Lunchbox Love

 How do you master the lunchbox?  Do you pack lunches a week at a time, do you include notes, sandwiches cut in fun shapes?

lunchbox notes and love with good food

One of my lunchbox traditions is to write a note on a napkin or paper towel and put it into the kids’ lunch boxes every day.  Some days it’s a drawing, some days it’s song lyrics, or an inside jokes, or a bible passage.  I do this because, words, like preparing food for friends and family, are my love language.

My mom is the one who started the lunchbox love notes in our family, and I take great joy in continuing that tradition with my kids.  I started doing it, because I remember how much it made me smile when I was a kid.  I didn’t know if my kids would love them the way that I did, but I wanted to do it for them.  My heart about exploded the day that I found a stack of the love notes tucked into Princess’  dresser drawer, and discovered that Monkey keeps them in a pocket of his backpack. Those little actions made my lunchbox love tradition that much more special.

 The love notes are the first thing they see when they open their lunches, and while those notes feed their souls,  it’s what goes into the lunchbox that nourishes their bodies and helps them make it through the school day.spread joy, work smart, lunchbox love note

I try to be creative, and balance healthy and delicious foods, with treats and fun.  There are entire pinterest boards dedicated to cute lunches, bento boxes, and themed meals.  However you master your lunch boxes, more power to you.  No matter how you do it, the act of feeding your loved ones, putting meals together, in whatever way you do it, is an act of love, and you deserve a pat on the back and a big hug around the waist.

I have some specific eaters – not picky exactly, but they both have very specific things that they absolutely WILL NOT eat.  According to Miss Princess, there is one, and only one condiment on earth, mustard.  She will eat all the things that go into a salad, but doesn’t want them mixed.  She will eat raw veggies, raw spinach etc…, but don’t put dressing on it, and don’t mix it together.  Monkey loves it all, especially with garlic croutons and ranch 🙂

master your lunchbox with love and good food


I want them to be healthy, but I want them to have fun with lunch, too.

Here are a few of the things that help me to master the lunch box, and feel good about it, too. 

A few of my favorite tools for making fun lunches are:

  • A good thermos that keeps the hot food hot and the cold drinks cold – I boil water and put it in the thermos, seal it for 10 minutes, drain the water,  place the hot food inside and seal it immediately.  Our thermos will keep it warm for 5 hours and cold milk cold for 7.  Perfect for those crazy lunch times.
  • Depending on your lunch box, bento boxes are a great, fun way to separate food, compartmentalize, and make use of small spaces.
  • My kids love when I cut their sandwiches into fun shapes, especially around the holidays (even the junior high-er still enjoys it)

A few of their favorite lunches are:

  • Noodles in butter in the thermos with freshly grated parmesan on the side
  • Vanilla or plain greek yogurt with “crispies fruit” topping {those Cranberry Almond Fruit Clusters that Ocean Spray sent us – we’ve bought 6 bags since they sent the first one – they make yogurt pop}


  • cranberry almond fruit clusters from Ocean Spray | A Southern Fairytale


  • Sandwich = Toasted bread with mustard, salami, ham, and sharp cheddar cheese (fun shapes optional)
  • Salad with carrots, raw broccoli, dried cranberries or other favorite dried fruit.  Ranch dressing optional
  • Homemade chicken tenders packed hot in the thermos with a dipping sauce, applesauce, cheese crackers, and grapes
  • Apple slices soaked in a honey/water mixture so they don’t brown, as is, or with a chocolate-peanut butter, nutella, or other nut butter for dipping
  • Lunch Kabobs – have you ever tried making them?  My kids love hot dog kabobs :  take coffee stirrer straws and alternate cooked hot dogs (or lunch meat) with cheese and grapes.  Fun to eat, fun to look at!


hot dog kabobs for kids lunches


If the lunches you’re making are for a more adult palate :   Might I suggest adding cranberries to your lunch!  I’ve always been a huge fan of cranberries, and because of the cranberry’s bold taste, vibrant color and endless versatility.  It makes the perfect addition to any lunch.  Have you tried it in your chicken salad yet?  DO IT!!!!  You can liven up your meals with a pop of color and flavor with Ocean Spray® Craisins® Dried Cranberries. And don’t forget to pack a drink! Try Ocean Spray® single serve juices and Sparkling juice drinks  (the sparkling cranberry is Monkey’s favorite after football practice) It’s a tasty and refreshing addition to any lunch. Or new PACt® cranberry extract water, (I recommend the cranberry raspberry) is a great hydrator after a run, after yoga, after football, volleyball, soccer, or just walking to school in the crazy Texas humidity!

***How do YOU master the lunchbox?  What are your lunch packing tips and tricks?  I’d love to hear them, and so would Ocean Spray!!!***

Share your best lunchbox tips & tricks using the hashtag, “#LunchboxMaster” on Twitter! You’ll be

entered to win an Ocean Spray® Ultimate Master Lunchbox Set. Contest ends September 18th. Visit

OceanSpray.com for inspiration to help you master the lunchbox!


This conversation was sponsored by Ocean Spray and while they provided me with product and compensation, all thoughts, photographs, ideas and opinions are my own.  Thank you for reading, and for supporting partnerships like this one that help keep A Southern Fairytale running. Every click, like, and comment helps brands like Ocean Spray realize that partnering with A Southern Fairytale, and other blogs is a solid investment.

**some links may be affiliate links, and if you follow them, and make a purchase, I might get some pennies.  Thank you.***

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  1. I’m not to the packing lunchbox stage yet, but it will be here before I’m ready! Thank you for sharing these helpful tips! I’m excited about mastering my kiddos future lunches! -xoxo

  2. I love the lunch kabobs! Super cute 🙂 I’m pretty much a salad fanatic so that’s what I typically pack for myself. The most important rule (not really a trick I guess) I follow is having a small separate container within the salad box with dressing. That way my veggies don’t get all soggy before lunch time

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