I get a lot of emails asking for ideas for kids lunches. Now that most of us who have school going kids have started doing the whole pack-your-kids-lunch-every-single-day thing going on I thought I would answer what I do, give some ideas and hopefully get some awesome ideas from you!Here's my oh so organized drawer of lunch tools. The bento boxes that I have and some of the tools were being washed when I took this picture so it's even more disheveled than this if you can believe it!
I find that my kids will eat something new or eat better if the food looks colorful and fun. Putting food in animal shaped cups or mini silicone holders always gets a smile and the food eaten around here.Using cookie cutters to cut a PB&J or turkey and cheese sandwich instantly makes it so much better.
My kids love it when I cut their quesadillas into little people. There's just something about biting off the head that makes it taste better. I cut the excess parts of the quesadilla into smaller pieces and make it "grass" or "sand" the people can stand on.I like to search online via Pinterest and blogs that give me lunch ideas. Use words in your search like "bento lunches" and you'll find plenty of ideas and inspiration.
Some of the favorite school lunches my kids enjoy (I always include a yogurt, drink and fruit/veg):
*Quesadilla people with pizza sauce for dipping (pizza sauce in a cute little animal case)
*pot stickers and soy sauce (again it's all about the sauce containers :D)
*Tortellini on toothpicks (pictured above) and pizza sauce to dip
*PB&J or Turkey and Cheese cut with cookie cutters, grapes and yogurt to dip
*Fruit and cheese cube skewers (using toothpicks)
*Rice cakes and peanut butter
*Breakfast for lunch - waffle strips and syrup for dipping
*Hard boiled egg shaped into something fun using an egg mold.
*Popcorn, cheese sticks/cubes and apple slices
*Turkey and cream cheese pinwheels
Those are some that I can think of at the moment. I've been meaning to actually type up a list and have it handy in the kitchen but haven't gotten around to it yet.
I should mention that a lot of times what I make for them that morning has a lot to do with what we had for dinner the night before. If we had Tortellini then I know that's what will be in their lunchbox that day.
Also, if I'm making quesadillas for school going kids I make enough quesadillas for the kids at home as well at the same time so I don't have to worry about making them at lunch. I just reheat cut with cookie cutters or into strips and give ketchup or pizza sauce to dip.
On Fridays if Ella does all her homework on time and has read for 45 minutes every day she can get pizza (ice cream/frozen yogurt and milk as well) at school on Fridays. It gives me a day during the week where I don't have to worry about making a lunch and it's fun for her.
I really do try and keep it fun for the kids but simple for me. Just try and think out of the box and look for inspiration online or from other mom's you talk to.
Speaking of inspiration...I'd love to get some new and fresh ideas so please feel free to share yours with me!