad and pack it in a cup. Don’t forget to include a plastic fork.

Crunch It.
Something salty and crunchy is a must, and it doesn’t have to be fried. Baked pita bread, tortillas, wontons, poppadoms and sweet potato chips are healthier options. Click the image below for the recipes.

Prep It.
Make everything, except the sandwich, the night before.

Dip It.
High protein hummus and bean dips are perfect for scooping up with pita bread, carrot sticks, broccoli or asparagus. Combine 1 can garbanzo beans (drained),
1 garlic clove, 2 tablespoons lemon juice and 1/4 cup tahini in a food processor and pulse until smooth and creamy.

Freeze It.
Freeze water or juice overnight, and the next morning place the frozen drink in the lunchbox to keep the rest of the food cool.

Twirl It.
Kids love these Sesame Noodles, which are great for packing. They can be eaten at room temperature or cold.