How To Pack Your Kids The Best School Lunches

When you ask your kid what their favorite time of the school day is, their answer will likely be lunch time! Whether they thrive on routine (i.e. eat the same exact thing every single day!) or love variety, you can make their lunch even more special with a few simple tips, that will leave them not only anticipating the meal, but also the presentation! You’ll find that these tips are both easy and quick, but really make such a huge impact–you’ll be the talk of the lunchroom, for sure!

Leave Notes In Their Lunch Pail

A great way to connect with your child during the school day is to leave little handwritten notes in their lunch pail! Simply keep a stack of colored Post-It-Notes in your Glenwood kitchen, and when it’s time to pack lunches, jot down a few words! Don’t get intimidated here–yes, you can certainly create your own prose if you wish, but a few other cute ideas for note writing are:

–writing the lyrics to a shared favorite song

–giving a clue as to what you will be doing together after school (or what’s for dinner, plans for the weekend, etc.)

–making reference to a favorite character on a tv show, book, or movie you both like

–telling a joke that’s sure to make them giggle (which you can find from a quick Google search!)

–doodling a cute drawing

–or simply writing ‘I love you because…’, and then filling in one thing you really adore about your child on that particular day

heart shaped cookie cutter

Cutting Their Sandwich Into Shapes

There’s nothing super exciting about the traditional peanut butter and jelly, however, a PB&J cut into fun shapes definitely wins points! Using cookie cutters to cut your child’s sammie into fun shapes is such an easy way to elevate an otherwise basic lunch. They can be picked up at any home goods store selling kitchen tools (such as Sur La Table, located on the Upper East Side near The Fairmont) for just a few dollars. Think out of the box here: cutters in the shape of your child’s favorite characters, the first letter of their name, emojis, and seasonal varieties (such as pumpkins for Halloween time, snowmen for winter, hearts for Valentine’s Day, bunnies for Easter, etc.) Plus, what kid actually likes the sandwich crust, anyway?!

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Use Food Coloring To Spice Things Up

Something that literally takes a drop of time to do is to add food coloring to your child’s meal! This simple tactic, when used on occasion, will add a delightful hint of whimsy to your child’s day. Add a few drops of blue to their pasta salad, a few drops of red to their rice pilaf, or even green to their thermos of milk! What a fun surprise they’ll receive!

lunches packed in plastic tupperware

Add Seasonal Surprises

The seasons are a great way to tailor your child’s lunch. We all know it’s best to “eat with the seasons”, so this could be as simple as heading to the local Farmers Market Downtown or on the Westside and picking up items that are in season: fruits and veggies, miniature pumpkin pies, or warm apple cider. You could also head to the famous Danish dollar store, Flying Tiger, and pick up paper napkins that correspond to the latest holiday to tuck in their lunch box. Or, with a bit of advance planning, you can even sneak in a pair of tickets to whatever seasonal activities you have coming up, be it 2 pairs of tickets to go apple picking, to go Trick-or-Treating, or to see The Nutcracker! It will surely give them something to look forward to long after lunchtime is over.

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Do you have any tried-and-true tips for packing the best school lunches? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter!

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