At first I loved making lunches for my kids; I LOVED filling their lunch boxes with amazingly fun looking food: and for the most part I still do. However, I struggle most days to even think of things to put in my kids lunch box, to know if what they’re getting is “good” or “healthy”.
So I’ve put together some tips that I’ve found useful in helping to make an amazing lunch box – and these are all totally achievable things.
1. A Bento Lunch Box
A lunch box like a Bento Box has the ability to make ordinary food, look semi-exciting. Instead of being a sandwich wrapped in baking paper (aaah the memories), each item is perfectly portioned in a cute looking lunch box. You do NOT need to spend a fortune on this type of lunch box. My kids have a Yum Box (like the one below), but the Sistema lunch boxes also do a great job. Check out my Bento-Style Lunch Box list for stockists in New Zealand.
Also check out my Lunch Box Review page for the official review of lunch boxes in New Zealand.
2. Variety Is Key
When you’re making your kids lunches, trying to think of things to put in can be difficult. To make it easier, I have put together this Ultimate Guide to Filling Your Kids Lunch Box. I try to have at least one from each category (apart from nuts, because most schools don’t allow that). Don’t forget that leftovers are an amazing addition to any lunch, AND it clears the fridge out!
3. Make It Fun
Using a cookie cutter to cut shapes out, is no different to slicing something up with a knife. Trust me, I’m the Queen of Lazy, and I can tell you that it is NO DIFFERENT. It takes no more time, and it adds to the amazingness that is the lunch box. Instead of cutting the crusts off the sandwich, and then cutting into triangles or squares, using a cookie cutter or sandwich cutter (like the one below) helps make it more alluring.
4. Finger Food
What I’ve found with my daughter, is that often she doesn’t get much time to eat because she wants to play. So I try to have easy to eat foods, like finger foods. I don’t usually put whole fruit in her lunch box because it would be less likely she would eat it. Instead I cut it up and put it in her lunch box. If you’re worried about apples going brown, using an apple slicer (like the one below) is great. Then simply join everything back up together using a rubber band. The apple will go a wee bit brown, but not as much as if it were open completely.
Some of you might be rolling your eyes thinking “what is this world coming to, it’s just lunch”, and I completely understand.
At the end of the day, you don’t have to do any of this. Lunches are just lunches – and if you don’t want to do any of the above, or don’t have the money to do so, then you don’t have to. Having a “fun” looking lunch is not the be-all-and-end-all of parenting. I certainly don’t think any less of those who make a regular lunch.
For me personally, I just want my kids to eat; and when I do the above, they tend to eat it more. Plus, having a bento-style lunch box really does help me to give the kids enough food, and variety, so I know they’re getting enough during the day.