Mini Meals

100+ Healthy, Delicious and Easy Lunchbox Snacks

One of the most important features successful lunchboxes have are the snacks you tuck inside. You need a main meal for lunch & to keep energy levels high throughout the day it’s best to have well balanced, tasty and healthy snacks at the ready.

Snacks don’t have to be over thought, they just need to provide essential nutrients and calories to keep you going. Reaching for overly processed items in vending machines and the school cafeteria are costly, filled with sugars, salt, also empty calories. One of the goals of Project LunchBox is to help you make better, more informed choices. Those choices are best when you purchase your own foods and cook at home.

Besides, snacks and mini meals are super fun to look forward to!

100 Healthy, Delicious and Easy Lunchbox Snack Ideas on GREAT for Back to School & Summer Camp!

In case you are wondering, what you see above includes:

*it’s OK if you buy the healthy stuff from the store too

100 Healthy, Delicious and Easy Lunchbox Snack Ideas on GREAT for Back to School & Summer Camp!

Snacking tips

Eat whole foods.

We hear this time and time again. Not only are whole foods better for you, they are budget friendly and are more likely to keep you in your skinny jeans. Besides, whole foods (foods closest to their natural source) taste better. More on this in my 10 Secrets to Skinny post.

Choose your ingredients from the perimeter of the grocery store.

These are the freshest foods and the most economical choices. 

100 Healthy, Delicious and Easy Lunchbox Snack Ideas on GREAT for Back to School & Summer Camp!

Steer clear of packaged foods.

These are generally over priced, have wasteful packaging and are filled with ingredients you don’t need anyway.

By the way I am obsessed with these sistema containers. They are microwave safe, BPA free and super pretty. They come in so many shapes and sizes too. Lots of the containers have compartments to keep foods from touching one another. You can find them at my Project LunchBox store.

100 Healthy, Delicious and Easy Lunchbox Snack Ideas on GREAT for Back to School & Summer Camp!

Read labels.

Always know what is in the food you buy. Keep an eye out for ingredients that you don’t understand, excess sugars, sodium and too many fats. Always remember, different strokes for different folks. In our house, fats from cheese, nuts, avocado, coconut and natural sources are amazing sources of energy. Fat helps sustain energy and feed the brain fuel. Some people are really into calorie counting and fat grams, that is not my thing.

Even though I do not calorie count ~ I do carefully watch portions and practice a mindful eating lifestyle. More about that on my About and Get Started pages.

100 Healthy, Delicious and Easy Lunchbox Snack Ideas on GREAT for Back to School & Summer Camp!

Watch out for “enriched.”

The word enriched means that whole foods (let’s use whole wheat as an example) have been stripped of their essential nutrients (maybe in the bleaching process.) Vitamins and minerals are then added back in for color & flavor and to make you think the food still has nutritional value. Our bodies can’t process machine made foods nearly as good as they can real whole foods. As I said above, stick to the good stuff (fresh and minimally processed) and you will reap great rewards in the end.

Prepare a Big Batch when you have time.

Shop and prepare food when you have small chunks of time. That said, make sure you responsibly carve out chunks of time to do this. It is well worth it for your wallet, waistline, energy levels and taste buds. Prepare Big Batches of snacks to get you through a week or more of lunchbox meals.

100 Healthy, Delicious and Easy Lunchbox Snack Ideas on GREAT for Back to School & Summer Camp!

Above is another one of my favorite lunch box containers (you all ready know how much I am in LOVE with Easy LunchBoxes!) That beautiful meal is featured in the upcoming Cooking With Trader Joe’s Cookbook – Easy Lunch Boxes that I photographed.

Have a separate bag or container for snacks.

In order to keep from eating everything in your lunchbox at once store snacks separately in brown paper bags or re-usable containers (LunchSkins and Itzy Ritzy are great for this). This is what we do for my Kindergartener son. It ensures kids eat their lunch and their snacks!

100 Healthy, Delicious and Easy Lunchbox Snack Ideas on GREAT for Back to School & Summer Camp!

Make adjustments to recipes.

