With school in full swing, it’s a challenge to continue to figure out new ideas for kids lunches. With a fussy eater it’s even harder to stay creative and keep them eating a balanced lunch. Emerge from the lunch rut you’re stuck in with these ideas to keep your fussy eater well fed at school.
Kick the Sandwich
Sandwiches may be a mainstay for lunches, but get boring pretty quickly. Instead of a sandwich, try packing yogurt with granola or fruit to sprinkle on top. Cottage cheese and berries are a great option too. Flavored granolas with dried fruits in it can be a big hit with yogurt too.
Change up the Bread
Sandwiches can be more fun when they’re on something other than slices of bread. Bagels, English muffins or wraps can be a good option to make sandwiches more exciting. Fill them with their favorite toppings, or separate the toppings so they can assemble their own sandwich. Crackers with meat and cheese are also a fun way to deconstruct a sandwich.
Save the Leftovers
Chances are, if the chicken tenders or pasta were a hit last night at dinner, they’ll be a lunch time hit too. Leftovers are a big time saver in the morning and can be a great school lunch. A cup of leftover macaroni salad or a favorite casserole also makes a great main dish for the lunch box. Mac and cheese is usually a win and can pair well with some fruits or veggie sticks.
Make it Fun
Think of cool ways to make their favorite foods. Pre portion the items so that they can assemble the pieces while eating them. For instance if your kid really likes pizza, put in some French bread slices for the pizza crust, some tomato or pizza sauce for the dough, and his or her favorite toppings. Think of it like creating a healthy, homemade lunchable. Kids love playing with food so the more creative you get the better. Meat and cheese roll-ups are a fun and healthy way to add protein.
Bagels & Smear
Try packing a toasted bagel with a side of cream cheese and some favorite fruits along with an apple or celery sticks. Dipping sauce for the apples can take lunch to the next level – think caramel or chocolate, and don’t forget the cream cheese from the bagel can double as dip for the celery sticks. Pita chips or tortilla chips are a good substitute to try instead of potato chips.
Thinking outside the box is essential when faced with a fussy eater, try to mix and match favorite foods and try not to fall into a rut of a PB&J sandwich with chips. Even fussy eaters are more apt to try new foods when they’re not facing stares from parents and siblings at the dinner table, so don’t be afraid to get creative with school lunches and test the fussy eating boundaries.