School Lunch Box Basics

By: Jacqueline Gomes, RDN, MBA 

Now that you have a number of school lunches under your belt, let’s explore some ways to ensure a successful lunchroom experience!

The key to kid-friendly food is to make it fun and include variety to reduce boredom.


Here are a few tips to get started.

  • Get your child involved in selecting foods in our grocery stores and in food preparation.
  • Make it fun with Bento boxes, a variety of foods like ham, cheese, berries, pretzels and hummus helps create visual appeal with different flavors and textures.
  • Start with whole grains like Arnold’s Country Classic Whole Wheat bread for instance, add in lean proteins like hard-boiled egg, fruit and a veggie. Leave room for dessert like graham crackers or Newtons fig cookies.
  • Don’t forget about an insulated thermos for soups or pasta. My son loves Progresso chicken soup with a half sandwich, I’ll add in fresh fruit or cut up veggies like cucumber to round out the meal.


Let’s build a few options…

school lunch bento boxes 

Lunch Box #1:

  • Cheese, Turkey & Lettuce sandwich
  • Cucumber & tomato
  • Blueberries & Apple


Lunch Box #2:

Sandwich Kebabs

Prep: 5 minutes

Makes: 3 to 4 skewers


  • ¼ pound low sodium ham, sliced thick
  • 2 ounces cheddar cheese
  • 2 slices Arnold’s Country Classic Bread (any variety)
  • ½ red bell pepper
  • ¼ seedless cucumber


  1. Slice ham, cheese, bell pepper and bread into one-inch square pieces.
  2. Slice cucumber ¼ inch thick
  3. Thread alternating ingredients onto skewers.

Tip: Serve with yogurt dip, raw veggies and fresh fruit to round out the meal.


Lunch Box #3:

  • Sliced baguette
  • Sliced Havarti cheese
  • Grape tomatoes & cucumber
  • Blueberries


Have fun and don’t forget the love note!

Recipes by: Jacqueline Gomes, RDN, MBA