You can surprise and delight them daily (or any day they may need an extra boost) with just a little bit of planning and preparation. Tucking love notes, cute family photos, or hints about weekend adventures into their lunch box can help them feel special and connected to you, even when you’re apart.
For more ideas from lunch-packing parents and grandparents, we asked around the Garnet Hill offices. Here are some of their favorite suggestions:
• Use small cookie cutters to turn his sandwich into a puzzle — spell out his name, write I LOVE YOU, or send XOXOs. Leave the pieces together so he can have fun taking them apart (bonus: the scraps will get gobbled up too — and not be left behind on the cutting board).
• Make kebabs! Use pretzel sticks to stack sandwich pieces like cheese and meat. Or include the supplies and let her assemble them herself.
• Get creative with leftovers — meatloaf makes a great train! (Add carrots for wheels and mashed potatoes for smoke coming out of the stack.)
• Packing themed lunches for the holidays makes her feel special, and I love being able to be a part of her day even when we’re at school and work.
• For Valentine’s Day make her sandwich and apples into heart shapes and dye the apples with food coloring.
• On her birthday wrap each piece of her lunch as a present so she can open presents all day
• Tuck a joke or riddle into his lunchbox — he can discuss it with his friends during lunch, and it’ll be a fun dinner table conversation later that evening.
• Let her DIY. Include the ingredients for mini pizzas, bagels with assorted spreads and toppings, or veggie-filled tacos, and she can have fun putting it all together.
• If you have an adventurous eater, create meals themed around different regions of the country or parts of the world. Include a note with fun facts and let him guess the where the foods are from.
• Include a colorful cloth napkin with a funny napkin ring. It’s a great place to recycle old table settings and it’s good for the environment. Decorate one for each day of the week.
• Arrange food in funny faces — it’s always nice when your lunch smiles back at you.
• Stickers add a bit of welcome excitement (be sure to include extras for friends at the table).
How do you make school lunches fun? We’d love to hear your ideas below — and see your photos on Facebook!
Check out our Back-to-School Board on Pinterest to find more inspiration for a colorful year ahead.