Taking your lunch to school has become all the rage with the recent wave of concerned moms and dads. Lunches that are dished out at school, although they meet strict standards, aren't really all that great. So what should you pack your kids to make them the coolest one at the table instead of the sack lunch outcast? Even though we know what we will be packing in our kids' lunches is hands down healthier, tastier and superior to what the cafeteria serves up, most kids will still want pizza or garlic toast on those special days.
When packing your kids' lunch to keep them feeling hip and cool, make sure to keep the following things in mind when packing it all up.
Play with texture: There's a reason why kids like certain items. The allure of wiggling Jell-O or pudding, the crunch of carrots or puffy orange snacks (rhymes with schmeetos) is something kids thrive on. Changing up the foods in their box, week to week and even day to day, keeps them interested in what's in their lunchbox and keeps them eating. Full kids = Learning kids.
Stick with familiarity: School lunch probably isn't the best time to try out a new product. Save that adventure for home to ensure they like it. Otherwise, it will probably end up on the tray of the child next to them. Stick with what they know and love and they'll eat it up everytime.
Use color: Kids eat with their eyes the same way adults do. Make sure there's a few changes to make their lunch appear to be extra fun. You can even get crazy and cut flowers out of carrot rounds or make a panda out of rice and seaweed — something to make their lunch visually stimulating when they open it up!
Play (and win) at the cafeteria's game: Even the best cold cut sandwich in the world won't taste as good as chicken fried steak. Try to pair up matching foods on your child's favorite days. Send them with pizza on pizza day and meatloaf on meatloaf day. That way they will always have a better tasting product and not be concerned with what their neighbor has!
What was your favorite lunchbox snack? We have to admit, our own personal favorite was a peanut butter and tomato sandwich made with love from mom!
Related: School Lunch: What Are Your Memories?
(Image: Flickr member Luckysundae licensed for use under Creative Commons)