School time: Get your kids excited about lunch with these lunchbox ideas

Read to learn how to up your lunchbox game and pack lunches your little one just cannot resist!

by

Rida Jaleel

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Published: Wed 19 Apr 2023, 11:25 AM

School season has begun, and so has the struggle of packing your little one’s lunches. Packing a lunchbox can be a hassle for multiple reasons, especially if you’re a working parent. You want your child’s lunchbox to be nutritious, filling and appealing – especially if your child is a picky eater.

Here are some fun and creative lunchbox ideas that are easy to make for working parents and are guaranteed to please all children.

Bento boxes

Bento boxes are a great way to add variety to your child's lunch. Use a divided container to pack various healthy snacks, like hummus and veggies, fruit and nuts. If you have extra time in the morning, making fun shapes of the roll-ups or snacks with cookie cutters or arranging the food in playful ways is a good way of tempting your child into eating them.

Wraps

You can never go wrong with a wrap, mostly because you can customise it according to your child’s tastes. Use a wholewheat or spinach tortilla wrap (they’re green and bound to catch your kid’s eye!) and include everything from seasoned vegetables, grilled chicken, chickpeas and a good sauce. Ask them what ingredients they’d want in the wrap and add those. That way, even if they ask for something like French fries, you can make it up with the other veggies you’d add, the taste of which will be masked. A good wrap is wholesome and filling, and, most importantly – not dry by lunch hour! .

Mini food

As long as you present your food colourfully and creatively, children mostly won’t ask many questions. One good way of making your children eat healthy food is by offering them mini-versions of healthy meals. Instead of giving them a veggie burger, make them sliders instead. Offer them mini pizza bites with meat and vegetables on them and tangerines instead of oranges. This will make eating easier and more fun!

Fruit skewers

Make fruit fun by packing it on skewers. Thread a variety of fruit onto bamboo skewers and pack them. Pack a few extra skewers to share with their friends. Your kid will find the technique of eating them off a skewer more engaging and therefore have a higher fruit intake!

DIY trail mix

For snacks, pack a small container with various nuts, seeds and dried fruit to create a DIY trail mix. You can even let your child create their own mix by choosing their favourite ingredients. It's a tasty and healthy snack that's perfect for a mid-day pick-me-up. Nuts and seeds are also great sources of protein, vitamins and healthy fats.

Here are some ways to make packing lunch easier:

•Pick out a lunchbox of their choice with compartments for different foods and have enough space to hold enough food for your child.

•Include your children in the lunch-prep. Ask them what their favourite and least favourite foods to eat in school are and why. Make lunch-prepping a family activity and take their suggestions!

•Make the lunch as colourful as possible. The more vibrant the lunchbox looks, the higher chance it has to be eaten. Rather than just sandwiches or pasta, include a pop of colour by introducing salads, crackers, biscuits, etc.

•Pack your children a treat for the end of their meal. While there’s no saying which they’ll eat first, pack them some chocolate-dipped pretzels, a croissant, a fruit yoghurt cup, etc., to end their meal with.

•Include clean, appropriate cutlery with their lunch boxes.

•Focus on variety to keep them from getting bored. Rice, pasta salads, wraps, parfait, etc. are some meals that are quick to make and different enough to sustain interest.

With some creativity and variety, packing lunchboxes for your children shouldn’t be too difficult. Remember to give them agency and teach them the importance of not wasting food, and you’re good to go!


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