You are half asleep, you face your kid’s empty lunch box. You want to pack something healthy, filling and nutritious at the same you want it to be appealing enough for your kid to actually eat it! Packing a lunch box full of veggies and healthy stuff only to have it come home untouched at the end of the day is a scenario you want to avoid and I am here to help with a few tips and tricks I learnt packing lunch for my 8 year old daughter. Once a week I will be sharing lunch box ideas. There will be recipes, free printables, lunch box suggestions, tips and tricks on how to decorate fruits and veggies and much more. If you struggle when you face that empty lunch box in the morning then stay tuned, I hope you will find ideas here that will make this morning task more enjoyable for you and your little ones.
Before I get to the tips, I just want to point out that in my daughter’s school she and her friends usually sit together at lunch time and share their food, that is why you will notice that I put a little extra of everything.
One year ago:Ayran “savory yogurt drink”
Two years ago:Chicken fajitas with deconstructed guacamole
Lunch box packing tips and ideas
1.Use a lunch box that is divided into compartments, that will help keep things separate and will prevent fruits and vegetables from making the bread soggy. If you don’t have a lunch box like that or need smaller compartments use silicon molds, paper cups or little plastic containers as dividers. They add color, make anything you put in them more appealing and help you keep different items apart.
Peanut butter sandwich
Carrots, cucumbers and cherry tomatoes
2.Little fun details will make your kids look forward to their lunch break, a few stickers turn a good old boring sandwich into a fun and appealing one
Turkey, lettuce and tomato sandwich with honey mustard dressing
toasted sweet shredded coconut (This tastes like cookies and my kids find it ireresistable)
Roast beef sandwich with lettuce and tomatoes
Cucumbers and tomatoes
Orange and passion fruit juice
3.Put food on a stick, be it salad, cheese, fruits. There is something kids “and adults too” find irresistable about small colorful portions on sticks.
This is part of what I sent for my daughter’s school breakfast party
Cheese cucumber and olives on a stick
Pita bread slices
4. Deconstruct it! Instead of sending your kids to school with sandwiches every day, try deconstructing the sandwich. Bread cubes, sliced or cubes cheese and some veggies make for a fun and refreshing change from the usual
Home made granola
5.Change things up
Kids get bored easily, try changing things up by changing the presentation of the food. Cubes, triangles, roses, rolls. The same food can go from boring to interesting with a few slices of a knife or a cookie cutter
Chia seeds pudding
6.Break the rules
Rules are meant to be broken. I know we all want to pack healthy food for our kids but allowing them a lunch box of treats every once in a while is not such a bad idea. Pancakes with cream cheese and maple syrup or a few rolled crepes to keep things interesting
Cream cheese mixed with maple syrup
7. Think fresh and seasonal
Make the best out of seasonal ingredients, they taste better, they look better and they are better for you. This time of year here in Jordan the markets are full of green almond “the fuzzy little green things you see in the picture, these are actually young almonds and they are a wonderful snack with a sprinkle of salt”
Or perhaps Hamleh حامله grilled green chickpeas another spring special that makes a guilt free, fun snack.
Roasted green chickpeas
8. Add a little note. It could be something as simple as a piece of paper with a hand written “I love you”, “I miss you”, “I am proud of you” or you can google printable lunch box notes and jokes and you will find many free cute printables out there. I will be sharing some free printable that I designed next week.
9.It doesn’t always have to be a sandwich
Crackers and dip, pastry, pancakes, a few slices of pizza or some pasta
10. Let them help!
Allow your kids to choose what goes into their lunch boxes and help pack it. They are more likely to eat it if they chose it and helped in packing it
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