Now that school is getting back into session, it’s time to start getting back into the groove of packing that lunchbox every night (or morning). For us grown-ups, it can really seem like quite a mundane task that’s too time-consuming, or just plain old not worth the extra effort when there’s laundry, dinner, bills, soccer practice, chores and shopping to do. And when that happens, kids often come home with their lunchbox full of uneaten fruit, vegetables and sandwiches. So how do we pack a lunchbox that we can be sure our kids will not only gobble up, but enjoy, too? Here are five tips to pack a lunchbox your kids will love!
1. Give them the Power! Invite your kids to be involved in packing tomorrow’s lunch with you! Ask them what they’d like – carrots or cucumbers? Apples or orange slices? What flavor of jelly would they like with their peanut butter? The more you involve your child in the decision-making, the more they might feel that you care about their opinions, and you’re giving them a sense of empowerment, too.
2. Use those leftovers! Did dinner last night go off like gangbusters, with the kids cleaning their plates or asking for seconds? Send those leftovers along with them to school for lunch the next day! You heat up the leftovers in the morning and use a thermos to keep them warm until lunchtime.
3. Get a bento / divided lunchbox! There are so many benefits to using these lunch boxes with dividers! First, they pretty much eliminate the need for plastic baggies, foil and other unsustainable waste. Second, bento boxes just make the presentation so much better! When your kid opens up that box at lunchtime, the first thing they see are all the yummy things you’ve packed for them to enjoy. You can find bento boxes just about anywhere these days, like Target, Amazon or Ikea.
4. The element of surprise! Kids look forward to opening up a gift, so why not evoke that same feeling when they open up their lunchbox? Check out Pinterest for kid’s lunchbox ideas, and have fun packing that lunch so that they have fun opening it and eating it, too. Which brings us to the next tip….
5. Be creative! Do you have decorative cookie cutters laying around? Use them on fruit, vegetables, sandwiches, cheese and more to cut out cute shapes! Or make rainbow fruit kabobs with strawberries, mandarin oranges, pineapple, kiwi, blueberries and blackberries – they taste awesome and look even better. Looking for inspiration? Check out this amazing blog called Rock the Lunchbox – filled with great ideas!
Someone once told me that the extra effort you put into packing your kid’s lunch makes them feel loved and special – it’s sort of like sending them a midday hug! What are some of your kid’s favorite lunches? Comment below and let us know!