thematic lunch box and lunch pairings
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From the bookworms to the sporty types, the spunky music lovers and the theater kids, going back to school is all about personality. Having your own unique style in school will always be the rage.

One way to do that is to rock an awesome lunch box. Lucky for you, we’ve figured out what should go inside them. These lunch box pairings will be the envy of all the kids at your lunch table. Eating well is never out of style.

Japanese Bento Box

wooden Japanese bento box


What’s inside: Sweet and Sour Chicken Bento

Presentation, presentation, presentation. Bento boxes are not only filling for the tummy but also a feast for the eyes. You’ve seen the pictures on the ‘gram and Pinterest—the ones with the elaborate too-cute-to-eat animal and cartoon designs. Well, lucky for you, bento boxes don’t have to be that intricate (but you do you, queen).

Bento BasicsMarie Kondo's Guide to Bento Box Lunches Your Kids Will LoveThe key is color—think for every different color you have on your plate, the more nutrients you get. I aim for at least three different colors—and small bite-sized pieces. You also want to mix it up with some cooked components, like the meat and rice, and some raw, like fruits and veggies. It’s all about balance and creativity with bento boxes.

These are especially good for younger children who are picky eaters. If you add little eyes and whiskers on a vegetable they don’t like, more often than not, they’ll eat it. It’s just too fun not to!

The simplistic design of the lunch box has plenty of compartments for your different bento components, and even comes with nifty little wooden fork and spoon.

Check out this awesome recipe for Sweet and Sour Chicken Bento from “Just One Cookbook” that won’t take hours to make but will get you excited for lunch every day.

BentoHeaven Bento Box, $23.92 on Amazon

A modern update on bento with all the same compact convenience.
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Fender Speaker Lunch Box

Fender Speaker Lunch Box


What’s inside: “The Elvis” Sandwich

This music lover’s lunch box needs the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll’s favorite famous sandwich: peanut butter, banana, and bacon. No jelly, though. This sandwich always does better with a drizzle of honey instead.

Though the classic Elvis ‘wich calls for a stick of butter for frying (yikes!), we’re taking a healthier route with this recipe, using whole grain bread and no butter-frying.

Jazzin’ up the normal PB&J will take only minutes to prep in the morning.

The lunch box design is a classic, just like your favorite music. And the sandwich is just as famous as who it’s named after. You simply ♫ can’t help falling in love with ♫ “The Elvis” PB & banana. *ba-dum-tss*

Fender Amp Tin Lunch Box, $16.99 on Amazon

Turn lunchtime fun up to 11.
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Bacon & Eggs Lunch Box

bacon and eggs lunch box


What’s inside: Waffle Sliders

When you graduate, you’ll be spending all your money on brunch, so you might as well get used to the amazing breakfast/lunch combo now.

Waffle sliders have endless possibilities. I’m from the South, so you know what I’m about to suggest…chicken and waffles! You can use mini freezer waffles and sandwich them up with popcorn chicken, or peanut butter and sliced apples, or any assortment of sliced meats and cheese. You can also use dinner leftovers, like barbecue pulled pork, and make savory waffle sliders. Pair it all up with some fresh berries and yogurt, and you’ve got yourself a waffle bar lunch!

This bag’s insulation will also keep your waffles from going soggy.

Bacon and Eggs Lunch Tote, $12.97 on Amazon

This one really sizzles.
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Picnic Basket Lunch Box

picnic basket lunch box


What’s inside: Kid-Friendly Charcuterie

Let’s put the class back in classy. This is me in high school—a wannabe foodie who thought her lunch box was the talk of the hall.

I’d carry my lunch box like a prized possession, a handbag, a picnic on-the-go. I am a sucker for charcuterie and I think it has endless possibilities of nutrition and diva-level finesse.

The picnic basket lunch box is perfect for a kid-friendly charcuterie. You can pack sliced meats, cheeses, crackers, jam and jellies, nuts, fruits, veggies, and dip. That covers dairy, produce, grains, and protein!

Pack a small bottle of sparkling grape juice if you really want to go all the way with this fancy lunch. Orange juice and sparkling water is another option to make mock-mosas.

Insulated Picnic Basket Lunch Box, $29.25 on Amazon

Tres chic, yet tres practical too.
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Tacocat Lunch Box

Tacocat lunch box

Cafe Press

What’s inside: Build-Your-Own Tacos

It’s true. Tacocat spelled backwards is tacocat.

This lunch box is for the edgy internet babies and taco-lovers alike!

And the food inside ain’t bad, either. Tacos are easy meal prep for packed lunches. The best part is that they’re versatile. You can pack a variety of different ingredients and build unique tacos each day. Chicken, steak, barbecue, veggie—and think of the toppings! Pack shredded cheese, lettuce, and sour cream.

Simply switch out the proteins and toppings and it doesn’t feel repetitive. You can also do taco bowls and ditch the tortillas altogether. Moreover, it’s fun to build them when the lunch bell rings.

This meal gives you grains, protein, veggies, and dairy, all in one. Taco lunches cost next to nothing and will feel like a fiesta come every lunch hour!

Tacocat Lunch Box, $19.99 at Cafe Press

Quirky and true.
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Related Video: What’s In Your Lunch Box?

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Header image by Chowhound

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