How to Master the Lunchbox
This is a partnered post. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
I’ve been making school lunches for about seven years now and I can proudly say that the school lunches I make now are nothing like the lunches I made seven years ago. Since I’ve learned some things along the way, I wanted to share these tips for how to master the lunchbox!
How to Master the Lunchbox
Make it colorful: Over the years I’ve learned that my children eat with their eyes first. If they see something bright and colorful (and slightly resembles candy — hello blueberries and grapes) they are more likely to eat it. When I’m packing lunches I try to remember all the colors of the rainbow. I very rarely get all seven colors of the rainbow, but I’m happy with three or four.
Give them variety: Kids are anything but boring and they don’t want their lunch to be boring either. Instead of a bag of chips, ham sandwich and an apple, give them smaller portions of many foods. Try to remember the different food groups as well.
Pack plenty of protein: Kids need fuel to make it through the school day. While their brains are busy learning and their bodies are busy growing, they run out of fuel quickly. Give them a mid-day jump start with protein-rich foods. Good examples are string cheese, greek yogurt, and deli chicken.
Make it pretty or cool: My kids lunches are anything but boring. From the bright colorful lunch box to the bright colorful foods, their lunches are pretty or cool — depending on who you ask. Use colorful silicone cups or bright plastic skewers. Small touches make a huge difference. See what bento supplies I use for our lunches.
Have them help make it: My kids like being in the kitchen and I’ve learned that they’ll usually eat what they help make. It not only teaches them kitchen skills, but it gives them pride in what they’ve helped make.
While I was learning how to master the lunchbox, there was a lot of trial and error. What works for me might not work for you and vice-versa. But I think it’s important to remember our children depend on us to provide them with a lunch that gives them fuel for their school day.
Feel free to think outside of the lunchbox. My kids love cheese and meat threaded onto a skewer. They also like greek yogurt so I like to spice it up a little by adding in mix-ins like cinnamon, Crainsins Fruit Clusters, or sprinkles.
When I’m making a school lunch for my children, making sure that it offers some nutritional value is most important to me. But I also need to make sure that they will actually eat it. I could send asparagus and collard greens all day long, but if they don’t actually eat it, I’ve accomplished nothing. So really, the key to mastering the lunchbox is finding what healthy foods your children will eat and packing those. Work to find more and then include those in the rotation.
In this lunch I packed chicken & cheese skewers, a clementine (with a cute leaf food pick), Ocean Spray Craisins, blueberries, green grapes, greek yogurt with Ocean Spray Fruit Clusters, and an Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice. Most days my children get a bottle of water, but Friday’s are treat days and they get something extra special.
They really really love Fridays.
Are you a lunchbox master?
Share your best lunchbox tips and tricks using the hashtag, “#LunchboxMaster” on Twitter! When you share, you’ll be entered to win an Ocean Spray(R) Ultimate Master Lunchbox Set. Contest ends September 18th. Visit OceanSpray.com for inspiration to help you master the lunchbox! Whether you are refueling a family of five or just yourself, Ocean Spray has tips, recipes and nutritious offerings that will help you become a lunchbox packing pro.
What do you pack in your child’s lunch? I’m always looking for new ideas.
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