So long are the days where everyone is bringing to school a paper bag lunch consisting of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a Capri Sun. We are almost two decades into the 21st century so it's time to kick it up a notch, and that includes lunch boxes.
The Japanese have been creating wonderfully adorable and intricate bento boxes for forever. In the past few years, the trend is coming to North America. Not only are cute lunch boxes interesting to look at, but it also shows that a little bit of extra time and love were put into making the lunch. As a plus, making things look cute to eat may encourage kids to eat the healthy stuff, too!
Here are a few lunch box ideas that won't require hours of prep work, but will definitely bring some smiles from the lunch room!
10 Homemade Lunchables
Lunchables are a school lunch classic, with their nice compartments for all the food and the ability to stack meats and cheeses onto crackers. They come in a pre-packaged pack at the grocery store, but there's no reason to buy them if you have a little bit of extra time and all the ingredients at home.
Use cupcake wrappers like this person does here, or get a Tupperware box that has multiple compartments. These homemade Lunchables are more customizable and they produce less waste with this reusable container.
9 Tic-Tac-Toe Box
Make lunch a little more fun by including a game in the lunch itself. With little edible tic-tac-toe pieces, your kid can play a game or two before really digging into their meal. Lunch is always a good time to talk and play with others, and the more talking that's happening, the better it is for digestion. Just make sure to include some hand wipes so that you can assure only clean hands are touching the pieces!
8 Cool For School
If you've got a little bit of extra time in the morning, it might be fun to make this lunch a little more themed with the day. A white bread sandwich is the perfect canvas to make an edible notebook, and cheese sticks are a good pencil shape. This might come in handy if there's a big test that day--the A+ apple can be a little confidence boost.
7 Cookie Cutter Magic
Who says that cookie cutters are just meant for cookies? These wonderful kitchen tools are great for a ton of different things, like shaping sandwiches. Sure, there's nothing wrong with a regular sandwich, but it is more fun to be eating something in an interesting shape than just a square.
This process takes almost no extra time, and it makes the lunch look a whole lot cuter--it's also a great solution for those kids that don't like eating the crusts.
6 Make It Festive
When there's a holiday approaching, a super fun thing to do is to make lunches fit that festive theme. Christmas is great for this since there are so many healthy foods that are green and red. The food combinations for the week are almost endless. Christmas isn't the only time you can make a themed lunch! Any time of the year can use a little bit of color-coordinated fun.
5 Taste The Rainbow
They always say that the more colors on your plate, the better it is for you. Encourage some healthy eating habits while making it fun to look at by placing different foods in the order of the rainbow. Having a container like this is perfect for snack time, so it's easy to separate the dip with the fruit. Colors are always appealing to the eye, and making things look nice also makes it look more delicious, even when it's super healthy.
4 Sandwich Kabobs
Sandwiches are pretty much everyone's go-to main course for lunch, but they can get kind of boring. Even if there are different elements to the sandwich each day, there's only so much that can be exciting about eating some stuff between two pieces of bread.
To make things more interesting, try deconstructing the classic sandwich and try putting all the ingredients on a stick. They're going to be eating the same thing that they would on a regular sandwich, but it looks a lot more fun than a regular sandwich. Take state fair logic: everything tastes better when it's on a stick.
3 Write A Little Message!
School can be hard sometimes, so it's nice to get little notes here and there with words of encouragement. Now that kids have phones, it may be easy to write a nice, "Have a good day!" text message, but there's something about opening up a lunch to find a note written inside that feels so nice. Another great way to cheer someone up is to make a face on their food. For some reasons, faces on things that shouldn't have one are quite enjoyable, and there are so many ways to do it.
2 Wrap It Up
For kids and adults alike, the wrapped sandwich is a great way to change up the sandwich game just a little bit. For some reason, changing the shape of a whole sandwich into many smaller rolled-up bites is more satisfying to eat.
It gives room to be a little more creative with the ingredients, since some things may work well in a wrap, but might fall right off in a regular sandwich – like small carrot sticks. Also, if you're trying to cut down on carbs, it's a lot easier to substitute bread for something else in a wrap than in a regular shaped sandwich.
1 Arrr, Mateys!
With a little bit of time and some small decorations, it's not too hard to turn a regular old lunch into a wild pirate adventure. The taste of the lunch may not be different than a plain looking lunch box, but it just kind of adds a little more fun into someone's day. Plus, with keeping with the pirate theme, it's a good excuse to reward them with a rare chocolate doubloon.