7 Boredom-Breaking Back-to-School Lunchbox Ideas

Not looking forward to making the same tuna salad sandwich day in and day out -- then hearing your kid complain about having to eat it? Here are seven inspiring lunchbox ideas that will make preparation a breeze for you and lunchtime an adventure for your kid. (Will work for picky grown-up eaters too) Enjoy!

  • The three-bowl approach: At home, fill one bowl with fruit, one with dessert and one with dairy (such as yogurt or string cheese). Let the kids make their own lunches by selecting one item from each bowl. Just add a sandwich, a bottle of water and lunch is ready.
  • Beyond bread: Try bagels, wraps, multigrain sandwich crackers, pita bread, English muffins, or even crepes. Try this peanut butter and strawberry wrap for a twist on the classic.
  • The surprise factor: Is your kid not budging from the same-old, same-old? Introduce a little variety by cutting her sandwich with a cookie cutter. The new shape may be her first step in understanding that variety is the spice of life.
  • Leftovers for lunch: Cook some extra dinner the night before and save for lunch the next day. Try it with roast chicken, pasta salad, quiche, homemade pizza slices or sausages - a few dinners that are just as delicious the next day.
  • The refrigerated special: If you use a lunchbox that keeps food chilled, you can send your child off with yogurt, small containers of dip, or cottage cheese mixed with pineapple pieces to school without fear of spoiling.
  • Perfectly packaged: Let your child be the chef: pack hard boiled eggs or tuna in a ziplock bag and keep the bread separate. You'll never worry about soggy sandwiches again!
  • Filling fillings: Fill your kid with healthy fillings and you'll avoid any "I was so hungry" cries. Stuff a sandwich with banana and honey; egg salad; ham, cheese and tomato; or cream cheese, tuna, cucumber and carrot.

Get three more boredom-breaking lunchbox ideas at Babble. Then tell us, how do you get creative when preparing lunch?

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