Awwww, September. The leaves are slowly changing colors, the air is getting cooler and, the kids are going back to school! As a teen, I wasn’t a big fan of lunchtime at school. I had to fix my own lunches and I always did the same thing every evening: I would put two slices of bread on a cutting board, slap some meat in the middle, and that was it. Needless to say, I got tired of eating sandwiches and I try to avoid them during my lunchtime as an adult.
If your children are dreading their lunch break, here are some ideas that will put smiles on their faces the next time noon comes around at school.
Swap the lunch box for a bento
Bentos are Japanese lunch boxes that can be packed with many different kinds of food. They are usually filled with rice, pickled vegetables, meat and other fixings. If pickled veggies aren’t listed amongst your child’s favorite foods, switch the pickles for fresh vegetables and the rice with a sandwich. Bentos are known to be fun and cute and many websites now offer kid friendly alternatives that are sure to delight your children.
Dress up your children’s sandwiches
Alright, not every child is like me. Some of them love sandwiches and they don’t mind eating them day in and day out. But you have to admit, two slices of bread with meat and condiments in the middle can be kind of dull. They are many books and websites out there that can teach you how to easily decorate a sandwich and transform it into something completely out of this world! Use cookie cutters on your cutting board to shape the sandwich into a fish, a star or any other shape. Transform a boring old sandwich into a jellyfish by creating tentacles out of cheese strings! The possibilities are endless; you just need to be creative.
Don’t forget about dessert
No lunch is complete without a little treat. Don’t worry, sweet doesn’t always mean “high in calories”. You can make healthy desserts that your children will love. Make a yogurt parfait by layering fresh fruits between low fat yogurt and top it off with some granola. Cut some fresh fruits and make your very own fruit salad. You’ll be able to cut down on the sugar if you take the time to create it yourself. If you don’t always have the time to create a dessert for your child’s lunches, there are some low fat, low calorie treats that are kid friendly in your local grocery store. Be on the lookout the next time you’re out buying groceries for snacks that are low in sugar and fat. Information like this is often very easy to spot on a product’s packaging.
For many children, school is a chore, but lunch shouldn’t have to be. With these ideas, you will make your children happy and, more importantly, you will give them the energy that they will need in order to power through the rest of their school day!