Send the kids back to school with a smile. Pack their lunch boxes with a splash of fun!
Looking to prepare school lunches your kids wouldn’t trade for anything in the world? Just pack a healthy helping of creativity along with the delicious foods.
Start with the nutritional basics
“Making your kids’ lunch is a great way to monitor what they eat,” says Connie Evers, a registered dietitian who specializes in the health of children and adolescents. “Take this opportunity to introduce them to fiber- and nutrient-rich selections by packing their lunch boxes with fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.”
Spice things up with your own creativity
There are plenty of ways to get children excited about a healthful lunch brought from home. Just be creative! It can be something as simple as including a love note or decorating a lunch box with stickers. You can also make lunch a learning experience by teaching kids about nutrition or, as we’ve done here, show them what children enjoy for lunch in other countries. Scroll down and check out a few of our favorite lunchtime ideas.
Lunch box fun for every age
All dressed up
ages 2 to 5When 5-year-old Samuél wanted to jazz up her lunch, Mom was all for it. Decorating everyday items lets younger kids express creativity and develop a sense of self. Samuél and her mom created a fun, bug-themed lunch using cute bug drawings she could cut out and color, and a cookie cutter to turn her sandwich into a butterfly.
Make a game of it
ages 6 to 8
“This is the most fun lunch ever,” exclaimed 7-year-old Davíd. His classmates agreed. Like many kids his age, Davíd loves learning through games. So his mom includes a little mystery game in his lunch every day. She uses markers and construction paper to leave “clues.” Then Davíd and his pals try to guess what foods she’s packed.
A lesson in lunch
ages 9 to 12
By junior high, many schools' programs include structured nutritional education. Children learn which foods are good sources of protein and vitamins. You can enhance this learning by brainstorming menu ideas with your kids, and offering your own nutrition pointers along the way.