3. Make the food appealing
While your chicken sandwich on whole wheat bread and hummus may taste delicious, it may lack visual appeal and texture. People, especially picky kids, may not even try a food if it does not look good. If you wrap the sandwich in cling wrap, any dressings can splatter and the sandwich can be smashed. To keep your sandwich and other fragile lunch items intact, pack it in a small plastic container. Pack sauces, peanut butter, yogurt, or anything else messy in its own container. These steps will keep your packed lunch looking clean and appetizing.
The other aspect that the chicken and hummus sandwich lacks is color. White bread, white chicken, and light brown hummus makes for a drab sandwich with no color. Add a leaf of romaine lettuce for a splash of green, some slices of tomato for a dash of red, a few thin slices of avocado for an addition of olive-green color. Not only do vegetables add beautiful color, but they add different textures. The lettuce adds crunch, the tomato slices add juiciness, and the avocado adds softness.
4. Change it up
Kids will get bored of opening their lunch box to the same meal every day. Even simple changes, such as using a different sauce or using a tortilla instead of bread, will keep your child interested in your packed lunches. Even if your ingredients list is not long, switch up the way you serve them. For example, one day you may pack a string cheese, while another day, you may pack a small container with assorted cheeses cut in cubes. Include a baggy with different colored toothpicks to pick them up with.
5. Include treats and sweets
While your main goal as a parent may be to pack your child’s lunch with as much nutrition as possible, your child should not be deprived of all things sweet or fried. Completely eliminating unhealthy foods may make your child crave them even more. However, serving Debbie snack cakes and candy bars is not required. Here are some ways to make healthy, nutritious foods seem like treats:
- Include m&m’s or hunks of chocolate in a trail mix
- Dip fruit or nuts into melted chocolate and put in the fridge to harden
- Include chocolate chips, cookie crumbles, or candies to stir into yogurt
- Include home made fried or baked French fries or chicken nuggets
- Include gummy snacks made with 100% fruit juice