Chances are, if you’re bored packing the same turkey sandwich every other day in your child’s lunch, your child is bored with it, too. Coming up with new ideas to make your kid’s lunch exciting, different, and good to eat doesn’t have to be time consuming. With a little extra preparation and thought, a few simple and fun changes can go a long way towards making lunch fun again. Here are a few ideas to get you out of your rut:
- Try “breakfast for lunch,” just to shake things up a bit. Make a scrambled egg burrito loaded with cheese and veggies and wrap it in a whole wheat tortilla. Or make a variation on a fast food egg sandwich by placing a poached egg and a slice of ham and cheese on an English muffin. Not into eggs? How about French toast sliced into strips, packed alongside some applesauce for dipping. A muffin, fruit, yogurt, and granola also makes a healthy “breakfast as lunch” choice.
- Do a “soup and salad” week. Pack a thermos with a different nutritious soup each day, such as lentil, tomato, chicken, or chili. Match the soup with a salad in a bag (or a take-away plastic container) with your child’s favorite dressing. Throw in some breadsticks to round out the meal.
- Pick a theme and use leftovers to accomplish it. One week, take your son to Italy with a meatball sandwich, cold tortellini salad, or pasta with pesto. The next week, take him to Mexico by making a burrito with beans and leftover rice, or pitas stuffed with shredded beef and cheese. Using leftovers isn’t just thrifty – it’s also a great way to help save time in the morning.
Changes don’t have to be big to make a big difference. Start small by using tortillas or pita breads instead of sliced bread for sandwiches. Use cookie cutters to make fun shapes out of a standard sandwich. It doesn’t take much time and preschoolers love it! Decorate individual pizzas with olives to look like faces, or slice rolled up sandwiches into segments so they look like sushi.
Of course, get your child’s approval before you completely alter his lunch choices. But encourage him to try something new. By letting your creative side show in your child’s lunch, both of you will have more fun.