My daughter and I are having so much fun brainstorming lunch box ideas every week, and figuring out creative ways to make healthy lunch boxes for her to take to her part-time kindergarten program.
When packing a lunch box for your child, it is always important to consider the environment that your child will be eating in, as each environment provides its own unique challenges and advantages.
At school, Ella is surrounded by 27 other children aged 3-5 years old, sometimes with only one available adult to help all of those children. Sending easy-to-open lunch items is essential if she is actually going to be able to eat her lunch in the allotted amount of time, considering how many other children may possible need assistance opening containers.
Which brings me to our next challenge – short lunch times. Often, Ella will bring parts of her lunch home and when I ask if she didn’t like the food, she usually responds that she just didn’t have enough time. This is wrong to me on so many levels, but it is a challenge I have to work within on school days. I need to ensure that her lunch is packed with nutrient-rich foods and not too many treats, to prevent her from eating all of the treats first and running out of time!
The third challenge we face is a classroom peanut allergy, but I am happy to do my part to accommodate that, and I know of many schools with even more restrictive food choices.
Ella was thrilled to pick out some Bear Paws for her lunches this week, although I think that has more to do with sharing with friends than actually liking the cookies.
The individual apple sauce containers are also a lunch box staple for us, because the foil lid is extremely easy for her to open and it is considered a treat. (Especially when she gets a flavoured one!)
I attempted to carve a bear face into a Babybel cheese – another easy-open treat, and we’ve discovered that the red wax cover helps keep the cheese fresh all day, in case Ella doesn’t get a chance to eat it at lunch time. Sometimes we find that sliced cheese makes the rest of the food soft by the end of the day, or gets sweaty, so we prefer wrapped cheeses. I paired the Babybel with some gluten-free sweet potato crackers.
The bear sandwiches are made of several circles out of tortilla bread, with Wowbutter and raspberry jam. I drew a face with black food marker, added on candy eyes with a dab of frosting, and added the ears by skewering two blackberries with plastic food picks and placing them underneath the first sandwich. I added more berries at the bottom, because we all know how much bears love berries!
Ella has a water bottle at her desk, and I sent along a yogurt drink for some added protein. We refill the containers with kefir after their initial use.
Do you like sending themed lunch boxes to school with your child? Or even serving them at home for an easier mid-day meal?
Check out our other fun Lunch Box Ideas.