The Verdict On Packed School Lunches: Parents VS Kids

by | Dec 4, 2023


On average, children attend 179 school days in the U.S., and for some parents, this means nearly 200 school lunches to pack! This task can be daunting, with costs and ever changing preferences of children.

When it comes time to pack your child’s lunch, there are multiple things to consider. Which foods will offer a healthy and balanced lunch? Which foods will ensure your child finishes their meal? Which foods will ensure your child is full and ready to focus in the classroom? These questions can cause a lot of stress for parents who are unsure.

To help ease the pressure, Crestline set out to find which lunch items are best left in the pantry, surveying parents and children across the U.S. to find which items are most commonly packed, how often parents are packing lunch, reasons behind packing lunch, which food items are kids’ favorites, and more!

Crestline discovered fresh fruit, chips, and sandwiches with deli meat are the most common items packed in kids’ lunches. While those items are approved among many kids, the favorites include pizza, fresh fruit, cookies, brownies, and candy. Now that list of less-than-healthy foods may not come as a surprise for many parents, but hey, at least the kids were honest.

Check out the top 30 items parents pack in school lunches compared to the top 30 kid favorites below, and see the complete study results and conclusion of the Crestline study here – the results are sure to have your kid smiling as they open up their lunchbox each day!

Chart of top 30 food items parent pack in school lunches compared to the top 30 kid-approved items.