Back to School Lunch Ideas

3 Ways to Add Some Fun to Your Child’s Lunch Bag

By:  Sue Kirchner of ChocolateCakeMoments.com

After 3 years of packing lunch for my daughter, I was out of ideas and the lunch box and my daughter was bored. She was dreading opening her lunch box. So I started to experiment and found that getting her to eat her lunch just took a little fun and creativity. If your child is bored of the same old lunch ideas, here are 7 ideas to make lunch the highlight of your kids’ day so the lunch box comes home empty.

1.    Shake it up:

Prepare the same old food in a new way. Instead of a regular peanut butter and jelly on white bread (ho hum), make Pinwheel PB&Js by rolling up the PB&J in a flour tortilla and slicing it into pinwheels (fun!). Try a peanut butter and raisin or banana sandwich for kicks. Try dark chocolate peanut butter instead of regular peanut butter. While some kids freak out when they see a new “food form,” as kids get older they will be willing to try more things, so don’t be afraid to shake it up.

Using cookie cutters to make a lunch more exciting is an easy way to add a little surprise to your child’s lunch box. I’ve used cookie cutters to cut out sandwich shapes, fruit, brownies, lunch meat, and cheese. You can surprise your kids or I like to use the cookie cutters with my daughter. I love to see her creativity, and if she helps create the food, she’s more likely to eat it.

2. Theme of the week:

Your child’s classroom usually has a theme of the week so why not a lunch theme? Surprise your kids by incorporating a new lunch theme every few weeks, such as serving all red foods. Pair a strawberry jelly sandwich with cherry tomatoes and low-fat ranch dressing with cherry Jell-O for dessert. Meals could be all round foods (a bagel with cream cheese sandwich, an orange, and carrot rounds) or a backwards lunch (a sandwich with meat and cheese on the outside and a note written in reverse telling your child to eat dessert first). If you can figure out how to tie their lunch to their actual lesson plan that week, even better.

3. Lunch box notes:

Don’t limit your lunch box creativity to just the food. Slip a little note into your child’s lunch box to let them know that you are thinking of them. You can simply say you love them, encourage them on an upcoming test, or tell them a joke. Here’s an article with a ton of ideas for lunch box love notes.

Some of these ideas take a little time and preparation. But remember; planning it on Sunday night for the following week will save you precious time on those hectic weeknights when you just can’t think of anything creative. Or, just throw in the fun randomly when you have time. Your kids will never know what they’ll find that way.

What do you do to get your kids to eat their lunch at school?  Tell VolunteerSpot over on facebook!

Check out my Back-to-School Pinterest Board for Back-to-School tips and some additional school lunch ideas.


Sue Kirchner is the founder of ChocolateCakeClub.com and ChocolateCakeMoments.com, where she sells products and shares ideas that help busy families have more fun together, so they can have more ‘Chocolate Cake Moments’ – when they are smiling, relaxed, and enjoying their family time. Sue and her family fun ideas have been featured on TV, magazines, newspapers, and family blogs. When she’s not working, she is CFO (Chief Fun Officer) for her family. Check out her other kids’ party ideas at ChocolateCakeMoments.com.

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