The recipes below are merely suggestions and ideas to point you in the right direction. If you have allergies or certain restrictions make the appropriate changes to ingredient lists. If you are in a nut free school zone many times sunflower seed butter is a great adaptation. Gluten free? Try swapping out whole wheat flour with gluten free options.

100 Healthy, Delicious and Easy Lunchbox Snack Ideas on GREAT for Back to School & Summer Camp!

100+ Amazing, Easy & Healthy Lunchbox Snacks 

Here is a list of 100+ recipes from around the web to get you started.


DIY power bars and granola bars are simple to prepare and are a great way to save money, use healthful ingredients and they taste amazing! See Brownies and Bars on Pinterest ~ lots of these are decadent, but fun to look at anyway!

Breakfast-y Snacks

These double as breakfast on the go or delicious snacks. if you are anything like me then you crave breakfast all day long! See loads of great (constantly updated) Breakfast ideas on my Pinterest page.

Cookies (healthy ones)

Want more cookies? Check out my Cookie favorites on Pinterest.

Crackers + Crunch

For more ideas follow my Snacks and Nibbles Pinterst board.

Fruity Snacks

Berries and sliced fruit and fruit salads are great in the lunchbox. You can also try these recipes. Follow my Tutti Fruitti board on Pinterest.

Muffins and Healthy Cakes

Follow Muffins on Pinterest too!

Nuts and Seeds

Nuts for Nuts! on Pinterest….for even more nutty ideas.


Also followt my Popcorn Pinterest board for more ideas…


You can follow my Puddings and Custard Pinterest board too!

Savory Bites

For more follow Savory Bites on Pinterest.

Shakes and Smoothies

A great way to have a cold smoothie for your snack is to freeze it overnight and let it thaw throughout the day. Make sure you use a freezer safe container and you leave room for expansion! Follow Shakes, Floats & Smoothies on Pinterest.

Spreads and Dips 

Kids and adults love dips. Pack organic nut and seed butters or make your own! Dips, spreads and sauces make fruits and veggies more tempting and they add some sustain to your snack. Also follow Dip + Dress + Sauce + Spread on Pinterest.

Veggie Snacks

Keep containers full of sliced and prepped veggies for grab and go snacks and lunches. You can also make these fun recipes. Eat Your Veggies on Pinterest.


~ Marla Meridith

Join the Conversation

126 thoughts on “100+ Healthy, Delicious and Easy Lunchbox Snacks

  1. WOW this is a fantastic list! Thank you for sharing πŸ™‚ I think finding something healthy, fun, and filling for the lunch box is one of the biggest quandaries of the school week so it’s always good to find some new ( and great!) ideas to freshen up your repertoire lol.

  2. Oh Marla, I love all the work you put into this post…it is AWESOME and full of so many helpful tips. I have really gotten into a good lunch packing groove this year with the kids. The easy lunchbox containers have been great, and I’m trying to keep things fun and fresh for them too. Thanks so much for the link love!!


  3. Marla this is just an astounding roundup and post! WOW! Can’t even imagine how long this took you – but thanks for all the great ideas and for the linky love. I appreciate it and hope someone packs a lunch for YOU now πŸ™‚

    1. Seriously Averie, I need a private chef for this house asap πŸ˜‰ Happy you like the list. Yes, it did take a long time….I hope worth it to everyone though!

  4. Thanks for taking all the time to put this post together Marla. My kiddos are starting school this week, so back to packing school lunches and healthy snacks. Thanks also for the link love to my Healthy Brain Boosting Snacks. Best wishes for a fantastic start of a new school year.

  5. I love the sistema systems too! got some at homegoods and they are perfect for little ones and my lunches.

    1. Kristin, we all love the sistema boxes here. Soooo simple to use and easy to clean! Love that we don’t have throw away packaging too!

  6. Pinning this for later! My daughter is only 2 1/2 and I’m already thinking about the horrors of school lunch. I am so set on packing a lunch for her, and making sure she gets a healthy, unprocessed meal. Plus, I can’t wait to leave her notes to remind her of how much I love her.

  7. I just discovered your website and I am so excited to try to get lunches healthier and more of a variety for my kids this year. Thanks for all the suggestions.

