School’s in for the year! Woo-Hoo!! And while we are just starting to get into a good routine, there is one place we may find ourselves in a rut……What can I pack for my kid’s school lunch?
If your kids are anything like mine, they are pretty happy with the same thing every day. Seriously, my 9 year old loves his plain peanut butter (no jelly!!) sandwich, Doritos, apple, and 2 cookies. Every.Single.Day. And this mom says…yuck!
So I have been doing a little research for fun ideas to jazz up our school lunches to make them a little more fun to both mom, who gets to plan them, and kiddos, who get to enjoy them.
Fun Ideas for Food
I have seen so many incredible fun ideas to pack in your kiddo’s lunches online. Unfortunately, many of them require a ton of work. And with less than 30 minutes in the morning to get three kiddos up, moving & out the door to school, I love ideas that are quick and easy. Here are a few different, yet fun food ideas:
- Use cookie cutters to make different shaped sandwiches
- Wrap their normal sandwich up in a tortilla
- Make a meal out of their favorite dip (Cheesy Salsa, Hummus or Black Bean Dip) with veggies and pretzels
- Bento Box lunch containers filled with all your child’s favorite finger foods
- Freeze a yogurt stick so it defrosts by lunch time
Hide Sweet Notes in their School Lunch
Every once and while I will slip a corny joke in my kids school lunch box for them to discover with their friends. And if you can tie it in with something they are eating, even better! Include this one with a bag of popcorn: “What did the baby corn say to the mama corn? Where’s POP Corn??”
Sometimes I will ask them a question to ask all their friends at the school table. It helps them start a conversation with their friends to learn more about one another. ”If you could have any Superhero Powers, what would they be and what would you use them for?” I always make sure to ask them at dinner that night, what answers all their friends had said.
I also slip encouraging notes or sweet sentiments (I hope you are having a terrific day! I love you!) into their lunches. Again, using food in their school lunch, take a moment to attach a note to something they are eating: “I’m bananas about you!” Just a little love from home.
School Lunch Themes
Another fun way to make a different lunch is to center the meal around a theme such as a Circle Lunch (bagel sandwiches, round tortilla chips, & cookies), Color Lunch (cheese cubes, oranges, & carrots), or a Letter Lunch (pizza, pretzels, & pudding). Have fun with this and build your own themes based on your child’s individual likes – I am already dreaming up a superhero sandwich…..
Fun Ideas for Holidays
So much fun to be had with school lunch around the holidays! How about a few of these fun ideas:
- Halloween: Take a sharpie and add a Jack-o-Lantern Face to an orange; hide tiny plastic spiders in with their chips; cut sandwiches with pumpkin-shaped cookie cutters
- Thanksgiving: Pumpkin bread; “turkey feathers” made from baby carrots, red, orange, & yellow bell peppers; add a note listing some of the reasons you are thankful for your child
- Christmas: Christmas cookie cutters for cheese, lunch meat, sandwiches, etc.; plan a different Christmas Cookie each week to include as a treat; add some of “Rudolph’s red noses (raspberries or red grapes); include the lyrics to your favorite holiday carols;
- Valentine’s Day: Shape your fruit into hearts (strawberries or apples work great); make a “love” mix out of pretzels, cereal, dried fruit, and conversation hearts; put a valentine in each day that week or month
- St. Patrick’s Day: Chocolate coins or rainbow colored candy; Rainbow fruit salad (strawberries, oranges, banana, kiwi, blueberries, purple grapes); Green themed lunch (green pasta, green apples; spinach salad, etc.); include an Irish blessing or silly limerick
- Easter: Make an Easter Bunny lunch with carrots, lettuce, cucumbers, celery, etc all wrapped up in a yummy salad; create your own mini Easter basket with dyed green coconut & jelly beans; hide an Easter Egg sticker somewhere in their lunch as ask them to find it
With all these great fun ideas for school lunch, you are sure to turn a drab brown bag into something special! Good job Mom!!
What fun ideas do you have to make it a great school lunch? We’d love to hear them! Be sure to check out these other kids activities posts for more great lunch ideas: