How to Build a School Lunch Box Your Child Will Want to Eat

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It’s time to dust off your kids’ lunch boxes because back-to-school time is just around the corner! For this week’s blog, we had the pleasure of collaborating with our good friend and colleague, Allison Little, RD from allisonlittlenutrition.com. Allison is a registered dietitian providing practical parenting and meal time solutions to moms of picky eaters. We want to help you take the stress and fuss out of packing your child’s lunches, especially if you’ve got a picky eater, so we’re sharing 3 tips for fun, easy, and healthy back-to-school lunches that we think will satisfy picky eaters.

1) Embrace the Bento! 

When it comes to fuss-free meal planning, a bento box is perfect because it’s compartmentalized for easy portioning and food separation for your picky eater. If you don’t have kids but find packing work lunches to be a chore, a bento box could make your life easier as well because it can help you pack a beautifully balanced lunch with built-in portion control!

Include fibre-rich grains like whole grain crackers, a source of protein such as hard boiled eggs, and some healthy fats like guacamole. Use the smaller compartments for a variety of added veggies and fruits and include a small treat that your child loves.

You can find them on Amazon, in many kitchen stores, Walmart, and Staples.

2) Use the Novelty Factor

The novelty factor is a feeding therapy strategy used to create interest and attention around food. Bento boxes are novel themselves. The more novel items surrounding the food, the more interested kids can become!

  • Try kitchen utensils like chopsticks, small tongs to pick up cheese cubes, leftover spaghetti and meatballs, or grapes

  • Pack dippers like pretzels, carrot sticks, and apple slices (with a lemon squeeze so they don’t turn brown!) to dip into yogurt, hummus, or guacamole instead of spoons

  • Surprise them with crazy straws for fruit sauces or yogurt drinks

  • Make sandwich puzzles with themed cookie cutters

3) Prep for Success

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When you have meals ready to go in the fridge or freezer, packing lunch is a breeze. If you’re not into meal prepping, make more food at dinner so that you’ll have leftovers for lunches. If you do like to plan ahead, cutting up veggies like carrot sticks or bell peppers the night before can be a huge time saver. On weekends, try making homemade granola bars, energy bites, or muffin tin egg cups for easy snacking through the week.

Try these kid-friendly recipes:

Ryan Stallard