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Back to school: Tips for making school lunches easy and fun

Picture: Instagram.

Picture: Instagram.

Published Jan 7, 2022


In order to have success with your kid’s school meals, try some of our tips for making their mealtimes a little more fun and exciting – especially if you have a child who’s much rather swing on the monkey bars than sit down and eat a sarmie.

Afterall, there’s nothing more devastating than a lunch box returned with wasted food and knowing your little one hasn’t eaten well enough all day.

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6 ways to make your kids school lunches easy and fun:

Cookie cutters

Cookie cutters can be used to transform basic sandwiches, kids would otherwise turn their nose up at something new and exciting they’ll just love. All that needs to be done is to make a sandwich as you normally would – ham and cheese, PB & J for example – and then use different cookie cutters to cut out shapes. Of course, you’ll be left with a lot of offcuts but those just make for a delicious snack while prepping lunch. The cutters can also be used on other things too like different fruits.

Bento boxes

Cooler bags and regular containers are boring, bento boxes are the latest craze among school-aged kids. The unique style of box originates from Japan and was used to carry a single-portion take-out meal with all the delicious fixings. The boxes have various levels to them and contain smaller compartments that can be lifted out. This allows you to include a variety of snacks, perfect if your child gets bored of one thing easily. It also keeps everything in place so wet food won’t make dry food soggy.

Lunch box notes

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Give your child something to look forward to each time they open up their lunch box in the form of a cute and quirky lunch box note. This parenting hack is super easy and doesn’t require investing in expensive ingredients and treats, it’s just about adding a little extra excitement to each meal. From funny jokes to messages of encouragement or quotes by their favourite movie star, simply write them out on a sticky note and stick them to the inside of their boxes.

Themed meals

Have a fun holiday coming up like Valentine’s Day, Halloween or even a made up holiday like International Pancake Day? Use them as opportunities to create themed lunches for your child to make things a bit more exciting. Heart shaped sandwiches, pink watermelon and berries and chocolate paired with a note from a secret admirer (AKA mom and dad) is perfect for Valentine's day. Candy canes near the festive Christmas season and pancakes for Pancake Day would have any child jumping to eat their lunch.

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Create a roster

Thinking up lunches that work is difficult to do every day of the week. Instead, write up a roster of tried and tested lunch box meals your child likes (and regularly finishes ) and add it to a list that can be rotated every two to three weeks. Here and there you can test in experimental meals and if they are a success, you can add them on to the list too.

Make lunch together

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Start teaching your child how to meal prep and put their lunches together. If they know much love and effort goes into every detail, they may be less likely to be wasteful and will hopefully learn some responsibility as well as the value of having a packed lunch prepared for them each day.