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Creative Ways to Beat the “Lunchbox Blues”

August 1st, 2022

It’s August, and school is around the corner. Kids may be sad to see summer go, but we know their parents are just as miserable when contemplating a return to the “lunchbox blues.”

We refer, of course, to the struggle of every mom and dad to pack that wonderfully inventive, incredibly tasty, but all-too-elusive school lunch little Jane or Johnny will actually eat.

Lunchbox blues be gone — we’ve got some creative ways to tempt those lunchbox-toting tykes into devouring a made-at-home meal.

  • Banish boring bread, and use our own Ciabatta Flatbread as a tasty wrap. No matter the filling — tuna or chicken salad, turkey, or all veggies — this sandwich will be more fun to eat. Include carrot and celery sticks, and a favorite cookie and you’ve got a delicious, nutritious lunch.
  • Everything is more fun to eat on a stick. Provide beef skewers or sausage chunks on sticks (make sure you use blunt-edged, for safety’s sake), and don’t forget to add fresh melons cubes (also on sticks) and some trail mix.
  • You knew we’d suggest pizza, right? Provide a small sealed cup of sauce, some shredded mozzarella, a few slices of pepperoni and mushroom, and pieces of Rustic’s Tuscan Six Grain crust cut into triangles. Kids can build their own pizza — and enjoy its construction in the process.
  • Go healthier! Is PB&J your go-to school lunch meal? Make it a better choice with whole wheat bread. Do Oreos rule in your house? If you have to include a cookie occasionally, choose oatmeal with raisins —still sweet, but they offer some fiber and are manageable in terms of sugar and calories.
  • Sometimes, it’s all in the packaging. A reusable container instead of a paper or plastic bag is a wise choice, and many come sectioned to accommodate different foods. Ask your child to choose their own lunch tote, which come in so many fun colors and styles to keep things interesting. And be sure to include about fun cartoon themed napkins or wipes.

Along with fun meals and other out-of-the-lunchbox strategies, don’t forget what could be the most important part of your child’s lunch hour: a surprise message from you! Even a small post-it with a personal message of love and support can make a child’s day. “Love you!” or “Learn something new today!” is a welcome, encouraging reminder that mom or dad are thinking of them.