Mother and Baby

The Best Lunch Boxes For Younger Children

Section: Kids' Fashion
Kids' lunchbox

It’s that time of year again! As your little one prepares to start school for the first time, or head back to school after six weeks off, getting everything sorted can feel like an endless job. Now you’ve got your mind round packed lunches, why not find a lunchbox your little one will love? We’ve done our homework (so you don’t have to) and hand-selected our favourites here.

Smash Owl Insulated Lunch Bag, £12.00, Amazon 

Smash Owl Insulated

This cute, easy to wipe owl lunch bag is bound to make your little one look forward to lunchtime. Designed in Australia, we love the 3D ears and the insulated bottle holder that will help keep your tot’s water cold till lunchtime.

Minnie Mouse Kids 3D Lunch Bag, £16.99, Amazon 

Minnie Mouse Lunch Box

With a 3D face and a handy bottle holder, Minnie is the perfect lunchtime companion with this bag. We love the handy zipped closure, which means your little one’s lunch will stay safe, no matter how many times it’s dropped!

Yodo 3-Way Lunch Bag, £15.88, Amazon 

Yodo 3-Way

This super cute bag comes in a number of different friendly animals your tot is bound to love. With a clever three-way design, the bag can easily be converted into a backpack or shoulder bag for ease. We love the eye-catching designs and the extra padding, to keep those snacks safe.

Skip Hop Zoo Lunchie – Monkey, £10.00, Mothercare 

Skip Hop Zoo Lunch

The lunchbox we all wish we had at primary school (who remembers that Barbie plastic box?) this Skip Hop bag is perfect for your little monkey! We particularly love the 3D ears and banana toggle.

Paw Patrol Official Lunchbag, £8.98, Amazon 

Paw Patrol Lunch Bag

If you’ve got a Paw Patrol fan on your hands, this is the lunchtime bundle you need! The lunch bag comes complete with sandwich box and drinking bottle, in both pink and blue.

LittleLife Animal Lunch Pack – Crocodile, £11.99, Mothercare 

Crocodile Lunch Bag Mothercare

Complete with 3D teeth, what could be cooler than carrying your sandwiches in a hungry crocodile? We love the little handle and the handy name and address label on the back – perfect if you’ve got a forgetful toddler!

Zebra Lunch Bag, £5.00, Asda 

Zebra Lunch Bag

Whilst we’re on the animal theme, how about this cheaper option by George at Asda? Designed with an insulated interior to keep food fresh till lunch, your little one will love spending their lunch break with this cool looking zebra!

Insulated Food and Bottle Bag, £6.00, JoJoMamanBebe 

Insulated food bag

This one is cute enough for you to use as a cool bag before your tot is old enough to take it to nursery. With an insulated lining, this is surprisingly roomy, yet light enough to fold away when the snacks are gone!

Hello Kitty lunch bag, £16.00, Paperchase

Hello Kitty Lunch Bag

The perfect option for all Hello Kitty fans, we love the pink easy-carry removable handle, the 3D bow and the cute matching water bottle and snack boxes.

Little Joule Children’s Beat Print Munch Lunch Bag, £16.95, JohnLewis 

Little Joules lunch bag

This cute lunchbag from Joules is perfect for your hungry tot at lunchtime. The cute bear print is made in a wipe-clean material, with a compact lunch box inside. We love the little handle and the easy access opening.

Peppa Pig Lunch Bag, £11.79, Tesco 

Peppa Pig Lunch Bag

Because we all know how much Peppa and George love visiting Granny and Grandpa Pig’s house for lunch! The perfect choice for your little Peppa fan, this cute lunch bag has an easy-to-carry handle and a wipe clean lining.

Kids’ Lunch Box with Thinsulate, £12.00, M&S 

Kids' Lunch Box

Last but not least, we love this 3D lunchbox – perfect for your little monster! With a bright blue design your little one will be able to spot this easily, and the M&S easy clean promise means you’ll be able to mop up the messiest of lunches.

