School lunches are not usually exciting; most kids get bored of the standard sandwich, apple, and milk carton pretty quickly. If your child is sick of peanut butter and jelly, but you’re out of ideas, try these five fun school lunches that are not only quick and easy, but also nutritious.
Silly sandwich shapes
If you haven’t touched those cookie cutters since last Christmas, consider taking them out of the pantry this September. You can transform any boring deli sandwich into a fun surprise. Just cut out shapes like stars, hearts, or even animals, and pack the sandwich in a Ziploc bag. If your kids don’t eat crust anyway, this is a great way to make sandwiches a little more exciting.
You can buy wooden skewers at any discount store. These are great tools for colorful fruit kebobs, and they are easy to pack in lunchboxes. Cut pineapple, melon, and apple into cubes, and slide them on the skewers. You can also experiment with grapes, sliced banana, blueberries, and fresh strawberries. Your kids will have fun eating off the skewers, and you will be satisfied that they are getting a full serving of fruit.
Deconstruct it- Food deconstruction is the newest trend in the culinary world; why not apply it to school lunches? Instead of packing a simple sandwich, give your child rolled up turkey slices, slices of baguette, and string cheese. Your child will appreciate the options, and you’ll save preparation time in the morning.
Sushi- Vegetarian sushi rolls are not only healthful alternatives to traditional school lunches, they’re also easy and fun to make with your child. You can find short grain sushi rice, nori seaweed, and rice vinegar at natural grocery stores like Whole Foods. Many natural grocery stores also sell premade vegetarian sushi rolls if you would rather save time by buying them premade. Vegetarian sushi rolls are filling, and full of vegetables like cucumber, carrots, and avocado. Serve in a plastic container with a small packet of soy sauce, and your kids will love your Japanese spin on school lunches.
Make funny faces
Kids love silly faces, so why not include them in their school lunch? All you’ll need is a rice cake, some peanut butter, and a few simple toppings. Use the peanut butter to “glue” raisins or dried fruit on the rice cake to make the eyes. Be creative with the project; use shredded carrot as hair or sunflower seeds as freckles. You can even try different flavored rice cakes such as cinnamon, apple, and caramel.
School lunch doesn’t have to be boring; your kids will be more willing to try new foods if you present them in a fun way. Even picky eaters will look forward to lunchtime when their lunchbox is full of surprises.