Does your child groan at the thought of opening up his lunchbox only to find the same ol’ PB&J as yesterday? Lunch doesn’t have to be a constant bore for your child. Jazz it up using these easy tips and lunchbox ideas that are sure to brighten your child’s school day and excite his taste buds.
Get some fresh inspiration – Farmers markets in San Diego’s coastal communities provide an abundant harvest of fruits, veggies, dips and fresh baked breads all year round. Perusing among the vibrant bounty is sure to inspire some fresh ideas for your child’s next lunch. Bring your child along for the trip and have him pick out his favorite snacks for the following week. For an added bonus, shop for North Park and Seaside (Pacific Beach) farmers market products through DonorNation.org, and the farmers markets will donate 10% of your voucher purchase to the school of your choice.
The DIY approach – Children are more likely to enjoy a meal if they have a hand in its creation. Have your child make her lunch the night before using dinner leftovers or give your child all the fixings to create her own meal at lunchtime. Save condiment packets from fast food restaurants and plastic ramekins from dining out to use for liquid dressings, dips or salsas.
Have fun with your food – Many children eat with their eyes first. So have a little fun with the visual appeal of your child’s next lunchbox meal by using shaped cookie cutters to cut the crust off your child’s sandwiches, slicing the peel of an apple in the shape of bunny ears, or opting for the tried and true healthy snack, ants on a log. For some lunchtime fun, write puzzling riddles, encouraging quotes or a word of the day on your child’s napkin for a midday pick-me-up.
Keep in mind the new school rules – Nowadays, schools are pushing for healthier lunches in their own cafeterias as well as encouraging parents to pack healthy, nutritious lunches for their children. So leave the sugar-laden goodies at home and opt for more fresh fruit and vegetable sides in your child’s next lunchbox. Also, many schools are going green, asking parents to pack reusable bottles, thermoses, containers and lunchboxes. Cloth and bamboo napkins and durable plastic silverware are new trends that are readily available in stores to keep in line with new school lunch rules.