Let’s face it, just like us, our kids can get stuck in food-ruts. Maybe you eat a turkey on rye everyday for lunch, or you have to have your oatmeal with soy milk for breakfast–our kids are no different! And with no meal is this meal-time-monotony more prevalent than the school-day lunch! So often, if you ask your little one what they want for lunch the next day, they reply with the same thing they’ve wanted for the last three weeks in a row! Snap your kids out of boring back-to-school lunchtime fare with these cool lunch-box friendly ideas!
IDEA #1: MAKE A ROCK STAR LUNCH!
What’s cooler than a rock star? Surprise your 6-to 10-year-old with a rock-star themed lunch that will have the lunch table abuzz! Just make a batch of Star Shaped Turkey Sandwich Bites the night before to let the cream cheese and spinach spread adequately cool and pack in an appropriate insulated box or bag. Also include some accessories fit for a rock star, like these paper zebra print plates and napkins! Add some carrots, star-shaped crackers and a mini pink cupcake for a full on rocker-glam lunch!
Go the extra mile to make your little one’s back to school a real blast by coordinating a lunchtime theme with your child’s friends’ parents. Plan for a “Rock Star Wednesday” lunch where all the parents make something specially rock-star themed for their kids’ lunches!
IDEA #2: MAKE A MONSTER SANDWICH!
Monsters are just plain cool right now and they are popping up on everything from baby onsies to skateboards! Cash in on the monster coolness factor by making your little guy (or girl) a special “monster” sandwich! This is perfect for the Preschool to 8-year-old crowd. Just take a little extra time when preparing your child’s normal sandwich and use different crackers, cheeses or veggies to design a ferocious or funny monster face!
This is also a great idea heading into the Halloween holiday season! Use a round-shaped flat sandwich bread to make a spooky Jack O’ Lantern. Use a small triangle-shaped cookie cutter to cut out eyes and a nose in a contrasting color bread and an apple slice would make an easy and tasty mouth!
IDEA #3: HAVE THEM ROLL THEIR OWN “SUSHI” ROLLS!
If the proliferation of make-it-yourself lunchtime kits have taught us anything (thinking “Lunchables” here), it’s that kids love to “make” their own food (or maybe “play with” is a better term). Take your child to the far East during their next lunchtime by having them roll their own “sushi” for lunch! Go to your local Asian grocery to find this Korean version of Japanese nori ( Trader Joes also has it now in the isle with the chips, it’s called “Roasted Seaweed Snack”) . In Korean it is called “Gim” and is loved by all in my family, plain or wrapped over rice and veggies. I eat it like it’s chips and so does Kysen, it is truly a delicious way to get your daily dose of antioxidant-packed sea vegetables!
For a particularly cool take on lunch, pack your child a cooked meat, cut into strips (such as chicken breast, flank steak, or even deli meats), cooked white rice and assorted veggies. Show them how to make a simple roll using the small rectangles of “Gim” as their “sushi” seaweed.
IDEA #4: PUT IT ON A STICK!
It’s a fun and time-honored tradition to put tasty foods on a stick! And kids still find it to be just plain fun! Make a special lunch using foods on a stick, from their sandwich to their fruit! Since this idea requires the use of skewers or other potentially-eye-poking instruments, make sure your child is the appropriate age! Imagine how cool it will be for your little guy to find his normal peanut butter and jelly sandwich “remixed” on a stick, “Cool, Mom!”s will abound with this super-easy trick! It can be as simple as cutting your little one’s sandwich into triangles or as involved as using different shaped cookie cutters, the point is making the effort to do something different for your little back-to-schooler!
IDEA #5: LUNCH TIME FONDUE!
This is another easy themed lunch box idea, just gather together all things dip-able and put it in their lunch box unexpectedly! Maybe leave a little note explaining that it’s “Dunk Your Lunch Fondue Friday” and everything they eat for lunch that day must be dunk-able, no exceptions 🙂 This is a great sister theme to the fondue theme above as sticks and dunking go hand in hand!
Make a fruit skewer and add a chocolate pudding cup to serve as the chocolate fondue! Take leftover chicken breast put on a stick and include a container of BBQ sauce for an instant main course fondue!
What are your lunch box ideas to keep your child’s school lunch fun and fresh? Please share 🙂
Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Country Crock via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Country Crock.