Our lunchbox magnets have been sealed with various things as we've grown and explored new options. We started with Mod Podge long, long ago but it was hard to get a smooth finish and the drying time was long.
We then tried out a variety of brands and types of spray sealers - acrylic, polyurethane, enamel, etc. Some brands worked better than others but they all smelled. Still it was an improvement over painting each one.
Now we're trying a clear laminate that I think everyone will enjoy a lot more! It makes the top of the magnets completely waterproof and easy to clean. There's no smell or drying time and they leave a nice gloss finish as well as making the magnets just a teeny bit sturdier.
The magnets still should not be run through the dishwasher though as the image will peel off the magnet if it gets too wet but we think they will last longer.