It can be an endless guessing game – you have to decide what your children wants for lunch, what they will eat for lunch and what they should have for lunch. Then you must take all those things into consideration and create the best kid’s lunch box lunch! Add to that, having to put it into a lunchbox… with an ice source… just complicates the chore all that much more! Not everything needs to be very cold, but put by that blue ice, chips can get soggy! But if the sandwich is not near the ice source, warm ham or bologna is just not very tasty. And of course, only things that will fit into the size of the lunch box can even be used!
But help is on the way! It really isn’t that hard! The kids have to have a lunch for school, so better just figure out how to do it right and healthy. Knowing your child is at their best, is the only inspiration you need to create the perfect lunch box lunch. Start by taking them shopping for their very own choice of lunch box, or lunch bag….or lunch tote, lunch pail, lunch bag… metal lunch box, fabric lunch tote, insulated lunch bag or metal lunch box.. Sounds complicated but don’t worry…. the kids know exactly what lunch box they want!
It is important to pack a school lunch box with a healthy lunch that your child will eat! Talk to your child and find out they like. Make sure they know this is a serious conversation – tell them why you are asking and why they need to be honest and not give silly answers. Impress on them that this is about THEIR health so it is important that they make considerations even for things that aren’t their favorites, but they will eat. The problem is that alot of kids are finicky and picky eaters and you do have to put some effort into taking what they like, restructuring it to lunch box convenience and then ADDING IN little things that they either don’t like or have never tried – just a little something for them to try. Sometimes if other kids see that item in their lunch box, it will be the talk of the table and give your child an incentive to give it a try – who knows? They might like it! You won’t know until you try and neither will they!
How to Jazz up a School Lunch In A Box
There are a lot of things kids say they don’t like, but in fact, they have never tried the item! A school lunch box is a perfect way to introduce you child to new things – kind of like introducing to them on their “own turf”. They see other kids eating, and that often helps them to eat similar. If you want them to try wheat bread, make their sandwich with one slice of wheat and one slice of white. Most likely they won’t taste a difference and you can add wheat bread to the list of what they like and it gives you more options to use to make their lunch box lunch more healthy and even exciting!
Have Fun With A Lunch Box Lunch
A great way to look at lunch box lunches and giving your children the nutrition they need, is to have fun with it. Use your imagination to create fun things out of the usual staples. Use cookie cutters to cut the bread and lunch meat into shapes! I do this for my grand daughter and she is just the talk of the table as being the luckiest ever, as she gets her sandwiches in the shape of gingerbread boys or butterflies!
Sometimes a little of everything is more fun than alot of a few things. Give them an “assortment”. If they like several kinds of chips, take a few of each chip and put them all together in the same baggie. That way, they get a fun variety of their favorite chips! Just the thought of having all their favorites all at once… will just make the lunch box lunch something they will start to look forward to and most certainly enjoy! Do the same thing with vegetables… just sitting there eating carrot sticks is rather boring, but if you have a few carrots sticks, a few celery sticks, mixed in a few olives or cherry tomatoes, eating vegetables can be more fun and not at all boring!
Instead of baggies, invest in small plastic containers with snap lids to house smaller things or things that need to stay cold or are a bit juicy. Things get smashed in baggies regardless of how careful you are when packing them. No one wants to open their lunch to a mess! These days they have perfect size containers for just a few mouthfuls of any item.
Make the Lunch Interactive!
Instead of putting the sandwich together and then stuff it into a baggie, just put the sandwiches makings into baggies and let your child build their own sandwich! Include some dip in a lid container and a baggie of fresh vegetables or even chips. Your child will have fun dipping their food and that will keep them focused on eating it all! Always use a blue ice module for keeping required things cold. These come in all sizes and shapes.
Don’t Forget the Drink!
Drink boxes, juice bags, thermos – these are all great and easy to use. Just watch the grocery store ads and stock up when juice boxes or small containers are on sale. But, you could also invest in a thermos. Thermos’ come in lots of fun designs and character themes. Add you own choice of drink, even milk, and your child will have fun sipping juice with Hanna Montana or Spiderman! But sometimes, it might just be easier or just as convenient to include milk money in their lunch box and buy a carton of milk at school
Some Like it Hot!
Invest in a wide mouth thermos. Fill it with soups your child likes, add crackers and a spoon and a nice warm, healthy lunch they will have! But don’t stop at soups! How about stew, chili, hot potato salads… pretty much anything that needs to be hot and will fit into the wide mouth thermos, your child can have for lunch! Ever heard of hot dogs for lunch box lunch? I boiled the hot dog that morning and while still hot, cut it in half and put it in the thermos. I put just a little bit of the boiling water into the thermos to keep the hot dogs warm, but not enough to be a safety issue. Took a hot dog bun, cut it in half and put it in a baggie. Added left over baggie condiments of ketchup or mustard and your child can have hot dogs for lunch!
Fresh fruit, desserts and other “Extras”
A complete meal is not complete without fresh fruit, a dessert or just that special little thing to eat at the end. Kids like those packaged “fruit snacks” but I think they are just more junk than they are worth – they are chewy, so that stuff sits there in between their teeth all day long! But many fresh fruits are more trouble than kids wants to deal with at lunch time. So make it easy for them…cut the apple into slices or chunks (add some peanut butter to dip them in!). Peel the orange and give them just the sections (a sealed container works best here!) Just make the meal fun and easy for your child to eat and they will be more likely to eat it all! As a dessert, there a lot of yogurts, fruit cups, puddings and the like that are ready-made lunchables. These are great addition to any kids lunch so just watch sales at stores and stock up. For using these kinds of things, spread them out over a couple weeks. If they get this every single day, it will get boring. But once or twice a week, it will be a surprise dessert that they will love and look forward to!
Try some of these ideas, come up with your own and ask your child their ideas of what would surprise them or what they would like to see in their lunch box at lunch time. Your child will be enjoying their lunch box lunch every day! Always remember to keep their lunch well balanced and your child will grow up happy and healthy… and full!
Special Note: I often include a special note in the lunch box. Just a little note on a cute piece of paper with just a few words of encouragement and love… just helps them have a wonderful lunch and know Mom loves them!