If you have ever spent more time than you have had to spare preparing lunch for a little one, you would have almost certainly felt the deflation of opening the lunchbox at the end of day, to see one bite taken at most and some items untouched entirely. We have been there my friends and there is a cure – well, there are a few tricks you can try to hopefully entice a few more bites!
First off is to invest in some quality hardware. You might think, I could just buy a $2 lunchbox at the local shop, what’s the difference. I say to you – if there was a chance that your kids might leave less food for you to find at the end of the day, would that be reason enough to give it a try? The reason ‘those’ lunchboxes you see online are usually around $40 is because most of them are BPA, PVC and Phthalate-free, which is always a plus to have your food packed in non-toxic materials. They are also very durable and can last a year or beyond if looked after well. So yes, they are worth the investment if you are able to go there. Also count the cost of any wasted food and see if the maths makes sense.
The main reason to go with a compartmental-style box is because kids tend to respond well to seeing the food naturally grouped into sections, that way they feel they are in charge of how they eat – tapas style! It also allows for a little bit more creativity – it doesn’t always have to be sandwiches and string cheese. You could try fruit kebabs, tiny sushi rolls, there can still be cheese, but try using a shape cutter to create some festiveness. Kids love shapes!
So that it doesn’t get out of hand, perhaps have some staples you buy each week, but create different ways of serving them in the sections. What can also be helpful is to allocate sections for different food groups. You could always put fruit additions into the back corner and always put veggie creations in the front
sections to create some routine around packing the box.
Disclaimer – there is absolutely no guarantee that shapes or serving food in sections will encourage your kids to eat more, but providing an experience with a little jazz could possibly bring you closer to the vision of 2 bites
when you open that lunchbox at the end of the day :) Just by reading this, you're one step closer to insta-worthy lunch creations!
This blog was written by Ajay Goodchild, a mother of two and lover of creative & healthy food!