Lunch Box Ideas for Adults — What to Pack in a Lunch Box

Best lunch box ideas for adults | what to pack in a lunch box

What to pack in a lunch box to guarantee a healthy and delicious lunch

My husband and I have always taken our lunch to work. Doing so is a great money-saver and is often an ideal way to ensure you’re eating healthier. Lunches out get terribly expensive; these days, I can count on spending at least $10-$12 at a restaurant for lunch unless I grab fast food. Plus, eating heavy meals with lots of sugar and carbs in the middle of the day does not help me work very well throughout the afternoon. I do much better with a sandwich, salad, and some fruit.

I’ve found, though, that packing your lunch for work is so much easier and economical if you have the right tools on hand. There’s nothing worse than packing something only to have it leak all over your lunch box or have the container melt in the microwave.

These are my criteria for choosing items for my lunch box: I need containers that are easy to wash, pack and carry. I need an insulated lunch box or bag because while I do use our fridge at work for storage, sometimes my lunch is out longer on the commute. I need heavy-duty ice packs that will stay frozen and cold for a long time and that won’t leak blue goo all over the lunch box. I want to stay away from wasteful plastic sandwich bags and use more glass and BPA-free reusable plastic. Finally, I need some smaller containers for sauces, dips, dressings, and condiments because I LOVE my toppings and trimmings. I need a handy way to make sure anything liquid doesn’t ooze out all over my lunch box.

Best lunch box ideas for adults

If you’re looking to begin taking your lunch to work more frequently and need some lunch box ideas for adults, keep reading. I’ve compiled for you a handy list of what to pack in a lunch box — our lunch box essentials that we use most everyday:

Rubbermaid LunchBlox Lunch BagRubbermaid LunchBlox Lunch Bag



My husband has a lunch box similar to this one. It’s nice and roomy with mesh pockets and to hold silverware or an ice cooler pack inside and a water bottle on the outside. The adjustable shoulder strap is so handy, especially when your bags are full and can’t hold a lunch box or your arms are full and can’t hold your lunch by the small handles alone.




Fit & Fresh Cool Coolers Slim Lunch Ice Packs, Multicolored - Set of 4Fit & Fresh Cool Coolers Slim Lunch Ice Packs, Multicolored – Set of 4




These ice packs are flat and sealed well around the edges. For years we used the larger blue block ones, only to have them leak blue goo all over our lunch boxes, food containers, and hands. These ice packs fit beautifully inside the mesh pockets inside the lunch box, won’t swell when frozen, nor will they leak.




Dressing-to-Go 3-Pack Containers, Refrigerator, freezer and microwave safe.Dressing-to-Go 3-Pack Containers, Refrigerator, freezer and microwave safe.




What’s a salad without dressing? What’s a burger without ketchup? Nothing, in my culinary opinion! These little silicone dressing containers are so easy and they don’t leak! Dressings and condiments come out nicely because their shape makes them easy to squeeze, plus the cap removes easily for washing but goes back on just as easily. And did I mention, they don’t leak???




Glasslock 4-Piece Rectangle Oven Safe Container SetGlasslock 4-Piece Rectangle Oven Safe Container Set



These are amazing for storing leftovers and then dropping right into your lunch box. The glass container is oven safe and the plastic lid is BPA-free. It locks down and does not leak! Just this week, my lunch bag was unzipped and my entire lunch fell out, onto the floorboard of my van. I found my cheddar chicken chili upside down in my Glasslock container. Not one drip of the chili spilled at all. The seal on this lid is amazing!




Sistema Klip It Collection Lunch Cube to Go Food Storage Container, 47.3-Ounce/ 6 CupsSistema Klip It Collection Lunch Cube to Go Food Storage Container




I use this container everyday. It’s perfect for a sandwich, fruit, and chips. It has 3 different compartments to keep foods separate but latches all together for easy use and carry. This one container replaces 3 plastic sandwich bags.





Zulu Atlas Glass Water Bottle with Flip Lid, Purple, 20 ozZulu Atlas Glass Water Bottle with Flip Lid, Purple, 20 oz


This water bottle is fantastic. The mouth is wide enough to accommodate most ice cubes yet small enough not to spill all over you! It has a silicone sleeve for better grip and a loop for easy carrying. The top pops open with a one-finger button press, but there’s also a locking switch so that you don’t accidentally hit it and open it.

The main reason I love my glass water bottle is because I am able to add my favorite essential oils to water and iced tea when I drink it in glass. (Don’t ever put essential oils in a plastic container, as they can disintegrate the plastic. I only use and recommend Young Living essential oils. You can learn more about essential oils here.)



Lunchskins 3pk Reusable Sandwich Bags: Apple Orange PearLunchskins 3pk Reusable Sandwich Bags: Apple Orange Pear



Another money-saving tip here! These reusable cloth sandwich and snack bags will go the distance and replace hundreds of plastic baggies over the long-term. What’s super cool, too, is that they are dishwasher safe, so just pop them in at night when you unload your lunch box. Plus, they’re super-cute, too!





These lunch box items make taking your lunch so much easier and help you establish the habit that’s better for your body and your purse! I’d love to hear what your favorites are? What are your best lunch box ideas for adults?