1. Kids will eat more fruit if it's bite sized and they don't have to work for it.
They will struggle with a whole apple or a juicy orange for a few minutes and then discard it, and bananas usually get squished. I like packing something like cubed mango and grapes cut in half so they don't have to use any of their precious play time wrestling with peeling something; instead they get right to work. I really loved this mango and grape combination-it was a departure from the usual and really tasty.
Try buying Greek yogurt, spooning it into a small container, topping with frozen blueberries and a bit of honey. The blueberries will keep the yogurt cold as they thaw, and by recess just stir it all together and eat!
2. Easy to open and handle containers are important-and don't forget the spoon!
I've seen kids struggle to snap containers closed before because they can't line the tabs up just so, which is a problem for little ones. I love Snapware containers because you don't have to line anything up, they just snap closed however you have the lid on. They come in lots of great sizes, pack really well, and are really easy to open and close-a huge benefit for little ones who sometimes struggle with containers. Spoons are the number one thing parents forget to pack. Try going to a thrift store and getting a bunch, then label them. That way it isn't a huge loss if they are left behind.
3. Lunch is a busy time, so make it count
Try to pack things that are easy to just grab and eat-a large, messy sandwich may look inviting but often kids will take a few bites and give up. Some of those pre-made lunch 'kits' at the store look like fun but most of it ends up on the floor. Try wraps, or grab some English muffins and make 'pizza' to pack the night before. Change it up! We made pizza with BBQ chicken, some peppers and mixed cheeses. They are delicious cold and so easy to eat. Just toast the English muffins, slather with equal parts bbq and pizza sauces, top w/ leftover chicken and a sprinkle of green onion, then cheeses and diced sweet peppers if you want. Bake at 400 F for a few minutes until bubbly, let cool to room temperature and store overnight in the fridge. Tuck into lunch the next day.
4. Don't forget the veggies!
Kids love raw veggies, especially cut up and sent with a good dip. Hummus is a healthy alternative and high in protein to get them through the afternoon. You can even tuck it into the cup of veggies and nor worry about it dripping all over because it's thicker and won't spill out if it's firmly positioned in the cup. Try sugar snap peas, broccoli, cauliflower, raw peppers, carrots, cucumbers, and cherry tomatoes. Involving the kids by having them choose which veggies they want in their lunch will make it more likely that they will eat them. And if they only eat the dip? Well, hummus is healthy so you don't have to worry. Maybe include some pretzels!
5. Include a sweet treat for fun
Who doesn't like a little something sweet in their lunch? I included chocolate toffee meringue cookies but you can get creative-try making your own tasty snack mixes with dried fruit, chocolate chips, and cereals like Cheerios or a bit salty with pretzels. Kids would have fun coming up with different flavour combinations!
How can you win your own 16 piece Snapware set? The set includes some amazing glass and plastic containers just perfect for use in your kitchen and in lunches. I absolutely love mine and use them in my lunches all the time. It's easy to win, just leave a comment below telling me what is your favourite thing to have in your lunch!
This contest is open to USA and Canadian residents only. Good luck!