The school year is in full swing at this point and the novelty of making those Pinterest lunches has likely worn off. The kids have cycled through every version of sandwiches you can come up with and its looking more and more appealing to call in the Lunchables. Well, here are a few ways to mix it up:
Warm it up
Don’t be afraid of the hot lunch. With the winter months arriving, this is the perfect time to send your kiddo with some hot soup, mac and cheese or leftover chili. Get yourself a cute kids thermos, “preheat” it by pouring boiling water into it and allowing that to sit while you heat up the meal itself. Once you transfer the food to the thermos, it will stay hot for several hours.
Break the PB&J cycle by deconstructing some of your favorites into a more snack-like lunch that is appealing to kids. Bento boxes are great for this but you can also use silicone cupcake liners to create sections in a larger container and add a pop of kid-friendly color. Fill each section with cheese, lunch meat, crackers or veggies.
Stick with It
There’s a novelty to sliding food on a stick. Make fruit kabobs. Layer pepperoni with sliced cheese. Fried chicken nuggets taste great cold and the stick can make it easy to dip. Try kid friend skewers to get you started.
When you dip, I dip, We dip
There is something to be said for a dippable lunch. Hummus with carrots and crackers. Apples and celery with peanut butter. Yogurt and fruit. Creating a lunch around a protein-rich dip can add variety and keep things healthy.
Roll with it
Just about anything that you can put on sandwich bread can be wrapped in a tortilla for a change of presentation. PB&J sushi, turkey roll ups, cream cheese and cucumber wraps–they’re all just as easy to make but enough of a variation to feel exciting.
Cut it out
When all else fails, revert to your sandwich stash but keep it interesting with fun shapes. There are cute sandwich cutters for relatively cheap on Amazon. Or you can go the pampered chef route and get a sandwich sealer to create your own “Uncrustables” for a fraction of the price.
Creating variety in your kid’s lunch doesn’t have to mean intricate bento boxes or elaborate food art. Sometimes some simple changes can create the variety your kid craves without driving you insane. Happy Packing!