School lunchbox tips and ideas

lunch box ideas- chef in disguise 1

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.

lunch box ideas

Peanut butter sandwich

White bean chocolate cake

Labneh (yogurt cheese)balls

Carrots, cucumbers and cherry tomatoes

Strawberries

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

Lunch box with smiling sandwiches

Turkey, lettuce and tomato sandwich with honey mustard dressing

carrots

cucumbers

toasted sweet shredded coconut (This tastes like cookies and my kids find it ireresistable)

crocodile lunch box

Roast beef sandwich with lettuce and tomatoes

Dates

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.

breakfast party

This is part of what I sent for my daughter’s school breakfast party

Cheese cucumber and olives on a stick

Cherry tomatoes

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

lunch box ideas- deconstruct it

Nabulsi cheese cubes

Bread cubes

Cucumber

Cherry tomato

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

Carrot flowers

Dates

Chia seeds pudding

cucumber

Zaatar sandwich

Crackers and oranges

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

pancake lunch box

Lemon ricotta pancakes

Cream cheese mixed with maple syrup

Apple slices

Cheese and oregano bars

Green almonds

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.

sesonal ingredients

Homemade string cheese

Cherry tomatoes

cucumbers

Roasted green chickpeas

Labneh sandwich

Banana

Dates

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

lunch box tips and ideas

Cheese and oregano bars

Green almonds

Almonds

Dates

Granola

Juice

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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