As the weather starts to get colder and the leaves begin to change, many parents breathe a sigh of relief because this also signals back to school time for our kids. New clothes are purchased, new routines begin and everyone is busy again. One important part of your child’s new school day is lunch time. It can be very comforting and a lot of fun for your kids if they have a cool lunch to look forward to during their lunch period. Here are a few fun back to school lunch ideas you can utilize for your kids to do just that:
Cookie Cutter Sandwiches
Anyone that has a Pinterest account has probably seen this one done before, but it’s so much fun and there are so many different possibilities. Basically, make your child’s favorite sandwich as you normally would, then take their favorite cookie cutter (or take a trip to the store to purchase some fun ones) and cut the sandwich into pieces with the cookie cutter. Try to utilize as much of the surface area of the sandwich as possible to be sure they have enough to eat and nothing goes to waste. This really can be done with any kind of sandwich, from PB&J to turkey and cheese, it all works great!
Snacks For Lunch
Another recent craze is to put all of your child’s favorite snacks into separate parts of a muffin tin. If this is something your child was into over the summer, why not carry it over into the new school year? Pick your favorite Rubbermaid or Tupperware container that has divided compartments and go to town! Let your child pick their favorite healthy snacks and fill each section with them. Many companies make containers with as many compartments as you could possibly want. This is a quick and easy way to make your child’s lunch fun and healthy!
Make Your Own Kabobs
This idea may or may not work, depending on what your school’s policy is on bringing sharp objects into the school. However, there are safe options you can use too! The night before, enlist your child’s help by asking them to pick out their favorite cheeses, vegetables, meats, and fruits. Take a wooden skewer and have your child make their own kabobs of the bite-sized foods on the skewer. This is also fun because there really are no rules as to what can go on one skewer. Another option is to make a dessert or candy kabob, where they can put tiny pieces of brownies, soft candy, donuts or any other soft/sweet item in their favorite pattern.
Brunch For Lunch
If you have a kid that particularly loves breakfast, try to incorporate this into their school lunch once in a while. Small boxes of cereal can be purchased and placed in lunch boxes. Bagels with a side of cream cheese in a small container can too. Cut up some of their favorite fruit as a side and they are good to go! If possible, give your child a little bit of money to purchase a fresh, cold milk in the school cafeteria and voila – it’s brunch for lunch.
Make Your Own Tacos or Pizza
The night before you want to try this trick out, cook the beef for the tacos and put it in the fridge. When you are doing food prep in the morning, microwave the beef before putting it in an airtight container. In other containers, place cheese, lettuce, and salsa and pack a few taco shells (hard or soft) next to them. The beef may not be entirely hot by the time your kid makes it to the lunch hour. But, if they don’t mind this then they can enjoy their tacos as is. However, sometimes a friendly teacher or lunch monitor may be able to warm up the meat in the teacher’s room or kitchen.
A similar version can be done with pizza. Small pita shells or halved thin bagels can work as the crust. A small amount of pizza sauce can be placed into a container and add some shredded cheese. Your kid will have a fun lunch all of the other kids will wish they had! Of course, there are store bought versions of these ideas. But these are actually cheaper and healthier. Also, you can add custom ingredients that your child may prefer to the store-bought version.