wikiHow to Pack a Lunch Box

For students, packing your own lunch can mean freedom from the same cafeteria food each day, or from a parent's tastes in lunch packing. For professionals, it can mean having a lunch hour free for exercising, having fun, networking with colleagues, or getting some work done. In either case, packing a lunch can save money and allow you to take control of your health and your diet.


  1. Image titled Pack a Lunch Box Step 1
    Select a good lunch box. Besides your favorite color (or cartoon character) look for these characteristics:
    • Ample capacity, especially if you are packing food for an entire day and not just a lunch hour. Don't forget.
    • Insulation. With good insulation and a freezer pack to keep things cool, foods will be fresher at lunchtime. Wrap juice boxes in newspaper to keep them cold.
    • Carrying handles or straps. Try these in the shop, especially if you will carry your lunch box by hand a great deal, such as if you walk or cycle to school.
    • Easy cleanup. No matter how carefully you pack, your lunch box will end up with crumbs and spills in it, so think ,when you buy it, think about how easy it will be to wipe or rinse out.
  2. Image titled Pack a Lunch Box Step 2
    Prepare the day before what you want to have because if you don't have something you want, you can pop down to the shops. You can even plan your lunch menus a week ahead, if you like. Preparing your lunch the night before also means less time is wasted in the morning.
  3. Image titled Pack a Lunch Box Step 3
    Prepare the food. Aim for a variety each day. Try including:
    • A main dish, such as a sandwich, soup, salad, or wrap.
    • Fruit(s) and vegetables.
    • Snack(s) and treats.
    • A drink.
  4. Image titled Pack a Lunch Box Step 4
    Place your lunch box in the refrigerator once it is packed, to keep perishable items from spoiling.


  • Keep a supply of foods on hand that are easy to add to your lunches. Yogurt, granola bars, dried fruit, and other snacks travel well.
  • Use reusable plastic containers as much as possible. They will help to keep your food fresh, prevent leaks, and prevent your food from arriving mashed. You can wrap everything in foil, plastic wrap, or sealable bags if you need to dispose of your lunch leftovers afterwards.
  • Try to pack your favorite foods, but if your favorite food is sweet stuff, try to put a few healthy foods in too, to keep the balance.
  • There is a lunch box called Fit & Fresh Lunch on the Go, that gives you the option of clipping the included ice pack into the lid or resting it on ledges halfway down (to form a shelf.) The lid option is useful if you are filling the box with one type of food (such as salad). The shelf option is useful if you are packing a few different things, such as a sandwich on the lower level, and a couple of side dishes (it includes two smaller containers) on the top level -- the ice pack shelf keeps all of it evenly chilled for a long time.
  • Try these if you don't have any favorite food and still don't know how to pack a lunch box. Make a roll with some ham in it, maybe a few carrot sticks, an apple, a piece of cake and a cookie or so.
  • If you don't have a microwave or a refrigerator available, use ice packs or cold drinks with an insulated lunch box or cooler to keep everything cool. Also try a thermos to keep a drink cool or warm.
  • Make a timetable for what you would like each day. Include lots of fruit and vary your decisions. Also include a napkin or some hand gel for before lunch and afterwards.
  • Fresh fruit is already wrapped and ready to go. You may wish to wash it before leaving home. For softer fruits, you can cut it or place it whole into a container or wrap it in your napkin to help protect it from bruises.
  • If you have a microwave and a refrigerator available where you are going, the sky is the limit. You can pack leftovers from dinner, a jar of soup (canned or homemade), or just about anything. lol
  • For a different sort of lunch, try making a bento box.


  • Do not put meats or other perishable items in your lunch box and let it stay out at room temperature for more than a brief period.

Things You'll Need

  • Lunch box.
  • Favorite foods.
  • Containers or other wrapping material
  • Fork, knife, spoon, napkin.

Article Info

Categories: Meal Planning