Coming up with something new and different to put in your kids’ lunches day after day is sometimes hard. If your kids are picky eaters it’s especially difficult to get them to try new things. The trick is to take the things that you know they like and mix them up and serve them in a new and fun way. You might want to try some of these ideas in their lunch boxes.
- Sandwich balls or cupcakes– You will need bread, peanut butter, soufflé cups, a knife, fruit roll up (optional) and some plastic wrap. White bread works best for this recipe. Cut the crusts off of the bread. Place a spoonful of peanut butter (Nutella or cream cheese works too) in the center of the slice of bread. Place the bread on the piece of plastic wrap. Pull up the corners of the plastic wrap and use the wrap to tuck in the corners of the bread. Press and twist the corners of the bread so that it stays kind of in a ball shape. You are not smashing the bread into a dough ball. You are just tucking in the corners to make it rounded. Flip the ball over and pop it into a soufflé cup and it looks a little like a mini cupcake. Cut little shapes out of the fruit roll-up to put on top of the sandwich ball if you’d like. These sandwich balls work well as snacks at play dates or finger foods at a birthday party.
- Mini pizzas– You will need mini bagel bites, mini pepperonis, shredded mozzarella cheese, and pizza sauce. Split the bagel bite in half. Add a teaspoon full of pizza sauce, a few mini pepperonis and some cheese shreds. Wrap each mini pizza in plastic wrap to pack in the lunch. Send 2 to 4 mini pizzas depending on your child’s appetite.
- Apple stackers– Remove the core from an apple. Cut the apple into 5 slices. Set the top and the bottom of the apple aside for snacking and use the 3 middles slices for the stacker. Spread the first apple slice with peanut butter or sun butter and then stack on the second slice. Add more peanut butter and top it with the third slice of apple. Push a couple of long toothpicks through the stack to hold it in place. The toothpicks with the fringe on the top work well for these stackers. Wrap the stacker tightly in plastic wrap and include it in the lunch box with a cold pack.
- Pancake sandwiches– Make up a batch of silver dollar sized pancakes using your favorite healthy pancake recipe or try the one here. Layer thinly sliced ham and Swiss cheese between two pancakes to make a sandwich. Your kids might like to have 2 to 3 of these pancake sandwiches in their lunch. Wrap them individually in plastic wrap or put them in a resealable container to send them to lunch. If your kids like sweet stuff you could send a small container of sugar-free jelly for the kids to dip their sandwiches in.
- Mini macs– Most kids love mac and cheese, but how to you pack that in a lunch? You make mini macs! Mix up a batch of your favorite mac and cheese, but leave the macaroni on the al dente side because you will be baking these. Spoon the prepared mac and cheese into greased mini muffin cups and sprinkle them with bread crumbs or a little more cheese and bake them for 10 minutes. Let them stand in the muffin cups for at least 5 minutes. Carefully remove the mini macs from the muffin tin and put them in a resealable container to refrigerate them. Place 1 to 2 mini macs into a resealable container to send along in the lunch box. These should be eaten at room temperature.