Tips for Teaching Your Child To Pack Their Lunch

I am going to share some pointers on teaching kids to pack their own lunches for school! This is a great way to help teach your child to be independent and take some stress off mom and dad. The tips below will help you teach your child a life skill – how to take care of themselves! It is up to us as parents to teach our children how to dress themselves, brush their teeth, comb their hair, and more. So, when your child gets to the age that they can learn to pack their own lunches, why not take some time and work with them!

Teaching your child how to make a lunch can really help them out a lot as they get older. Some parents just pack their child’s lunch without thinking twice about it. But when you allow your child to get hands-on and learn, it teaches them that to eat you have to pack your own lunch. With some healthy guidelines, and creating a station for them to work at, they will master this skill in no time! It will then be one less thing for mom and dad to have to worry about, especially on those busy mornings!

Tips for Teaching Your Child To Pack Their Lunch

Pack Lunch At Night

When you teach your child to make and pack their own lunch, know it takes time. With a busy morning, you might not have the time to really work at showing them how to properly do it. So pack a lunch at night, and keep all the food in a designated area of the fridge, and when morning comes all they have to do is put it in the lunchbox before they head out the door.

Let Them Decide

When you are out shopping for groceries, ask your child to help decide what to buy! Ask if they want carrots or celery for their lunch, ham or turkey, etc. By allowing them to have a say in what they pick, it helps them feel they get a choice and can help guide them into healthy choices later in life.

Prep Foods

Make sure to have healthy food choices easily available. If you buy a bag of mini carrots, make sure when you get home from the store to bag them up into sandwich bags for single servings. So that your child can easily grab a little bag of carrots or celery and toss in their lunch. You can even boil up hard boiled eggs, slice up block cheese, so they can grab a slice, and so on.

Lunch Guidelines

Make sure that you talk to your child about what they will pack in their lunch. Tell them how many of each type of food they need. Example: 1 meat, 1 veggie, 1 fruit, 1 sweet treat. Talk to them about nutrition and how healthy foods fuel our bodies, and sugary snacks can make them feel tired and sluggish if they eat too much.

Packing Station

Make sure you have your child’s lunch box, water bottle, sandwich bags, spoons and forks, napkins, etc. all in a handy spot. With non-perishable snacks create a little basket or bin that has goodies they can easily grab and toss in their lunchbox. Make it so they know where their lunch items are, and make it easy.

Check Their Work

Make sure for awhile you monitor what they’ve packed. Even if you want to sneak a peek so they don’t see you checking over what they did and how that is okay. I recommend this so that for one they have the right foods packed, and two it isn’t full of just cookies and juice boxes.

Empty the Lunchbox At End of Day

When your kid arrives home from school, have them empty out any wrappers, put up containers, and fully clean their lunch box out. This is another thing they can learn, cleaning up!

I hope these simple tips help you to teach your child how to pack their lunch! It just takes a little time and patience as they learn, and before you know it, they will be a pro! What tips do you have to teach your child to pack their own lunch?

Looking for more school lunch tips? Check out our 15 Lunch Box Hacks that Will Make Life Easier for Parents!


  • Elizabeth Matthiesen

    I’m sure that getting them used to packing their own lunches also means they are less likely not to eat it. 🙂

  • lori galbraith

    I taught my kids to pack their lunch as soon as they were able. It creates responsibility and the ability to be independant.

  • kathy downey

    Yes when kids are given the choice of choosing what the want for lunches,they eat them.I wouldn’t want someone else packing my lunch everyday !

  • Debbie White Beattie

    I think kids packing their own lunch is great because the chances are higher that they’ll eat what’s their because they picked but it also gives them a sense of responsibility.

  • AD

    Great tips! So important to teach autonomy, independence and also help kids understand good and healthy food habits. Makes it easier for them to be adults eventually…