  8. Great list! Thank you so much for including me! I’m going to have to spend some serious time on this post. And I’ll definitely be saving it to check back on over and over again! Thanks for putting this all together πŸ™‚

    1. Heidi, happy I could give you some material to hold onto. I need to get started working with these recipes for the back to school rush!

  9. What a great idea for a topic. I am sure many will find this very useful. Your entire site is really fun to visit and has a lot of good information and beautiful photography. Thanks for including a link-back to my blog.

  10. Thanks for featuring my white cheddar popcorn! I love all these ideas and this post will certainly come in handy when my kids start school!

  11. Most schools do not allow any nuts or nut products – which I am happy for because I have a severely nut allergic child.

  12. Hi. I just found this page from Deliciously Organic and am looking forward to perusing your “whole food recipes” and ideas.

    I was wondering if you choose/approve the advertisements that appear on your pages? I see on this page 2 Pillsbury dough-in-a-can products that contain many dangerous and other questionable ingredients.

    Cinnomon Rolls:
    Enriched Flour Bleached, Water, Sugar, Partially Hydrogentated Soybean Oil, Dextrose, Wheat Starch, Bakin Powder, Palm and Soybean Oil, Whey, Salt, Cinnamon, Corn Starch, Corn Syrup Solids, Monoglycerides, Xanthan Gum, Potassium Sorbate, Polysorbate 60, Natural and Artificial Flavor, Yellow 5, Red 40

    Artisan Pizza Crust:
    Whole Wheat Flour Bleached, Enriched Flour Bleached, Water, Soybean Oil, Vital Wheat Gluen, Destrose, Sugar, Leavening, Ssalt, Partially Hydrogenated Cottonseed Oil, Natural and Articial Flavor, Mono and Diglycerides, Xanthan Gum, Yeast, Autolyzed Yeast Extract, Azodicarbonamide

    While I haven’t seen much of your site yet, these ads don’t seem to fit with the “fresh”, “whole”, and “healthy” titles I see at the top.

  13. Thanks Marla for mentioning my Paleo Pumpkin Muffins! What an amazing post! Great ideas for snacks for the kiddos. I’m always looking for healthy snacks for my little ones and your detailed list is going to be fabulous!
    I hope you are doing well! I have been following you on Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook and your photography continues to amazes me! πŸ™‚

  14. Thanks for the ideas! I love having so many creative lunch ideas in one spot. I am going to share this on facebook for all of my mommy-friends to see πŸ™‚

  15. Thanks for the great ideas. I have perhaps a silly question: we eat healthy, organic meals at dinner & I usually make extra so we can have them for lunch during the week (we homeschool). Our snacks are fresh fruits & veggies & hummus/bean dips. Is it less nutritious to eat leftovers, even healthy ones? Should I be making fresh lunch everyday? TIA!

    1. Hi Jeri, I always make extra big batches to have food at the ready when we need it most. As far as nutrition on leftovers – not sure about that. Someone knowledgeable in the science of food would know better πŸ™‚ Good luck!

  16. Thanks for putting your ideas on pinterest. I found this invaluable. Any suggestions for feeding fussy eating toddlers?

  17. My son loves his food crispy and crunchy. I tried sending him with mini quiche baskets that was crispy when I got it out of the oven but turned soft and soggy in his lunch box. The quiche was cooled before packing it in the box. Any ideas on how to retain crispness in boxes?

  18. Do you buy organic or focus on the dirty dozen or what.? Also what cheese do you recommend.? Organic or raw.? Thanks so much.!!

  19. I am so happy to have been suggested to search for healthy lunchbox items on your site! My kids have been bringing back their lunchboxes with uneaten food and I was almost thinking of sending them to school with nothing but a water bottle!! Their school wants us to pack them healthy food and they practice Trashless lunches. So I am looking forward to using your excellent tips, advice and suggestions to get our kids to eat right and enjoy their food as well. I happened to have already bought some Systema containers. Can’t wait to fill them up with your recipes!

    1. Hi Lani, I am thrilled you found my blog as well. Sounds like you are all ready on the right track with lunch boxes. It is really tricky to get it right (and not all days will we do so) The best we can do is try many options! Good luck & hope to see you around here a lot πŸ™‚