With their ever-changing food pallets, it can sometimes be difficult to keep your kids interested in their packed lunch for five days a week, let alone a full school term. Also, as a parent with a busy morning routine, you might feel the only way to provide a nutritionally balanced diet is to bulk buy tonnes of vitamins and supplements like iron, fish oil and protein online to sneak into your kid’s lunchbox.
However, there are simple solutions that keep your child’s lunch both exciting and healthy without needing to sacrifice quality or time. In order to prevent your ideas from going stale, here are some easy tips and tricks to create fun and healthy lunches that your kids will love.
1. Experiment with Shapes
Although sandwiches are a lunchbox classic, they can be difficult to keep innovative. However, there is a solution – in the shape of biscuit cutters. Transforming boring bread slices and simple fillings into quirky shapes is a fantastic method of updating your child’s favourite sandwich. As an added bonus, these little gems can also be used for getting creative with fruit (e.g. watermelon slices) to keep healthy snacks fun and top of your child’s packed lunch requests.
2. Captivate with Colour
It’s easy to assume colour variation isn’t important when preparing your kid’s lunch. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Having different colours is essential to making food appear both fresher and more desirable. Fortunately, fruit and vegetables are ideal; for when mixed with pasta or into leaf salads, they can make your kid a lot more eager to eat healthily. Another way to experiment with colour is setting colour themes. For example, if your child’s favourite colour is red, then perhaps some pasta in a tomato sauce mixed with slices of peppers and red onion followed by a berry salad with strawberry yoghurt could work?
3. Separation is Key
Simply squishing your kid’s lunch into a one-sectioned storage box will not work, as it’ll make food seem unappealing and heavy. Instead, try purchasing a container with different sections to make food seem lighter and neater. By placing each item into its own compartment, you can also provide your child with guidance as to what items should be eaten first (i.e. main before dessert). Additionally, the individual sections will prevent foods from mixing together ensure it is kept fresh.
4. Give Your Child Options
It’s always frustrating when you prepare your child’s lunch only to find out they’ve suddenly taken a disliking to something that was their favourite the day before. To prevent this from happening, allow your child to accompany you when shopping. Naturally, giving them total free-range wouldn’t be ideal, so narrow down the options instead. This will not only allow you to keep some form of control, but will provide them with added responsibility; meaning an end to wasted lunches!
Let’s face it, everyone loves to pick and create their own perfect sandwich – an idea that can easily be incorporated into lunchboxes. Instead of making your child’s sandwich yourself, simply provide bread/wraps with a selection of fillings, such as ham, cheese, cucumber, celery and tomato perhaps two sauces to choose from. This will not only give your kids their own involvement in their lunch, but should save time for busy parents.