The daily packing of the lunchbox – many parents find this a bit of a chore, and many children are less than enthused about the same old thing for lunch every day. How can you make lunchbox food more interesting and exciting? Here are some ideas.
Square sandwiches can get boring, and there’s only so much you can stack onto one. If you take sandwich ingredients and put them on a skewer, though, you get a fun-to-eat meal that can pack a lot of variety. Here are some suggestions:
* Bread and cheese cubes, fresh fruit
* Chicken chunks, cheese cubes, and grapes
* Tomato, mozzarella cheese, and turkey chunks
* Pineapple, ham, and Swiss cheese cubes
* Pepperoni, mozzarella cheese, bread cubes, and green peppers
* Cubes sandwich pieces (make the sandwich, then cut it into cubes), fruit, and vegetables
As you can see, the sandwich-kabob can come in many varieties!
This Japanese-inspired method of making food look beautiful can captivate children. Using shallow, food-safe boxes, you can create all kinds of fun and pretty shapes.
Raw apples can be sliced and cut into bunny rabbit shapes (half-moon slice with thin slices for “ears”); cooked rice can form a face surrounded by “curly hair” made from rolled lunch meat slices and earrings made from grapes. Strawberry slices can be arranged into fan or flower shapes; kiwi slices can make car or motorcycle wheels; cupcake papers filled with salad, fruit, vegetables, and so forth can be arranged into a caterpillar shape.
You may want to surprise your child, who will probably look forward to opening his or her lunchbox to see what fun shapes there are today. Bento is a very fun and creative way to make lunchbox meals more exciting! Look online for specific Bento principles and design ideas to get you started.
The cookie cutter can become your friend as you seek new and interesting lunchbox foods. Use fun shapes to cut out slices of bread, cheese, melon, lunch meat, and anything else that’s flat and edible! Consider a variety of shapes and sizes so you can layer various shapes to make it more fun and interesting.
4. Separate Ingredients
Your child may be frustrated with his or her lunch because by the time lunchtime rolls around, the food in the lunchbox is messy and not very appetizing (jelly and juicy sandwich fillings soak into bread; hot foods get cold and tough; cold foods get limp and warm).
Try separating ingredients so your child can build their own sandwich or mix their own salad at school. Include an ice block (the kind that won’t sweat) to keep vegetables and fruits fresh and crisp, and use newspaper to insulate foods. Hot foods can be packed into a thermos or, if your child has access to a microwave, in microwave-safe containers.