Non-Boring Brown Bag Lunches

| August 22, 2014 | 17 Comments

lunch boxBack to school is rapidly approaching! With the return to classrooms and school buses and school supplies comes a return to packing school lunches. Now that your little scholar has had all summer off, he might be a bit more inclined to be picky about his packed lunches than he was by the end of the last school year. You can get around this, though, with a little creativity. Try some of these ideas to help your picky little eater want to finish his lunch:

  • Skip the bread. When you make a sandwich in the morning or the night before and it sits for hours in your child’s lunch bag, what she has by lunch time is soggy bread. You could buy special containers or cold packs that claim to prevent this, but a cheap and healthy solution is to just skip the bread. Make wraps with tortillas, or pack some rolled up slices of lunch meat and cheese along with some whole wheat crackers. You could also just pack the bread separately, and let your child assemble her sandwich herself. This way, she gets her grains without the soggy bread.
  • Let the kids help. Your child will be more likely to enjoy his lunch if he feels like he’s in charge of what goes into it. The night before, let him choose several items – say, a fruit, a vegetable, and a snack or dessert. Pack his picks along with the main entrée. He’ll feel like he’s in control, and he’ll be happy to eat the lunch that he helped make.
  • Try something different. Kids can get bored with the same old thing every day, just the way you might. Try mixing it up a little. Pack a “breakfast for lunch”:  Try some French toast sticks and a small container of syrup, or Tupperware bowl full of cereal and a thermos of milk. Add some yogurt and a banana and you have a healthy meal that your child will enjoy.
  • Slip in something special. Without your child knowing about it, drop a special treat and a note into her lunch box. She’ll get a kick out of opening it up to find her surprise. For example, attach a package of Smarties to a note that says “for my Smartie-pants”. For the first day of school, slip in a bag of goldfish attached to a note that says “You’re o-fish-ally a third grader now!” Fun surprises like this will make lunch time a delight.

Good nutrition is important, but food for kids is about more than just nutrition. Make it fun and let your child have some control over it. Making lunchtime foods appealing means that your child is less likely to toss it in the trash or trade it away for cookies. It also means that his tummy won’t be growling and distracting him from his afternoon classes.

What are some fun foods that your child enjoys taking to school?

Comments (17)

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  1. Carrie says:

    Great tips! My mom would leave me a special note in my lunch box when I was a kid and it made me look forward to my lunch.

  2. Lucy Black says:

    Great tips, thanks!

  3. Tiffany says:

    veggies with dip.

  4. Jenny says:

    I love the great tips, thanks.

  5. Debra Gaswint says:

    What cute ideas. I will recommend them to my niece who’s 6 year old just entered 1st grade.

  6. Jessica H. says:

    Thank you for the great tips. It is always frustrating packing a great lunch only to see it return at the end of the day! This will surely help with that.

  7. Oksana says:

    I love the idea make food for the kids fun!


  8. Nena Sinclair says:

    Great ideas, thank you! I find it also helps if you let the kids have some say in what goes into their lunches. Offer them a few healthy choices and let them pick, they’re more likely to eat it then.

  9. kelly nicholson says:

    but i like brown back greasy spotted luncher..they are never boring..ha ha

  10. Jennifer Hedden says:

    I make kabobs with meat, cheese, and veggies and my girls seem to enjoy them. I also try to include food with dip because they will eat just about anything they can dip. Thank you for the great tips.

  11. gina valley says:

    My kids pack their own lunches, but I do love to slip little surprises into the bags.

  12. Karina Lee says:

    thanks for the ideas

  13. Jennifer Boehme says:

    Good tips! I remember I hated the over night bread sandwiches mom made when we were younger, and to take a boring brown bag, I hated it. I always wanted a cute lunch box when I was young.

  14. Judy Bradley says:

    My grandson only wants peanut/jelly sandwich and grapes every day! His mom puts a note in his lunch and sometimes she will sneak in a treat, but he tells her he only wants pb&j plus the grapes!

  15. Patricia Mohl says:

    I like to pre bag so everyone can pick what they are feeling that day and never get bored with the same old.

  16. my daughter loves banana and peanut butter wraps.

  17. Rose Wendy says:

    Thanks for the great ideas!

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