I’m not gonna lie you guys. I hate making school lunches. It is probably my least favorite part of the kids going back to school. They’re still too young to make their own, and they’re not a fan of the school hot lunches, so here we are.
Despite my own general disdain for lunch making, I still want to make lunches fun for them. And while I’m admittedly haphazardly throwing whatever we have in their lunch boxes by year’s end, I do like to start out with a little effort. I’ll never be a fancy bento box parent, but hey, I’m sort of try, and that counts. Here are some ideas to start off the school year with lunches your little ones will love.
1. Create fun shapes.
My little ones are still young, but even if your kids are on the older side, a cookie cutter can be there friend. I bought several different shapes to use on sandwiches, cheese slices, and meats. I’m not sure what sort of witchcraft happens with shaped sandwiches, but 10 out of 10 times, my kids will eat the same kinds of sandwiches if they’re shapes that they won’t touch when they’re regular pieces of bread.
2. Kabob it.
Just like the star shaped sandwiches and cheese slices, if I give my daughter pieces of fruit on skewers rather than in a regular cup or bag, they’re devoured. And kabobs can be made from endless types of food. They’re actually kind of fun to put together too..
3. Make food smile.
Making a simple face on a piece of food is like sprinkling magical edible glitter on it when it comes to my kids. Two raisins for eyes and a clementine orange slice mouth make a boring sandwich come to life. I also draw a happy face on a banana or orange with a marker and I’m telling you, it makes my kids so much more enthusiastic about eating their fruits and veggies.
4. Let the kids help.
I have found that when my kids help make their lunches, they’re more likely to actually eat them at school the next day. I let them help me decide what to put in their boxes, and they also love cutting the sandwich shapes with me.