Lunches can be hard; what do you want to eat, what do you want to make, and do you even want to make it in the first place? Making lunch for yourself can be an annoyance, never mind trying to find something for your children and their ever-changing tastes.
Trying to keep meals healthy, delicious and exciting is a hard feat, especially when it comes to children. If you've got a picky eater on your hands, or if you're just looking to spruce up lunch-time prep, here are some great ideas to help make your lunch-time easier:
15 Give it a simple Makeover!
Although not the most elaborate in shaped food, this new way to cut up fruits, veggies, cheese, and sandwiches for the kids will make lunch and snack-time a hit in your household.
By using different colors to put together a whole mural of delicious foods, you can make healthier options more appealing to your kids. Children are very visual and love colors and shapes; this is a perfect way to spruce up mealtime. You can get specific cutters to get the work done quick, or if you’re a wizard with a paring knife, slice them up into whatever comes to mind!
14 Pizza Sandwiches
What’s better than pizza? Take a tortilla and load it with delicious toppings like peanut butter and bananas to make a fun snack for kids to enjoy. Anything you can eat with your hands and make yourself is always fun to eat! Besides, pizza is always loved, no matter your age.
13 Half sandwiches can be more fun!
I don’t know what it is, but when a sandwich comes open-faced it’s somehow deemed fancier and more fun to eat. Just as the artisan sandwiches come that way in your favorite café, you can make your own at home for your kids.
Making any simple sandwich into an open-faced sandwich makes it more fun (albeit more mess) to kids! The best part is that any sandwich can be changed quickly, be it turkey and cheese, peanut butter and honey or tuna salad.
12 Their Very Own Bento Box
What’s more fun than eating sushi? Playing on the food shapes big time here, you can make your kids their very own bento boxes with sandwiches, vegetables and fruit. Cut the shapes and rolled sandwiches to make it look like miniature sushi rolls. So adorable and fun, I might even try it for myself!
11 DIY Easy Cartoon Characters!
What’s not to love about Spongebob and Patrick? One of the more elaborate fun lunches for your kids, this one is sure to please! You can even make up little Elsa’s for those still in love with Frozen; specific sandwich prints and cutters are available at many stores to make this intense food items easier.
10 Monster Sandwiches
This one is a lot easier to pull off than those that are shaped like cartoon characters, and will be just as fun! Simply cut the bread into circles, add the meat, rolling one piece to make it look like a silly tongue and cut the cheese to resemble hair/mane. Add pickles, or olives as shown in the picture, as eyes to complete the monster’s face!
9 Pack Them a Smile!
The tried-and-true pancake smileys are easy to make and everyone, I mean, everyone enjoys pancakes with a little smile to brighten their day. Whether you’re 5 or 50, when someone brings you food that smiles back at you, it warms your heart.
You can make this using various berries or fruit, with eggs and bacon on top for the eyes and mouth or with the syrup or whipped cream.
8 Or You Can Make Bell Pepper Pizzas!
There’s just something about pizza that gets people going. It’s easy to eat, it’s fun to eat, and it’s delicious. Mix it up with some bell pepper pizzas for some extra health that’s also fun for your kids. Simple cut peppers in half and fill with tasty toppings! Perfect for little helpers, too.
7 Frozen Juice Boxes
Hear us out!
Freeze the juice boxes at the beginning of the week. When you pack them into their school lunches, the drink will still be slushy and cold for them to drink. This is also a great tip to save you time in the morning and to cut down on ice packs that just seem to keep disappearing!
6 Cute Li'l Lunch-Box Notes
Who doesn’t love a good lunchbox note? Moms have been putting these in their kids’ lunchboxes for ages, and girlfriends and wives have been putting in sassy notes to their significant others all over Instagram for years. Adding a little note to brighten your kids day, stickers on fruit, or drawn onto a banana is a great way to spruce up their lunches and keep you connected throughout the day.
5 Snail Oranges, anyone?
This is just the cutest thing ever. Who doesn’t want to eat one of these adorable little snail oranges?! Simple to make, low cost and can even get your helpers in on the action. Peel the orange, leaving one large peel for the snails’ body and draw on little eyes and mouth. Perfect for garnishing plates at parties!
4 Lunch-Box Mac-n-Cheese
Delicious! Easy to make, easy to serve, easy to eat! Everyone loves mac n’cheese, and these little bite-sized snacks will be a hit with your little ones. Simply fill a muffin tin with already cooked pasta and mix butter, milk and cheese (with any seasonings to taste) together to pour over top. Mix in bread crumbs and cook until the cheese is baked and golden brown. Try stocking up on a Sunday and freezing for the next two weeks!
3 Separation is Good!
By keeping the food items separated, your kid feels like they’re in charge of their meal, making it easier and more fun for them to eat things that they may not be interested in otherwise. You can even get adorable plates that look like trucks, trains, or whales over the simple separation plates. Separate out the meal in colors like a rainbow for an added benefit!
2 Presentation is Everything!
Chicken nuggets are to kids what wine is to ladies on Wednesdays; how could you live without? However, eating chicken nuggets 5 or 8 times a week isn’t going to make for a healthy kid. For a healthier option, try a coconut oat-crusted recipe for chicken nuggets. You can even make a pomegranate dipping sauce for those who have more adventurous and mature food palates!
1 Inexpensive and Healthy Sweet Treats
For a sweet treat that’s both inexpensive and healthy, try a peanut butter, banana and strawberry quesadilla! You can add honey, chocolate sauce or Nutella to make it extra sweet and special. Simply spread peanut butter (or honey!) onto the tortilla, cut up bananas or strawberries and heat on a pan. Think of these as a quicker, easier, option to crepes, these quesadillas are sure to be a hit both with your young.