5 Back-To-School Lunchbox Ideas For Demanding Kids

lunchbox ideas for kids

by Femita

Are you tired of those untouched lunchboxes returning home after a school day? Don’t worry, there are many options to make your kid’s lunch more attractive.

Get creative

Kids love bite-sized food in different shapes, so try to be creative. Get out the toothpicks and make mini sandwiches. Why not try triangle, square, round or heart-shaped sandwiches? Cookie cutters may come in handy here. Look for ingredients that have vibrant colors and use various textures, from crunchy to creamy.

White bread is boring. There are so many types of bread available today that it’s almost a sin to only offer your kids plain white bread: high fibre, multi grain, wholemeal, ciabatta, focaccia, flat bread etc. Look for breads with attractive shapes or textures. If regular breads don’t cut it anymore, vary with tortilla wraps, bagels, crackers or rice cakes.

To surprise your son or daughter at lunch, make multi-layered or sushi roll sandwiches. For sushi sandwiches, roll up a sandwich and cut it into four portions. Easy as 123! The more exciting and fun to eat the sandwich is, the higher chances it will actually get eaten.

Use Leftovers

Leftovers from last night’s dinner provide an excellent opportunity to bring some much-needed variation into your kid’s lunch without asking for too much preparation time. Roast meat like beef or chicken is excellent for preparing your kid’s favorite salad, pasta salad or sandwich. Make sure to add some low-fat mayo, mustard or barbeque sauce.

Get them involved

Let your kids make their own sandwiches, while you only provide the ingredients. Some examples include tomato, lettuce, sliced avocado, cucumber, grated carrot, cheese, ham, roast beef, bacon, fried chicken, turkey, tuna flakes, salmon, boiled eggs, baked beans, cream cheese,  feta cheese, mozzarella, basil, nuts, pineapple rings, peanut butter and hummus. If you can handle the extra stress of taking your kid with you shopping for groceries, let them pick the bread they like.

Keep it fresh

Nothing is worse than being confronted with soggy sandwiches. Therefore, it is important to apply a thin layer of low-fat spread (e.g. margarine) on the bread and put moist ingredients like tomatoes in the center so that only the dryer fillings touch the bread. Alternatively you can also pack the bread and the fillings separately, so your kid can make their sandwich during lunchtime. The Easy Lunchbox System is excellent for this! Don’t forget to add a piece of fresh fruit, a diary product and a healthy dessert (dried fruits, homemade cookies or granola bars) to make the lunch complete. A frozen drink bottle will keep your kid’s lunch cool.

Hot hot hot

What to do if your kid, in spite of the endless possibilities, is tired of sandwiches and pasta salads? Hot meals provide an excellent solution. Make a nutritious soup with lots of vegetables and legumes or a stew for those cold winter days. Serve with some bread and keep hot in a insulated thermos flask.

How do you bring variation into your kid’s lunch?


For more inspiration visit Lunch in a Box.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

TLC_mom September 13, 2010 at 4:11 pm

Excellent article again, but there is one thing I really feel would make this article complete: color! Kids are very sensitive to bright and uplifting colors, so why not incorporate this in your kids’ lunch? Fresh vegetables offer tons of possibilities in terms of color!


Aimee @ Simple Bites September 13, 2010 at 7:55 pm

I’m just starting out with this whole school lunches thing as my eldest is now in kindergarten. Thanks for a comprehensive article, (and the shout-out!)


Femita September 14, 2010 at 5:09 pm

Thank YOU for your delicious granola bar recipe :)


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