Eating the same boring turkey and tomato sandwich and celery sticks every day gets monotonous for kids. Soon, they’re trading their sticks for a pudding or begging cookies off the neighbor girl, and you’ve lost control over your child’s healthy lunch.
Just a little thought and creativity makes the brown bag lunch more exciting and encourages your child to eat what you pack instead of trading it, mooching off others, and throwing away good food.
Sliced bread is typically used to construct sandwiches for school lunches. If you have a routine sandwich eater, try a different way to contain their favorite sandwich fillings for an exciting switch-up. Pitas offer versatility, allowing you to stuff the pocket with a variety of fillings, and as a bonus, the pocket allows you to stuff a few added veggies inside, like shredded carrots, shredded lettuce, or diced bell peppers.
Also try spreading your child’s favorite dip inside the pita pocket before filling it for additional flavor. Hummus, guacamole, and flavored fat-free cream cheese are full of protein as well as yummy. Other options to get crazy with are wraps, English muffins, flat breads, buns, or bagel thins.
Mix ‘N Match Lunch
Allowing your child to pick his own lunch components makes him more likely to eat it at school. Make a list for Main Courses, Fruits, Veggies, and Treats that your child can choose from, like a menu. Post the list on the fridge, and your child can mark what they want with magnets.
If your child is a picky eater, make the list together so it is a compromise of what they will eat and what they should eat. This option also creates variety in the lunch offering.
Many kids don’t have access to microwaves or other methods of heating up a lunch, which makes it difficult to provide a hot meal. Soup is one option that can stay warm until lunch time when prepared and stored properly. Choose a thermos that seals tightly. Boil water and pour it into the thermos for about 10 minutes in the morning with the lid on tight. This heats the thermos, which helps retain the heat of the soup. Heat your child’s favorite soup to a temperature hotter than you would normally serve. Pour the water out of the thermos and fill it with the hot soup. Seal the thermos immediately to retain the heat. Crackers and cheese or a half of a sandwich on the side offers more bulk to the meal if soup alone isn’t enough.
A theme within the lunch bag is another way to jazz up school lunches. Several themes work well with lunches. You might choose a particular type of ethnic food as the theme, such as Mexican or Chinese. Color is another theme option.
For an orange lunch, you might pack a cold cheese sandwich, cheese chips, carrots, and an orange. Other lunch theme ideas include an upcoming holiday, finger foods, or shapes.