Back to School Essentials: Lunch Boxes & Accessories for Young Kids!

Is it just us, or does summer vacation begin, we run through some sprinklers, eat a few popsicles, tend to the garden (how are your tomato plants, by the way?), light some sparklers, and then it’s already back to school? Whew! Summer is always such a whirlwind. 

When we’re thinking about Back to School, we get pretty excited about the fashions (who doesn’t?!), but we don’t always spend as much time researching the best gear, especially lunch boxes and the like. They seem like low-hanging fruit—if you’ll allow us the slight dad joke—and yet we can forget all about them. 

This list supplements our post about The Best Bento Boxes for Young Kids, so open that in another tab to pick your go-to box and then read below to see our favorite lunch boxes and lunchtime accessorize to delight your kiddo!

round-up of lunch box accessories on a light pink background

Lunch Boxes & Water Bottles

monogrammed gray and black camo lunchbox

PBK Mackenzie Lunch Boxes

A top seller, and available in multiple prints and sizes! The various sizes feature zipper storage pockets and come with removable ice packs that fasten to the interior to create compartments. (If you’re going with a Bento Box insert, the Cold Pack size is the best bet for fit.)

Bentgo® Kids Prints Lunch Bag - Double Insulated, Durable, Water-Resistant Fabric with Interior and Exterior Zippered Pockets and External Bottle Holder- Ideal for Children 3+ (Fairies)

Bentgo Insulated Lunch Bag

Although this was designed for the Bentgo Lunch Box, it’s also an excellent option for other lunch inserts! It has an exterior mesh pocket and customizable straps and handles for multiple carrying options, including a crossbody option.

Simple Modern Kids Lunch Box for Toddler | Reusable Insulated Bag for Girls, Boys Meal Containers for School | Hadley Collection | Minibrook: Ocean Candy Stripe

Simple Modern Kids Lunch Bag

A simple option at a great price! This lunch bag is triple insulated and features a snap buckle handle to carry by hand or attach to a backpack. Available in lots of fun prints!

PackIt Freezable Classic Lunch Box, Spaceman

PackIt Freezable Lunch Box

The PackIt Lunch Box is unique because it has built-in ice packs! Pop it in the freezer overnight, and it will keep food and drinks chilled for hours, eliminating the need for separate ice packs. It’s also collapsible and features a buckle handle to be carried by hand or attached to a backpack.

insulated blue water bottle with a unicorn print, pink trim on the bottom, and a pink cover

PBK Mackenzie Water Bottles

The stainless steel water bottle has a slim design with a straw and a push-button pop-up lid that is easy to open. It keeps drinks cold for up to 6 hours and has a slim design that easily fits most backpack bottle holders. Available in two sizes – 12 ounces and 17 ounces.

CamelBak Eddy+ Kids 12 oz Bottle, Insulated Stainless Steel with Straw Cap - Leak Proof When Closed, Camping Foxes

CamelBak Eddy Kids Insulated Water Bottle

The CamelBak Eddy is a top-selling kids’ water bottle, but we prefer this insulated one because it keeps water chilled through lunch. Made from stainless steel, this water bottle is extra durable, plus spill-proof when open and leak-proof when closed.

Yumbox Ice Packs - set of 4 Multi - Cool Pack, Slim Long-Lasting Ice Packs - Great for Coolers or Lunch Box

Yumbox Ice Packs

Don’t forget to have some ice packs on hand for packing lunches! This slim set is non-toxic, keeps food cool for 4-6 hours, and fits nicely in most lunchboxes.

Utensils & Food Containers

OmieBox Kids Utensils Set with Case - 2 Piece Plastic, Reusable Fork and Spoon Silverware with Pod for Kids, Travel, Lunch Boxes - (Mint Green)

Omiebox Kids Utensils Set

An adorable on-the-go utensil set for kids! The carrying case can be easily looped onto lunch bags or backpacks so your child will always be able to find it, and they won’t take up valuable lunchbox space.

kids fork and spoon with aqua and white striped stem next to an aqua carrying case

PBK Utensils & Carrying Case

Another popular utensil set option! This stainless steel set includes a fork, spoon, and plastic carrying case that keeps the utensils clean.

Bumkins Snack Bags, Reusable Fabric, Washable, Food Safe, BPA Free - Jungle & Animal (2-Pack)

Bumkins Snack Bags

These snack bags are a great alternative to single-use plastic baggies. Use them to pack sandwiches or snacks, then toss in the washing machine to clean.