Read next: The 16 best packed lunch ideas for toddlers and kids

Now you’ve got the lunchbox, why not get some fun ideas with how to fill it? Sandwich sushi anyone…

Expand Image

Sandwich sushi 

Liven up your toddler’s sandwiches by cutting them into fun shapes, making pinwheels (by spreading the bread and then rolling it up and cutting into slices), or mixing and matching different coloured breads to make a chessboard-style sandwich. Try to include some form of protein – ham, chicken, cheese, tuna – as it will help your child feel fuller.
Expand Image

Mini energy balls 

Who said energy balls had to be just be for those Instagram health bloggers? Packed with goodness, these mini energy balls by Annabel Karmel are perfect for little tummies. Taking just 20 minutes to prepare, however big the batch might seem at the time, they won’t be around for long. 
Expand Image

Cheese chunks 

Slice up pieces of cheese (you can wrap them in foil to make them fun for your toddler to unwrap) or put a pre-wrapped cheese in, like Babybel or Cheestring. 
Expand Image


A small bunch of seedless grapes is perfect for lunchboxes because they’re small and easy for your toddler to eat – no peeling necessary. They’re also high in fibre, so great for preventing constipation. For younger children, be sure to cut up the grapes into halves or quarters to prevent choking. 
Expand Image


Packed with oats, flapjacks are a great energy boost to add to your little one’s lunchbox. Why not try making your own (and save money on the shop bought variety)? These superseed flapjacks are quick and easy to make (and even quicker to disappear!) 
Expand Image

Mini muffins 

A great option for little tummies, get creative with sweet or savory mini muffins for your tot.  They’re bound to love these ruby red mini muffins by the team at Ella’s Kitchen, made from beetroot and feta, or try spinach and cheese for a more classic muffin. 
Expand Image

Fruit kebabs

Your little one will love sliding the chunks of fruit from the mini kebab. If you’re making this for your toddler, try threading strawberries, kiwi and grapes on a plastic straw (which is safer than a wooden kebab stick). 
Expand Image

Cranberry and Hazelnut oat cookies 

Another healthy alternative to sugary snacks, why not add some homemade cookies to your tot’s lunchbox? These cranberry and hazenut oat cookies are super easy to make (depending on the nursery school rules, you might want to bake without the hazelnuts). What’s more, why not get your little one in the kitchen with you and bake these at the weekend? 
Expand Image

Vegetable batons

Slice up carrots, cucumber, pepper and celery for your toddler to nibble on. You could also include a mini pot of houmous or cream cheese for him to dip them in.
Expand Image

Mini cheese and potato frittatas 

Leftovers can work well in your toddler’s lunchbox now and again, especially if it can be served cold. Go for foods such as quiche or frittata as they can be cut into slices and wrapped in a cling film or foil. This mini cheese and potato frittata recipe is a great option to try for lunch and dinner. 
Expand Image

Mini rice cakes 

Much healthier than crisps, add a pack of mini rice cakes to your little one’s lunchbox. If they find them a little dull, why not try introducing a flavoured variety. 
Expand Image

Overnight Oats

Another one that’s super easy to prepare the evening before, whilst also being nutritious in a packed lunch box. Simply soak oats in yoghurt or milk in a small pot, include some fresh fruit or berries and leave in the fridge overnight. Just don’t forget to pack your little one a spoon! 
Expand Image

Pesto rice salad 

If your toddler loves cheese as much as you do, why not try a cold pesto rice salad. A good leftover option to make a change from sandwiches, either make your own pesto or add a shop bought variety. 
Expand Image

Sandwich shapes 

A quick and easy way to make sandwiches more fun, use a cookie cutter to create cute shapes. Whether it’s a dog or a butterfly, keep your little one guessing and make lunchtime a surprise!
Expand Image

Sweetcorn fritters 

Another leftover favourite, your little one is bound to love these bite sized sweetcorn fritters. Suitable from six months, they are also a good option if you’re looking for different baby-led weaning ideas. 
Expand Image

Tortilla wrap 

Makes a change from sandwiches everyday, you can spread the tortilla with houmous and include chopped salad, ham and cheese. Wrap in foil so it stays together in your toddler’s lunchbox.