Lunch Ideas Kids Love

Ok, Ok, I know I am supposed to be a dinner strategist (self proclaimed) but as a parent I have to delve into the lunch arena on daily basis. I try to put myself in my daughters shoes and make lunch extra special. I just remember lunch being my favorite subject (YES) at school. It was the only time, other than recess, where I could talk freely with my friends, express myself and fuel my body. My parents didn’t make my lunch, I had free lunch, so I ate whatever was on the line. My favorite day was usually pizza or nacho day. Whew – I went way back. After two years of making lunch, I will now share some things I’ve learned along the way.

Don’t worry if you give your kids sandwiches everyday.

I read so many blog posts were parents try to re-invent lunch. I have seen everything from black bean tacos, to mediterranean slaw, to cold chicken wings. Some of it looked great – for me. I just wasn’t so sure if my picky 5-year old would enjoy any of it. My fix – I bought a lot of crust cutters and made fun shapes with bread and cold cuts. It delighted her. Soon she started making special requests. She’d say, “I would like a dolphin today.” Sometimes I do change it up. I have substituted the sandwich for a hotdog, wrap or rolled meat and cheese bites.

Come up with fun ways to inject veggies.

42930182-83f9-43d4-aea6-e14e49abcc0dSometimes I worry that my daughter isn’t getting a well-rounded meal. Besides dinner, she didn’t eat many veggies. In order to rectify this, I got a vegetable spiral slicer to make fun spirals out of carrots and zucchini. I would post a pic but the spirals are quickly consumed.

Find fun fruits.

I always try to inject fun fruits into my daughters lunch box. This week I bought a starfruit. She loved it. I did, however, have to watch a YouTube instructional video to cut and serve it. It came out great, although she ate it before I could get it in her lunch box. I also mix and match fruits to add variety. My favorite fruit for her are raspberries because she promptly puts them on all her fingers and waves at me.

Add a treat. Don’t skip this.

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I always try to add a treat as an incentive for my daughter to eat all of her food. Most times I add a cookie or Hershey kiss but lately I have been making fun trail mix. She really likes it and it breaks up the lunch monotony. I normally make it out of whatever I have on hand (candy, nuts, dried fruit) and add it to a plastic baggie.

Don’t always expect a thank you.

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Sad to say but this can be so true. My parting advice is to not expect a thank you…but sometimes kids surprise you with thanks and kisses! I can spend 15 precious minutes customizing the perfect lunchbox and my daughter may say, “can I order lunch instead,” or “can I have a lunchable.” It doesn’t hurt my feelings any longer. I am happy knowing she has the best lunch during the best part of her day.

11 thoughts on “Lunch Ideas Kids Love

  1. I love the sandwich shape idea! I also almost always give my daughter a sandwich, but I did buy her a thermos soup container (she picked the princess theme, of course!) and about once a week I will send her with leftover chili (her favorite) with a piece of cornbread, or veggie soup with a cheese stick. She loves it! I know they eat lunch at her school right at noon, and I’ve found by zapping it for 2 minutes so it’s piping hot in the a.m., she reports that her food is “just right” by lunch. As a bonus once I put cold tuna salad in it one day I ran out of bread. She likes that, too. One of her favorite veggie sides is sugar snap peas.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree, re-invent is the word. Kids tend to be picky so we as parents have to find ways to mix nutritious food in their meals and make it more attractive and inviting. Takes a lot of work but definitely worth the effort. Thanks for the tips, Gloria!

    Liked by 1 person

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