Hi, this is Nina from www.Mamabelly.com . I am so honored to be invited to write a guest post for Runitlikeamom! I am the Mom of four busy kids (6 ,9 ,10 ,13) and I am always looking for quick, easy, fun and healthy lunch ideas. I love blogging about our journey to better and waste-free lunches. I hope you enjoy reading some of my lunch packing tips.
1. Keep food bite-sized for Chatty Eaters
This lunch contains: a rice ball with Nori features, left over chicken, two kinds of gluten free cereal bars, a few graham crackers and orange slices.
My kids like chatting with their friends at lunch and more often than not time is running out when they finally start eating. By keeping food bite-sized they are more likely to eat something from each food group instead of just finishing the sandwich when times runs out.
This lunch contains: Nut butter sandwich lollipops, cheese crackers and apple pieces.
Smaller portions seem less daunting and kids are encouraged to eat more as well if you have a slow or picky eater.
2. Add some fun with sandwich cutters
This lunch contains: a half an apple, grape tomatoes, a nut butter sandwich, a mini pepperoni sandwich and celery.
Kids love fun lunches and it only takes a minute to make a peanut butter sandwich look like a cute Koala bear. There are so many different sandwich cutters out there. From shapes, to Disney characters to fun animals you can find a lot of fun options. My son was not a fan of sandwiches when he started pre-school and sandwich cutters helped me introduce him to the world of sandwiches in a fun way.
This lunch contains: cherries, baby carrots and a cheese sandwich.
My kids love the fun characters and these bread cutters also cut off the crust which is a nice feature for picky eaters!
3. Keep offering new foods
This lunch features: homemade energy bites, kiwi, apricot, pita pockets filled with salami, cucumber, carrots and lettuce, strawberries and dressing for the sandwiches.
The lunch box is a great tool to introduce new foods. I like adding a new food once in a while and sticking with it for a week or two. We added apricots in the lunch above and even though they came home untouched the first few times, the kids eventually tried them and realized they loved them. Kids will reject food up to 20 times before trying a new food. So, keep packing it.
This lunch features: homemade energy bites, kiwi, strawberries, a piece of star fruit, a cereal bar, baby carrots and a mandarin orange.
Add a small serving of the new food (I just added one slice of Starfruit to this lunch) and make sure there is plenty of other foods they like.
4. Let them choose
I asked my daughter to draw what she wanted in her lunch box.
This lunch features: cheddar crackers, tomato and cheese kabobs, two mini cucumber and ham sandwiches and yogurt with fresh fruit.
And she loved finding it all in her lunchbox that week. Take your kids shopping and let them pick out new foods. When kids are involved they will get creative!
5. Combine Reading with Lunch
This lunch is filled with: strawberries, cheddar corn puffs with dried fruit snack decoration, and a nut butter tortilla with chocolate accents.
Does your child have a favorite book or book series? Why not incorporate their love of reading with lunch?
This lunch is filled with: pineapple pieces, yogurt with sprinkles, two chocolate spread sandwiches with chocolate decorations and a chocolate treat.
My kids love finding Literary Lunches in their lunchboxes and it is a great conversation starter for the afternoon as well!
This lunch is filled with: spaghetti and sauce, toasted bread, grapes and a chocolate filled pancake sandwich.
This book and lunch combination was teaching table manners and my kids loved finding all the mistakes the adult made in the book. Finding this lunch in their lunch box made them giggle and reminded them to mind their manners.
6. Prep ahead!
This lunch is packed containing: a mini pepper, baby carrots, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, crackers, mini sandwiches and yogurt with fresh fruit.
Wash and cut fruits and vegetables the night before, fill containers with dry snacks and yogurt and store on the counter or in the fridge! You can even make ahead sandwiches and keep them in the freezer or store in the fridge with a damp paper towel in the lunchbox!
7. Don’t forget yourself!
This lunch contains: a blueberry and strawberry salad with a light honey dressing, plain yogurt topped with homemade granola and shredded coconut, a homemade egg muffin and a side of grape tomato and cucumber.
Remember to pack lunch for yourself as well! It helps save you money and is a great way to make sure you eat well. It is a great way to stay on track and I eat much better when I pack lunch.
This lunch is filled with: an egg salad sandwich, apple slices, a health bar, a BabyBel cheese and a side of dried cranberries and Almonds.
I challenge myself to at least pack lunch 3 times a week, and I am looking forward to the lunch I packed every time.
I hope you found some of my tips helpful. Visit me at www.mamabelly.com to see more lunch ideas and leave me a comment below if you liked my post!
Thank you again to Runitlikeamom for inviting me to their blog!