Janelle Sorensen, Healthy Child Healthy World:
We're two-thirds of the way through the school year and if you pack a lunch for your child, you might be feeling a bit bored by this point (and maybe your child is, too?)
Snap out of it and make school food fun again using these 8 tips.
1-3. Make it balanced. Make it fun. Make it colorful. Catherine McCord of Weelicious is perhaps the best mom chef out there and she posts the lunches she makes for her son every day on Facebook. They ALWAYS make my mouth water. Check out this School Lunch video where she discusses making fun, nutritious lunches with super kid-appeal.
4. Try something new! Ask your child to pick something new to try at the grocery store. Get him exploring the produce and bulk bins to find something HE wants to try. Then, prepare and pack it. Let him try it at school (far from your yearning eyes) and ask when he gets home what he thought. If he didn't like it, try something else. If he did, hooray!
5. Make lunch on a stick. So much healthier than the food on a stick from your local state fair, but just as fun and delicious. Simply cut everything into cubes and make shish-kebabs. You can even do a sandwich on a stick - bread cube, cheese cube, tomato cube, avocado cube, and another bread cube. There are endless variations of this and kids love helping make them, too. Bonus! (Note: This is only suited for older children who can responsibly deal with a skewer.)
7. Build a better sandwich. Ditch the sliced bread and put your child's favorite fillings inside something new. Try whole-wheat pocket bread, whole-grain bagels, crackers, or English muffins, or try filling and rolling tortillas or flat bread.
8. Re-design the package. Wrap a sandwich in a colorful cloth napkin. Put a silly sticker inside the lunch box. Tie a ribbon around her thermos. Little surprises can entice a child to eat better - and it's a sweet mid-day reminder of how much you love her. For more ideas, check out this Zero-Waste, Healthy Lunch Guide.
Find 20 more creative ideas for healthy school lunches in this blog post from Aviva Goldfarb, the author and founder of The Six O'Clock Scramble®, an online weekly menu planner and cookbook to help busy families put easy, healthy and delicious meals on the table each and every night.
Hungry for more? Visit Eat Healthy for Recipes, Tips and Tools (and to submit your own recipes!)