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The little book with BIG resources!

Pack A Smile With These Creative School Lunch Ideas!

Are you feeling stuck in a PB & J rut already this school year? It can be tough finding new and yummy ideas to send with your kiddos to school!  Here are some creative school lunch ideas from Liz, with the iFamily Mom and Dad Squad!  Take a look…

creative school lunches

CREATIVE SCHOOL LUNCH IDEAS

Make life easy on you by grocery shopping for these simple and cost effective foods.  You will have more lunch ideas that will offer your kiddos healthy, tasty and fun meals! Just choose one item from each category, make additions as desired and change it up daily. Remember, high protein foods will help your kids stay full longer. Here are just a few ideas:

Step 1

CHOOSE A MAIN COURSE

  • Grilled Chicken
  • Pasta Salad
  • Mac & Cheese
  • Sandwich
  • Quesadilla
  • Hummus and Pita Bread
  • Tuna Salad
  • Tortilla Roll-Ups
  • Pizza Muffin

Step 2

CHOOSE A FRUIT OR VEGGIE

  • Apple Slices
  • Avocado
  • Fruit Cocktail
  • Pear Slices
  • Grapes
  • Celery Sticks
  • Cucumber Slices
  • Carrot Sticks
  • Bananas

Step 3

CHOOSE A SNACK

  • String Cheese
  • Yogurt
  • Rice Cake
  • Crackers
  • Goldfish
  • Pretzels
  • Trail Mix
  • Applesauce

Step 4

CHOOSE A TREAT

  • Fruit Snack
  • Cookie
  • Brownie

Give your kiddos some extra smiles at lunch by cutting their food into shapes! If you are thinking this takes too much time, it will literally take you 5 seconds and most likely increase the odds of your kid actually eating their sandwich. Use cookie cutters to also jazz up fruit or cheese! If your kid isn’t into sandwiches, try skewers!  Use cupcake liners to create cute little compartments within food containers.

Take an extra minute to add a note or a joke to their lunch. This will let them know you are thinking about them and will definitely brighten their day.  If you are feeling uncreative, hop on Pinterest and find free printable jokes. Print off a bunch and have them ready to throw in.  What do you call a fake noodle? AN IMPASTA …. Come on you know you are laughing. What’s the difference between a fish and a guitar? YOU CAN’T TUNA FISH. Ok, I’ll stop, but you get the picture.

A few tips to keep you moms sane is to try freezing individual portions of rice or pasta and reheat before you pack lunch. Freeze drinks the night before and they will double as ice packs the next morning. Print out a list of lunch ideas and keep it on the fridge to stay inspired and organized.

Remember, sometimes the most important thing is packing the lunch your kids will actually eat, rather than the one you want them to eat. And if you have to do PB & J every day, that’s totally ok. They will not go hungry. Happy packing!

From iFamily to Yours,


5 Creative Ways to Make Your Kids Sack Lunch More Fun!

5 Creative Ways to Make Your Kids Sack Lunch More Fun!

Now that school is in session that means some parents are back to packing sack lunches for the kids every day.  Kids can definitely be picky when it comes to foods they like and often times parents can’t be sure that those lunches are being touched at lunchtime. Besides that packed lunches are often repetitive and sometimes it can be hard for parents to think of ideas of food to pack. Here are 5 creative ways to make your kids sack lunch more fun !

1)      Give their lunch some Shape & Character!

One of the simplest ways to make your child’s lunch more fun is to make their normal lunch entrees in to fun shapes that they will recognize.  The possibilities are endless you could make stars, hearts, dinosaurs, animals, or even their favorite character.  This is super easy all you would need is some cookie cutters. Use large cutters for sandwiches and small ones for snacks like cheese and fruit! If you have time to get fancier you can go a step further and decorate the shapes you make.  The kids will be sure to get a kick out of their sandwich making a silly face!  Use round items like grapes, olives, or sliced boiled eggs for the eyes use a cracker for a nose or beak, and slice snacks like cheese or fruit into the shape of a grin!

butterfly sandwhich 5 creative ways to make your kids sack lunch more fun

lion sandwhich 5 creative ways to make your kids sack lunch more fun

2)      Put their FOOD ON A STICK!

How could they resist? I’m not sure what it is but when it comes to kids, eating their favorite foods off of a stick is just so much more fun than eating the same thing in the form of a simple sandwich or snack packed in a boring zip lock baggie. Food Kabobs are great way to make sure your child is getting all the food they need for a healthy lunch and have fun while doing it! Any part of the lunch can be made into a kabob; it could be the main course of meat and cheese, veggies such as cherry tomatoes and cucumbers, fruits like strawberries, kiwi, and grapes, or a variety.  For the stick you could use many things. You could make it edible by using something like a pretzel stick; however popsicle sticks and drink stirrers will work great too!  Just remember especially with littler kids to stay away from anything sharp because that could end dangerously.

kabob 5 creative ways to make your kids sack lunch more fun

3)      Give their Lunchbox a Theme!

Kids will sure to have a ball with a themed packed lunch!  You could go TONS of different ways with this!  A circle themed lunch could be a bagel sandwich packed with an apple, and a cookie. A color theme by making all of the food in their lunch the same color. Another fun theme could be basing the food in their lunch on their favorite TV show or book. For example you could do and under the sea theme with a SpongeBob shaped sandwich, goldfish crackers, star shaped fruit like Patrick, and blue yellow for the water. You could also use upcoming holidays such as Halloween, Thanksgiving & Christmas for themes!

Thanksgiving themed lunch 5 creative ways to make your kids sack lunch more fun

pooh bear lunch 5 creative ways to make your kids sack lunch more fun

4)      Slip them FUN notes with messages or jokes!

Food isn’t the only way to add excitement to lunchtime. Adding a fun note or message is a great way to brighten your child’s day and let them know you care! Rather it’s words of encouragement, a compliment, a simple” I love you,  from mom”, or a funny joke  it will be sure to put a smile on their  face and warm their hearts a little.  Jokes and riddles are especially fun because kids love to laugh and be humored. It also gives them something to share with their friends to talk and giggle about during lunch. To do this you could cut up little strips and tape or lay them on the inside of the lunch box. Write the riddle or joke in big print on one side and the answer or punch line in smaller print on the other side. To find material for your jokes you could get a joke book or simply search kid friendly jokes online!

lunch jokes 5 creative ways to make your kids sack lunch more fun

5)      Let them help you pack it!

Letting your child help prepare their lunch is great bonding activity and they will be sure to have a great time with it.  It’s a great way to have fun and teach them about food groups and nutrition at the same time. Not only is getting them involved fun but it’s also a nice way to encourage and ensure that their lunch actually gets eaten once they get to school.  Kids like to take pride in things they can call their own! Also if they made it odds are they made it with stuff they like to eat!

Girl with packed lunch 5 creative ways to make your kids sack lunch more fun

Photo Citations

http://sweetlittlethang.wordpress.com/2012/09/05/fun-sandwiches-for-kids/

http://www.snackpicks.com/en_US/our-experts/kellie-strickland.html

http://eat-drink-love.com/2012/06/sandwich-kabobs/

http://www.slowfoodusa.org/index.php/slow_food/blog_post/bento_box_lunches_for_kids/

http://www.greenmamaspad.com/2011/11/thanksgiving-themed-bento-lunches-for.html

http://www.etsy.com/listing/107107603/lunch-box-notes-jokes-personalized-joke

http://www.sheknows.com/food-and-recipes/articles/816918/Back-to-School-Lunches