Making lunch boxes attractive to kids can seem like a daunting task day after day. But get inspiration from these handy tips, tools and products for creative lunch box ideas for back to school.
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Have fun with eggs or rice using special moulds. You can even shape rice or hard boiled eggs into Darth Vader or a cute panda with Japanese bento rice and egg moulds from BentoUSA.
When still hot, fresh hard boiled eggs can be bent into amazing shapes with these moulds. After the egg cools, it stays bent in the outline of the egg mould. Imagine crafting a whole barnyard of little animals with rice, peas, and meat slices! Or how about some soccer, basketball, and footballs made up of moulded rice and tiny vegetable dice?
Darth and C-3PO could face off in an egg and rice challenge. Add some fruit on the side and you have a balanced and entertaining lunch that kids will love.
Sweet Sandwich Sides
What could be a better companion to a straight forward sandwich than an appealing presentation of the fruit and crackers that becomes the focal point? A butterfly bag is a fun way to package grapes and crackers.
- To create your very own butterfly bag, get a wooden clothespin and pinch it open with your hand.
- The tip that opens up will be the head of the butterfly.
- Choose which side of the clothespin you want to be the face and glue on little googly eyes.
- Then take a chenille stem and bend in half. Curl one end of each piece and glue onto the back of the butterfly’s head for antennae.
- Take a sandwich or snack sized plastic sealable bag and fill it half full with small crackers on one side and grapes on the other side, leaving a little extra room in the middle.
- Taking your clothespin butterfly, crimp the middle of the plastic bag, giving you a butterfly with cracker and grape wings.
In a lunch box with partitions, add interest to side items by placing them in fun patterned paper cupcake liners. Or how about cutting sides of fruit or cheese with cookie cutters? This is another convenient way to add pizzaz to lunchboxes.
Keep Your Cool
Of course, your lunch box masterpieces need to keep cool. Use an insulated cooler bag with a small cooling block or pack in it to keep everything fresh and appealing.
When you are equipped with a good insulated lunch box with a cooling block, salads for your child are not out of the question. Make a nutritious tuna and pasta salad with Just Mayo by Hamptoncreek. They use healthy plant ingredients in their eggless spread. Add some finely chopped sweet peppers to the salad for extra colour and vitamin C. Or check out this Mediterranean Pasta Salad.
Or how about using raw vegetables to create a flower or pinwheel?
Simply cut thin oval wedges of carrots, cucumber, and celery, along with some short lengths of red or yellow pepper.
- Wash five to seven small leaves of tender butter lettuce or baby romaine and pat dry with a paper towel.
- Arrange the lettuce leaves and sweet pepper slices at the bottom of the lunch container in a circular pattern.
- Continue by topping the lettuce with carrot, celery, and cucumber disks until you have a multi-layered pinwheel or flower.
- Top with one or two halves of cherry tomato or a fresh pea.
- For extra interest, add a small container of healthy sauce or dip.
Soup Is On
If your child gobbles down soup at home, there is no reason to exclude it from their school lunch box. Use a quality insulated food jar to keep soup warm. You can get colourful, insulted food jars in a variety of designs from Skip Hop that have the added benefit of a ‘spork’ attached to the side, so even chunky soups like Minestrone are no bother.
We hope these creative lunch box ideas have inspired you to keep boredom at bay and let your creative side out! Who knows, maybe you can even wow your work colleagues at lunch with a spare Darth Vader egg or two.
Do you have any creative lunch box ideas? Please share them in the comments box below.