It's that time of year again! The first few weeks of a new school year can be very stressful for kids. New friends, new teachers and lots of new things to learn. But lunchtime gives your kiddos a break from their busy day, and a chance to catch their breath. Why not bring a smile to their faces when they open their lunchbox? Here are some great ideas to turn tried-and-true favorites into a guaranteed smile for your little ones!
1) PB & J Race Car
Turn a boring old sandwich into a super cool race car! It's very simple to make and only takes a few minutes and some toothpicks. First, make the basic sandwich. Then take 4 round crackers, spread peanut butter on them and place another cracker on top of each to form your "wheels". Place the cracker wheels on the sandwich, and push your toothpicks through the peanut butter, all the way into the sandwich. You may need to trim the toothpicks if they are too long. Then simply flip it over. For a bit of extra flair (and sweetness), you can take writing icing and draw a number on the top! Throw in some ants on a log (peanut butter and raisins on celery) and a few cubes of cheese to complete the lunch.
2) Fruit & Cheese Kebabs
Another super simple way to make your little ones more excited about a healthy lunch! Just take some slices of your kiddo's favorite fruits and a few blocks of cheese, and push a kebab stick or thin dowel rod through them, one at a time. It'll make your child feel fancy and grown-up in front of their friends AND you'll know that they will eat their lunch. Pro tip: Make sure the fruits you choose are fairly sturdy and will still look appetizing by lunchtime! You can also add a sealable bowl of yogurt and use sprinkles to create a happy face on top.
3) Grilled Cheese "Sushi"
A kid-friendly version of sushi, this fun lunch will take a few minutes of prep time, but it's worth it to make your little one happy. Cut the crust off and butter one side of a slice of bread, place it on a pre-heated griddle or skillet, add a slice of cheese and cook it until it turns a delicious golden brown. Remove it and let it cool slightly (If it cools too much, you may have issues with it not sticking together). Then simply roll it up and cut it into bite-size slices. Add a few resealable cups of your kiddo's favorite condiments to dip their "sushi" into. Throw in some pickles and maybe a few apple slices with caramel and voila, you have a healthy and filling lunch that your little ones will love!
The most important thing is making sure your child has a healthy lunch that they will actually eat. By finding creative ways to make their meal more fun, your child is much more likely to eat what you send in their lunchbox, instead of trading for some junk food. And a bonus is that by sending them to school with an awesome lunch in their lunchbox, you will be creating childhood memories that they will never forget!