The secret to untradeable school lunches is to give kids lunches that are creative enough to get their attention, but not so unusual as to put them off.
Try these five simple lunch box rules:
- Change the bread. Sandwiches are great because they're portable, easy to prepare and easy to eat. To switch things up a bit, try changing the bread. Instead of using white or wheat bread, use zucchini bread to make zucchini bread cream cheese sandwiches.
- Add a new twist to old favorites. Instead of plain old peanut butter sandwiches, try sandwiches made with gourmet nut butters like chocolate walnut butter or vanilla cranberry peanut butter (compare prices).
- Give last night's dinner new life. Leftover macaroni and cheese, spaghetti and meatballs or fried chicken taste great the next day.
- Think soup. Soup is one of my favorite healthy lunch ideas for kids, because it's so satisfying and easy to transport in a thermos. You can make a big batch of soup on Sunday night, and give it to the kids for lunch all week.
- Make food smaller. Bite-sized food is really appealing to kids. Try packing bologna and cheese rollups instead of bologna and cheese sandwiches. Or make mini frittatas in advance and pack them in a thermos for an appealing kid-sized lunch that's healthy, too.
Or use torillas to make turkey wraps with apricot jam and bacon. Try peanut butter and jelly on banana bread, toast frozen waffles, and make nutella waffle sandwiches or use rice cakes to make cream cheese and jelly sandwiches.
You'll probably want to pack the mac and cheese and spaghetti and meatballs in a thermos, but fried chicken tasted just as good cold as it does hot. You can even make a spaghetti and meatball sandwich with your leftovers.
- Celery Sticks with Cream Cheese
- Peanut Butter Rice Crispy Treats (made with brown rice syrup)
- Raw veggies and Hummus
- Homemade Soft Pretzels
- Roasted Chickpeas
- Fruit with Fruit Dip
- Apple Slices with Peanut Butter and Granola
- Carrot Sticks with Peanut Butter
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