Lunch Box Fruit Water & Yogurt Fruit Salad
+ More BTS Lunch Box Ideas

I can't believe summer is almost over! My kids will be heading back to school in 12 days. We have definitely been enjoying the lazy days of summer for sure, but I think everyone is ready to get back into a routine. We have done awesome at sticking to our dinner routine, but our lunch options are really what every one can make on their own.

With a new school year begins Back to School Lunches. My kids pack their lunch most days with a few exceptions of purchasing school lunch on their favorite days. My youngest is picky, so he only buys on pizza or corn dog day. My daughter starts high school this year, so she will have better options for buying than Carson because she isn't picky at all.

It's always hard not to pack the same thing when it comes to school lunches. During the summer I usually try out a few new recipes in the hopes that they will like them, and we can add them to our Lunch Box list. Over summer my kids got hooked on DIY Fruit Water

I purchased mini water bottles and added all kinds of different fruits and refrigerated them. My kids started taking them out of the refrigerator and drinking them all on their own. We usually pack 100% juice boxes, plain water bottles or milk boxes, but I love this idea of mini fruit waters, and so do my kids. 

Another favorite was Yogurt Fruit Salad. We had lunch at Jason's Deli and I enjoyed a yummy fruit salad from their salad bar. It was so good I asked what it was made of. I was told all it consisted of was flavored yogurt and some fruits. I went home and recreated it myself to pack in lunches. My husband even packs it in his lunch for work, so it was a big hit with everyone. 

Yogurt Fruit Salad

1 - 32 oz container vanilla, vanilla w/honey or strawberry yogurt
1 - cup apples, cut into pieces
1 - cup red or green grapes
1 - cup blueberries
1 - cup strawberries, cut into fourths

Rinse all of the fruit and pat dry. Cut any fruit that needs to be cut. Combine the fruit with yogurt and mix to blend. Store in a airtight container and refrigerate for to 2 - 3 days. Separate into small storage containers for lunches. Make sure to pack a cold pack to keep the yogurt fruit salad cold.

Cook's Note:  Use your preference on how much fruit you want to add (you can use more or less fruit). 

Lunch Box Fruit Water

8 oz store bought water bottles or pop top water bottle
fresh fruit, chopped

fresh mint, optional

Rinse all of the fruit you will be using. Add chopped fruit to 3/4 filled water bottles. Place in the refrigerator overnight. Pack in lunches that have a cold pack added to keep water cool. Fruit infused water will keep for up to 3 days refrigerated. Our favorite fruits to add are peaches, blueberries, strawberries, oranges, lemons, apples, blackberries and grapes. 

Cook's Note: If you are worried about possible chocking cut the fruit big enough to fit through the bottle and it won't come out. You can also pack a straw in their lunch box or use a water bottle from home with a pop top.

I pack a lot of lunches (including my husbands), so I like to have everything I need on hand. For dry ingredients and snacks I prefer to use Glad Mini Rounds or snack size bags. The min round snack containers are bpa free, hold 4 ounces, and are priced at $2.57 for a set of 8.

If you don't like the idea of throwing out a lot of snack bags the mini rounds are a better option. You can also use these fun reusable sandwich and snack bags from Lunchkins. They're BPA and Phthalate free, dishwasher safe and reusable. They have so many fun patterns and designs to choose from. 

Some of our favorite items to pack in these are: Trail mix, s'more trail mix, granola, dry cereal, air popped pop corn, gold fish crackers, dried fruit, nuts, animal crackers, teddy grahams, pretzels, healthy oatmeal peanut butter ballsdips, peanut butter, ranch dressing or hummus for dipping veggies.
    The lids easily snap in place to hold all the snacks in one container. I don't recommend these containers for liquid foods (yogurts, applesauce, etc). See below for the best containers. If it is a small amount such as dressings, peanut butter or hummus for dipping vegetables these work fine. I just don't think they're a good option of more than that. 

    I do use the snack bags for a few items such as pretzels or to bag fresh vegetables (celery, carrot sticks, cherry tomatoes and cucumbers) for dipping. I also use the snack size bags for sliced apples that have been soaked in sprite or juice to keep them from browning. 

    I prefer these Rubbermaid TakeAlongs for liquid items. They come in a package of 4 priced at $2.57 and hold 8 ounces. I love these containers because they twists shut, so nothing leaks. This is super important for liquids. These containers are also microwave re heatable, freezer and dishwasher safe and are BPA free. I found all of the Glad bowls and the Rubblermaid ones in the home department at Walmart in the storage container isle.

    I like to use these containers to make pudding cups, Jell-O cups and Yogurt cups. It's so much cheaper to make your own instead of purchasing the store bought cups. one 32 ounce container of yogurt runs about $1.97, and a 48 ounce jar of applesauce is $1.68. 

    Boxed Jell-O mixes and instant pudding cost pennies per box. Plus they come in a variety of flavors and come in sugar free. A few of our other favorites are, fresh fruit, canned fruit in juice, salad, cottage cheese, pasta or fruit salad, cold lunch box noodles, diced lunch meat and cheeses. 

    Besides lunch packs I also love these Bento style lunch boxes. I bought one for each of my kids. My daughter has the Rubbermaid Lunch Box and my son prefers the Blue Cool Gear Collapsible Bento Container

    The Blue Cool Gear is very convenient because it's collapsible. You can store a sandwich and juice box on the bottom along with a snack. The small containers are perfect for fruits, cheese cubes, gold fish, chips or trial mix. Each container has individual lids and everything stacks and locks into place. The solid blue part under the fruits is the ice pack that keeps everything nice and cool. My son loves this lunch box container. 

    My son loves store bought Uncrustables, but I dislike the price and all the preservatives. DIY Uncrustables are easy to make and so much better than the store bought ones. My kids prefer peanut butter & jelly on whole grain bread, so I usually make up a large batch, and place them in the freezer so they'e easy to grab. 

    To make Peanut Butter Uncrustables add a light layer of peanut butter, sun butter, nut butter on each slice of bread (this keeps the jelly from soaking through the bread).
    Add about a tablespoon of a good quality jelly (I use homemade) in the middle of one slice, add the bread slices together and cut with the Uncrustable sandwich maker

    Place the sandwiches on a baking sheet and place in the freezer until firm. Once the sandwiches are frozen place them in a large Ziplock bag and remove sandwiches as needed. besides PB & J here are a few other options. Peanut butter and honey, peanut butter and bananas, Nutella & bananas, and cream cheese and jelly. I have also included a few other favorites that my kids like to pack. 

  • Peanut Butter and Jelly Sushi Rolls 
  • Lunch Meat Wraps (tortillas or wraps w/cream cheese or hummus & veggies
  • Ham or Turkey Pin Wheels
  • Pepperoni Pizza Tortilla Pinwheels
  • BLT's, Egg Salad or Tuna Sandwiches 
  • Turkey or Ham and Cheese Sliders on King Hawaiian Rolls
  • Meat & Cheese Tortilla Roll Ups 
  • Sandwich on a Stick (lunch meat, cheese & bead on a stick)
  • DIY Meat & Cheese LunchablesDIY Pizza Lunchables
  • Pepperoni Pizza Cups

  • I always keep a variety of fresh fruit on the counter to grab and toss in lunch boxesIf the kids are helping or making their own lunches it's easier to have everything in eyes view.

    For sweet treats we keep everything in a basket in the pantry. This is another great option for kids helping or making their own lunches. Items we keep on hand are a variety of granola bars, cereal bars, rice cakes, breakfast biscuits, raisins, yogurt covered raisins, 100% juice snacks, fruit leather, rice krispie treats, homemade bagged muffins, homemade cereal bars, granola bites and homemade cookies. 

    Whew! Well there you go and that was a long list. Hopefully you can get a little lunch box inspiration from my post.  Happy Back to School Time! For more lunch box ideas check fellow Walmart moms and their BTS Lunchbox posts.


    Unknown said…
    Thank you so much for these great tips! I know I will use lots of these tips when packing lunches. I love your blog!
    Colleen said…
    Although my daughters are grown and have families of their own, I'm out of the stage of preparing school lunches but love your tips along with your great ideas.
    I wish they had some of these products years ago when I was into making school lunches.
    Those collapsible containers look really awesome.
    WOW Tina! What an awesome post! Full of practical ideas and tips. Love the fruited water idea. I eat fruit and yogurt all the time, but what a great idea to pack into a lunch. I always appreciate your simplistic and wonderful ideas.
    Anonymous said…
    Do you think I could pack up the fruit yogurt salad containers in the freezer? I wonder if they would stay cold and defrost enough by lunchtime?
    Michele said…
    Thanks for the great ideas! My son starts Monday. I hope your kids have a great first day!
    Amy said…
    Love, love, love these ideas, Tina! Thank you so much for sharing my lunchbox noodles recipe along with all of your yummy recipes! My kids would flip for these lunch ideas!!
    Tina Butler said…
    @Amy we love those types of noodles, so I knew they would be perfect for packing in lunch boxes.
    JudyD said…
    The trick I used to help my four children pack their own lunches was telling them to pack a "handful." Five items go in the bag: one sandwich/entree, one fruit/veggie, one drink, one salty, and one sweet. It was easy for them to count their items and make sure they had one of each. Now they're in high school and college and still using the same trick! JudyD
    L4u said…
    Love all your tips, I have a little baby but when he starts the school I'll use all your recomendations. Greetings from México