10 Portable School Lunch Options

father packing son's lunch

As school gets back in session, parents are scrambling to find portable food items to fill lunchboxes. And they’re in luck: Consumer packaged goods companies are ramping up new product innovation to address multiple consumer need states.

Click through to view nine new options, from entrees to dessert, that have arrived in the past few months.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock. 

1. ThinkKids

thinkKIDS protein bar

ThinkKids is a new brand of protein bars for kids that contain 45% less sugar than the leading granola bar, according to the company. The line was created to solve parents’ dilemma in choosing between nutritious and indulgent snacks for their kids. ThinkKids bars provide a balance of taste with nutrition, with 7 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber and 4 grams of sugar per serving. Gluten- and GMO-free and made with no artificial flavors or colors, varieties include Chocolate Chip, Peanut Butter Cup, Cookies & Creme, Cinnamon Sugar Cookie and Vanilla Cupcake.

2. Welch’s

welch's fruit and yogurt snacks

Welch’s Fruit ‘n Yogurt Snacks are made with real fruit and surrounded by creamy yogurt to provide a melt-in-your-mouth taste. They are available in Strawberry, Blueberry and Cherry flavors. They are gluten-free, low-fat and available in a range of package options to suit consumer needs. An 8-count box with 0.82-ounce individual units are available for an SRP of $2.99 or 4.25-ounce peg bag for an SRP of $1.99.

3. CandyRific

candyrific candy poppers

CandyRific has introduced Candy Poppers, a variety that allows users to press a button attached to the dispenser so they can watch candy shake and swirl around before consuming. The Candy Poppers novelty items are filled with 0.88 ounces of assorted fruit-flavored dextrose candies (natural flavors and colors) and are available for an SRP of $3.99. They are shipped in six 12-count displays per case.

4. Justin’s

justin's almond butter cups and cashew butter cups

Justin’s has rolled out Dark Chocolate Almond Butter Cups and Dark Chocolate Cashew Butter Cups. The USDA-certified organic nut butter cups are package in a nostalgic two-pack cup format. Organic Dark Chocolate Cashew Butter Cups are the perfect balance of flavor-rich cashew butter with organic dark chocolate, while Organic Dark Chocolate Almond Butter Cups are perfectly paired with high-quality organic dark chocolate. Justin’s also has added Organic Mini White Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups to its lineup.

5. Bel Brands USA

laughing cow cheese cups

Laughing Cow Cheese Cups from Bel Brands USA are portable cups of dippable cheese, joining the classic Laughing Cow Cheese Wedges and Cheese Dippers lineup. Made from real cheese with no artificial colors, preservatives or artificial flavors, Laughing Cow Cheese Cups are available in three varieties: Creamy Swiss Original, Creamy Swiss Garlic & Herb and Creamy White Cheddar.

6. Repurpose

repurpose straws

Repurpose has launched the first flexible, single-use compostable straws. The bendy straws are durable and won’t crack mid-sip, according to the company. The upcycled straws are also BPA-free, chlorine-free and nontoxic. Repurpose compostable straws offer an alternative for operators seeking a better disposable option without sacrificing convenience or quality, the company said. Repurpose compostable straws are available for an SRP of $2.79 per 50-count box.

7. Kind

kind kids bar

Kind Healthy Snacks is introducing a line of Kind Kids chewy granola bars in kid-friendly flavors that come with a money-back guarantee. The gluten-free bars have 25% less sugar than the leading kids granola bar, according to the company, along with no artificial flavors, colors, preservatives or genetically engineered ingredients. The three flavors include Chocolate Chip, Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip and Honey Oat, all available for an SRP of $3.99 per six-pack.

8. Skippy Peanut Butter

skippy nut butter bites strawberry and grape

Skippy Peanut Butter has launched Skippy P.B. Fruit Bites, a line of bite-sized, real dried fruit covered in a smooth coating made with Skippy peanut butter. Skippy P.B. Fruit Bites come in two varieties: strawberry-flavored dried cranberry and dried grape, both providing the classic taste of peanut butter and jelly in one bite, the company said. Portable and poppable and with 4 grams of protein, Skippy P.B. Fruit Bites are available in 4-ounce resealable pouches for an SRP range of $3.29 to $3.69.

9. Kashi

kashi by kids cereal

Kashi introduced Kashi by Kids, a collection of organic cereals co-created with children and made for kids. Kashi collaborated with Gen Z leaders on the line, with each featuring cool shapes such as swirls and filled pillows, honey and berry and superfood ingredients such as chickpeas and red lentils. The three flavors are Kashi by Kids Berry Crumble, Kashi by Kids Honey Cinnamon and Kashi by Kids Cocoa Crisp. Each is Non-GMO Project verified with at least 18 grams of whole grains, 3 grams of fiber and 8 grams of sugar.

10. Stonyfield

stonyfield snack packs

Stonyfield is introducing three new snacking options ideal for families on the move. Featuring a duo of creamy, organic low-fat yogurts paired with either organic graham crackers or organic pretzels for dipping, Organic Snack Packs are the latest addition to the kid-friendly lineup of organic yogurt, pouches, smoothies, tubes and string cheese. Three flavors include Strawberry Lowfat Yogurt and Graham Crackers, Chocolate flavored Lowfat Yogurt and Graham Crackers and Chocolate flavored Lowfat Yogurt and Pretzels.