Let’s be honest… few people have time to make themed sandwiches for their child’s lunchbox. It is cute and fun, but most of us are focused on getting everyone out the door with something to eat rather than on crafting an Angry Bird sandwich. But packing a lunch doesn’t have to mean sending your kids on their way with a collection of junk food either! If you are looking for ways to up your child’s lunch game without upping your stress, keep reading for some great tips!
Think variety. Give your children options! Instead of getting one box of fruit snacks, get a few different flavors. Stock up on assorted fresh fruits and veggies, variety packs of chips, even a sampling of jams to switch up the normal PB&J! They may not feel like eating an apple but would love a banana, so let them pick their variation for the day.
Challenge the norm. Be different from time to time! Throw in some leftover pizza. How about a delicious sandwich made of leftover pot roast? And who said lunch has to include a sandwich? Try pretzels with a container of peanut butter for dipping. Take it to the next level and send raisins and chocolate chips to dip the pretzels in. How about cubes of cheese and meat with crackers? Think of their favorite foods, and build a lunch around those.
And remember to nurture their thoughts and feelings as well as their stomachs.
Write a note. Jot an encouraging word or two on a piece of paper and stick it in the lunch box. If there is a big test they are nervous about or soccer tryouts after school, let them know you are thinking of them and wish them well! A simple “Have a great day! -Love, Mom (or Dad)” will go such a long way! Here are some free printables you can use when in a time crunch! Be sure to tone it down a bit for the older kids… you don’t want to embarrass them!
Draw a picture. Using a marker and an empty sandwich bag, draw a fun pic or design on the outside of the bag! It really makes whatever is inside look fancy! Draw their favorite character and a cute saying, such as a Yoda with the phrase “Eat all your lunch, you must!”
Getting them to consume their lunch is the important part. Pack things you know they will eat and don’t be afraid to throw in some creativity from time to time. You may never have time for shaped mini-sandwiches or homemade XOXOX chips, but if you pack it with love, that is all that matters!