Your child needs a healthy lunch to keep fit in school life but many kids dislike fruits and vegetables. A meal that pleases the eye can help a lot when it comes to eating up the greens. So be inspired by our creative and healthy lunchbox ideas.
Just because you put it in the lunchbox, doesn’t mean your child will eat it
Most parents know the drill. You slave away making a delicious, healthy lunch, only to have it return home untouched. Or maybe they’ll nibble away at a bread crust. Maybe.
Packing lunch can be a fairly stressful experience! Parents are often afraid that their child won’t get enough nutrients, which will negatively impact their brain development. After all, the child is in school a large part of the day.
They might end up surrendering the lunch battle entirely, just so their child will eat something. Anything. So candy or other unhealthy things often end up in the lunch box instead of hummus and carrots.
So how can you get your kid to eat a healthy lunch at school?
A nice lunchbox motivates your child to eat a healthy lunch
Let’s start with the lunch box itself since presentation can play a big role. An appealing lunchbox encourages your child to eat. Plus, it’s more eco-friendly than a brown paper bag. Spice it up with their favorite colors or a beautiful motif.
Many parents and children love using a bento box to keep lunch looking and tasting delicious. You can put something different in each compartment. Divide their lunch into small portions where different foods won’t touch each other. Especially children who tend to eat and criticize less will be extra proud when they have eaten an empty tray. If they’re not too hungry, it’s a lot easier to eat a small container than the entire lunch.
If you have a large lunch box without dividers you can also store small boxes inside. For smaller children, cans in funny shapes, for example in the form of a car, create enthusiasm.
Picking the right foods for the lunchbox
It’s not just the outside that matters–it’s what’s inside that counts! A healthy, balanced lunch usually has a colorful variety of foods. Let their eyes guide their culinary experience. For some kids, mixing up the colors and textures might be more fun than having the same meal several days in a row. On the other hand, some children are creatures of habit, so they might prefer the same lunch every day.
Including different foods in different colors ensures that all the necessary nutrients are present. Every lunch should contain good carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats.
Pack whole grains, fruits, and vegetables for a good dose of carbs. Protein and healthy fats from meat, string cheese, eggs, yogurt, and nuts.
Fill the small compartments of the lunch boxes differently every day. You can do that the night before. Cuts fruit and vegetables into different shapes. Most kids love finger foods. Skewer them once in a while so they can eat them kebab-style. That makes eating even more fun. You can do the same with sausage and cheese. Or you can just make meat and cheese roll-ups and add crackers. It doesn’t have to be the typical sandwich every day. Add sprinkles to the yogurt.
Lunch ideas for vegetarians
If your son or daughter is not enthusiastic about vegetables, try egg muffins. These are a great protein bomb if you don’t like meat or are vegetarian. Whisk eggs and pour them into muffin molds filled with various vegetables. After baking, you won’t see the vegetables.
Another suggestion: different salads, like quinoa or noodle salad, are a great addition to the lunchbox. Quinoa is a superfood anyway and is recommended to vegetarians and vegans.
A sandwich is not just a sandwich
For many children, the same sandwich every day can be a little dull. So add variety here, too. Take different sauces and make different sandwiches. Why don’t you ask your kid what he wants? Every now and then a peanut butter and jelly sandwich is fine. But maybe they’d prefer ham and cheese instead?
In many stores, you can buy cute cutters for bread that waste little to no bread at all. The cookie cutters for the Christmas cookies are also ideal. Just keep in mind that you might have to eat the crust yourself!
Try different types of bread. Wraps and tacos offer a great variety. They have different consistencies. From soft to granular to crispy, you’ve got all your textures covered for different sensory experiences.
Healthy lunch expectations versus reality
We hope these suggestions inspire you to pack delicious healthy lunches your children will happily devour. But the reality is, some days your picky eater might not eat anything. Or maybe they’ll just eat the one cookie you packed as a special treat. Sometimes you might run out of steam and will just grab random things from your kitchen for lunch. And that’s okay.
The main thing is that your children have nutritious food choices so they’ll stay healthy and happy.
What do you think? Talk it over with family and friends on FamilyApp.