Lunchbox Ideas Your Kids Will Love

LunchBox Ideas

It's tough figuring out what to pack for your kids' lunches. You want them to eat healthy, but in four hours they'll be in a cafeteria surrounded by other children with sugary cookies and sodas. A soggy sandwich and bruised apple just really doesn't look enticing. For lunchboxes, it's all about presentation- and we've got some ideas that your kiddos will gobble up.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Sushi Rolls

Make a regular peanut butter and jelly sandwich, then slice it into strips. Roll it into a little ball so it looks like a sushi roll. The best ideas for these is to refrigerate them overnight and pack them with a cold pack so they don't get soggy. Kids love eating interesting foods, and this really puts a twist on the regular sandwich that keeps it fresh and exciting.

Ants on a Log

This is a traditional lunchbox recipe that's stayed fresh through the ages. Cut celery sticks up, dab peanut butter down the center, and arrange raisins "walking" down the log like little ants. It's a healthy, protein-packed snack that's arranged so well that kids don't even notice they're eating vegetables.

Zucchini or Pumpkin Bread

It's tough to sneak vegetables into lunchboxes. Kids are notoriously picky eaters when it comes to veggies. But no child has ever refused a slice of zucchini or pumpkin bread. While it doesn't provide a full serving of vegetables, a few slices of a whole-wheat vegetable bread- sprinkled with a little sugar and sea salt on top- will give your kid a relatively healthy dessert.

No-Bake Granola Bars

There are dozens of recipes for easy, homemade granola bars that don't involve ingredients like high fructose corn syrup or preservatives. You and your kids can make these on weekends and refrigerate them until it's time for lunch. Typically, they're made from peanut butter, oats, crisp rice cereal, coconut oil, and honey- all natural ingredients that are more nutritious than the packaged variety. For the little ones with a sweet tooth, you can always drizzle a little melted chocolate on top before you let it cool.

Fruit Salad

Chopped fruit slices are a staple of the playground, but they can become brown and unappealing by lunchtime. A nice fruit salad of grapes, apples, and pear slices will stay colorful until lunch if you add just a touch of lemon juice. Lunchboxes are all about presentation, so focus on shapes. Balls of canteloupe and melon can be achieved with an ice cream scoop and distract kids from the fact that they're eating fruit and not sugary fruit snacks.

Magic Cheese Wands

Spear little pretzel sticks into cubes of cheddar (or other) cheese, then send with a little cup of honey mustard sauce. Kids love active eating, so they'll enjoy dipping pretzels (or any rod-shaped ingredient; carrots can work too) into the mustard sauce. If you don't have honey mustard sauce on hand, the recipe works just fine without it- your kid will still enjoy the magic wand.

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Six Terrific Lunchbox Ideas

Lunchbox Ideas

Kids are notoriously picky eaters. The apple's too soft; the sandwich is too soggy; the soup got cold in the thermos. It's hard to get them to eat healthy when they're surrounded by other kids whose parents pack bags of chips, candy, and sugary juice boxes. But we've got six terrific lunchbox ideas that even the pickiest eaters are sure to love.

Macaroni and Cheese With Tuna and Old Bay

Kids naturally love mac 'n' cheese. It's a staple food of dinner, and was recently ranked the most popular food in Canada. But there are ways to sneak healthy foods in there. You can add tuna or peas into macaroni and cheese, which gives your kid a boost of nutrients.

One of the best ways to disguise tuna or peas in mac 'n' cheese is by using spices that your kid will notice first. Old Bay or a Cajun spice will attract your kid's attention more than the canned fish or peas or carrots. For adults, it's also a delicious way to get your nutrients by adding healthy food to a childhood favorite.

Heart-Shaped, Non-Soggy Sandwiches

The main complaint about kids' sandwiches is that peanut butter and jelly get soggy, turning into a mushy mess by noon. But if you use non-soggy foods, like plain wheat bread with slices of turkey and cheese, the sandwich won't become soggy in your kid's lunchbox. The best part? If you eliminate condiments like mayonnaise, your kid won't get a soggy, calorie-laden sandwich.

You can also cut the sandwich into a little heart shape, or really any shape that you're capable of making. This makes the sandwich more exciting to eat for your kid. Got a budding astronomer? Shape the sandwich into a little star. They'll be so amazed by the shape that they'll definitely eat it.

Freshly Cut Fruit With Toothpicks

Kids view fruit as a convenience item. If they have to peel an orange, they may not take the time to actually do it. If you provide cubes of pineapple, cantaloupe, or other fruits and stick a toothpick in each one, it makes eating fruit more fun.

Cheese and Sausage Sticks

It's kind of like eating a mini cheeseburger: meat with fresh cheese. Cut cheese into sticks and add sausages alongside. The trick? You can use vegetable sausages and your kid will probably never know. You can also use fresh organic cheese instead of processed options.

Banana Muffins

You can make very healthy muffins with low sugar that your kids are sure to love. For a little sweet taste, you can add macadamia nuts to the muffins that your kids could mistake for white chocolate. You can use any type of flour- whether it's regular, rice, or a gluten-free option.

Dried Apple and Banana Chips

Dried apples are fun for your kid to make, so he or she will be more likely to eat them. Just cut the apple into thin slices, hang it up to dry, and wait for a week or so. Banana chips are also an easy way to get a fruit serving.

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