Meet Rasa, the winner of our latest photo contest. She lives in Florida, in the United States, and she is packing lunch every night for her 7 years old son. School days or camp days, she is packing lunch year round! Rasa looks at lunch packing as an opportunity to expose her son to healthy foods, and to ensure he is getting adequate nutrition.
Left to his own devices, my son would live on hot dogs, chicken nuggets, and strawberry milk. While I think it is ok to eat those things periodically, it is important to me that he also eats fresh fruits. He is not a big fan of vegetables, but if he can maybe touch or even look at vegetables in his lunchbox, that is a win in my book!
Rasa’s best lunchbox hacks
#1 Re-mix favorites into new ways.
Tacos from Tuesday dinner can get turned into a taco quesadilla for lunch on Wednesday, for example. I mostly pack things I know he likes, while periodically including things he might not be sure about (e.g. ANY vegetable). Seeing the empty lunch box at the end of the day is really encouraging for me to keep going.
#2 Write down a list of foods that your kid likes to eat.
I think a good tip is to sit down and write a list of things your kid likes to eat. Even picky eaters will probably have a longer list than you think! Then you can look at the list and pick a few things to make that week.
#3 Allow you some breaks from lunch packing.
To be totally honest, there are days when I just don’t want to do it. During the school year, I do sometimes let my son purchase lunch at school (like on pizza Fridays), knowing he most likely will not be choosing any fruits or vegetables, but that’s ok! Everything in moderation. And it gives me the needed break.
I have a lot of sandwich cutters and cute food picks to make lunch fun. I am also a big fan of silicon baking cups. They add color to the lunchbox, and separate ingredients.
We love the Yumbox lunch boxes and have used those for several years. I like that they are leakproof, and I can pack things like yogurt or applesauce and know it will stay in the lunchbox and stay separate from the other sections.