Stasher Silicone Reusable Storage Bag, Bundle 4-Pack Small (Clear) | Food Meal Prep Storage Container | Lunch, Travel, Makeup, Gym Bag | Freezer, Oven, Microwave, Dishwasher Safe, Leakproof

Stasher Bags

Another alternative to single-use plastic but Stasher Bags are made from food-grade silicone and available in a wider variety of sizes. Plus, they are microwavable, freezer-friendly, and dishwasher safe.

Simple Modern Vacuum Insulated Food Jar Thermos for Hot Food | Reusable Stainless Steel Leak Proof Lunch Storage for Soup, Smoothie Bowl, Oatmeal | Provision Collection | 12oz | Unicorn Fields

Simple Modern Insulated Food Jar

If your child prefers a hot lunch or some fresh fruit, an insulated food jar will keep their food at the perfect temperature until lunchtime. This food jar is insulated, features a wide mouth for easy cleaning and eating, and has a handle with a lid for easy opening for little hands.

THERMOS FUNTAINER 10 Ounce Stainless Steel Vacuum Insulated Kids Food Jar with Folding Spoon, Ocean

Thermos Funtainer

This food jar is another excellent option for kids! It has a push-button lid, so it’s easy to open, and it comes with a folding spoon that stores inside the lid.

lunchbots stainless steel mini container for dips or condiments

Lunchbots Tiny Dips

Great to have on hand for dips, condiments, or small treats. These tiny stainless steel containers are easy to open and close and completely leakproof.

Bento Accessories

Vegetable Cutters Shapes Set, 20pcs Stainless Steel Mini Cookie Cutters, Vegetable Cutter and Fruit Stamps Mold + 20pcs Cute Cartoon Animals Food Picks and Forks -for Kids Baking and Food Supplement

Vegetable Cutters Shapes Set

Make lunchtime a little more fun with these vegetable cutter shapes! This set includes a 20-piece mini cutter set and 20 animal food picks and forks.

stbeyond Stainless Steel Sandwiches Cutter set, Mickey Mouse & Dinosaur & Heart & Star Shapes Sandwiches Cutter Cookie Cutter -Food Grade Cookie Cutter Mold for Kids (Big+Medium, 8pack)

Sandwiches Cutter Set

Another set to step up your kid’s lunch! This cutter set includes four sandwich cutters and four matching mini cutters.

Silicone Cupcake Muffin Baking Cups Liners 36 Pack Reusable Non-Stick Cake Molds Sets

Silicone Cupcake Liners

Silicone cupcake liners are a great addition to bento-style lunch boxes. They make lunchtime more fun by separating veggies, snacks, or treats. They’re reusable and dishwasher safe too!

Lunch Box Notes

Little Letters for Lunch: Keep it Short and Sweet (Lunch Notes for Kids, Letters to Kids, Lunch Notes Book)

Love Letters for Lunch

Teeny tiny letters for your kid’s lunchbox! This set has 75 letters that fold into adorably small envelopes. Seal them with the enclosed stickers.

Lunch Box Jokes for Kids (60-Card Deck)

Lunch Box Jokes for Kids

Brighten their day with a joke! This set includes 60 cards with vibrant artwork, and as a bonus, you can add a personal note to the back.

tiny drawstring bag that says 'lunchbox notes' next to 6 scratch off lunch box notes

Scratch Off Lunch Box Notes

This set of 24 tiny messages includes scratch off stickers making them that that much more fun!

Name Labels

InchBug (4 Pack) Orbit Labels 2.0 Personalized (Seagrass Green)

Inchbug Orbit Labels

Make sure your child’s drink never gets lost in the shuffle with these reusable drink labels. They fit most water bottles and are dishwasher safe.

transparent white container with colored pencils with a yellow cat faced name label sticker from minted

Minted Name Labels

Minted makes various adorable personalized labels for food containers, lunch boxes, water bottles, and more. The labels are non-toxic, laundry safe, dishwasher safe, and waterproof.

blue handled lunchbox with a peanut allergy warning label on a gray background

Mabel’s Labels Allergy Labels

Make sure your child’s allergy is labeled clearly with these allergy stickers. Choose from pre-printed or customize with your child’s information.

Back to School Essentials: Lunch Boxes & Accessories for Young Kids!

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