It’s great to have a little time for yourself while the little ones go off and learn exciting things all day at school. Although, it does add the responsibility for sending a healthy, nutritious lunch that your kids will actually eat.
Involve Your Little Ones
Make your life a little easier by getting the kids to help out. Ask them daily what they liked and didn’t like. It will change, but this way you can come closer to keeping up.
Let your children pick out a re-usable lunch container. There are so many available now, so your child is bound to find one to make their lunch time more fun.
Use that Thermos
Even if your children have no place to warm up food, you can still send them a hot meal in a thermos. It also works well to keep things cold, so it can also haul yogurt, pudding, or juice that doesn’t come out of a box.
One of my favorites is to cook a slow cooker stew or soup overnight while I’m sleeping. Then I can portion it out for the whole family to take to school (or work).
Sandwiches – Always a Good Standby
It’s an old standby, but you can make it seem new with a few simple additions. Make fun shapes by using cookie cutters, make them into sailboats, deconstruct them and serve them on sticks, or wrap it up instead.
- Try different sandwich fillings and additions to your old favorites.
- Add fresh grapes to chicken salad.
- Finely shred some carrots and summer squash to add to tuna or egg salad.
- Use mashed tofu in your favorite egg salad recipe.
- Coarsely mash chickpeas and add mayo to make a unique sandwich filling.
- Fill it with peanut butter and pear, or apple slices with cheddar cheese.
Dipping Makes Lunch Fun
Dipping things can be fun and a good way to sneak some healthy foods into your kids. Sneak in some tofu into your hummus, or add some pureed veggies into the ranch dip. Make tortilla crackers using cookie cutters and whole wheat tortillas.
It’s not always easy to get kids to eat salad, but if you cut the veggies to dipping size you’ll be surprised at how much more they will eat. Get creative and cut shapes out of bell peppers, firm tofu, and radishes. Check out some bento box recipes to get tons of ideas on making new shapes. Rice balls called onigiri look exotic, but everyone loves them. Plus you can dip them too!
These are the things your kids may be asking for at the store. You know they’re bad for them. But did you know you can make similar things at home? You’ll create a win-win situation that everyone will be happy with.
Instead of over priced pre-packaged lunch, try making your own. Family Fun has a great recipe to get you started. Just say no to processed chicken nuggets, and make almond crusted chicken fingers or crispy baked chicken instead.
The easiest lunch of them all. After each week night dinner you may only have a 1/4 cup of a few things. But even a 1/4 cup can be the beginning of a lunch. When you clean up from dinner, start thinking about lunch for the next day. You’ll be surprised at how creative you can be.