Keeping it simple is important when it comes to kids’ lunches. Investing in a stainless steel bento box can be a helpful way to give them lots of variety, so they don’t feel tempted to toss the whole shebang in the garbage, returning home ravenous.
I recently got caught in a YouTube vortex and watched a mother make a small cake designed to look like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. This struck me as fascinatingly wrong on so many levels.
Who wants to send their kid to school fueled with icing? Also, who wants to spend hours making something that quite realistically could end up being traded — especially if they think it is just a sandwich?
Here are some unique ways to give your kids a back-to-school lunch that will at least have a chance at being eaten:
1) Think outside the sandwich box
Sandwiches are great, but can look less than exciting once lunchtime comes around.
Think about burritos or even deconstructed sandwiches (hummus and veggies on the side) so that your kid can harness their inner sous-chef. Sandwiches cut out with a cookie cutter are always more interesting to little ones.
2) Fruits and veggies (that they like)
Trying a new food at lunch may be risky when they don’t have to answer to you if they decide not to try it. To make it more likely that they will eat what you provide for them, ask them which fruit or vegetable they would prefer.
Apples or grapes? This question lets them participate in their healthy diet.
3) Crackers and toppings
A bento box works perfectly for this, but wrapping other items separately will allow your kids to stack and build exactly what they want. Provide different spreads, like cream cheese or hummus, and toppings like cut-up cucumber or hard-boiled eggs.
4) Warm foods
Thermoses can provide relief for those cold days when a sandwich just won’t do. Put some hot water through the thermos first to keep it extra warm, then fill with pasta, soup, chili or another dinner favorite that your kid loves.
Bonus: you can repurpose dinner from the night before.