The kids are going back to school and you have so much on your mind in terms of getting them ready – clothes, books and supplies. And, you almost forgot, you are faced with another year of packing lunches! Not only do we have excellent resources like our post on Simple & Healthy School Lunch Ideas but this post is dedicated to making those kid lunches fun. Not crafty or creative? Don’t worry! We have done all the work and it is easy to turn boring school lunches into masterpieces!
1. Cookie Cutter Sandwiches
Those cookie cutters shouldn’t get dust in the closet waiting to be picked up to make holiday cookies! Put them to use to create cute sandwich shapes. This is also a great way to get your child’s least favorite part of the sandwich out of the way – the crust! This idea requires no extra work on your part. Just make the sandwich and use the cookie cutter to create a cute design. Don’t have cookie cutters handy? Use different sizes of cups or bowls to make some circles for your child to have finger sandwiches.
Looking for some tools to help you make your child’s lunches as creative as possible? Tovolo is the maker of some adorable sandwich cutters that turn your boring PB & J into something special!
With designs like planes, trains, bees and a lady bug, you are sure to find something that is perfect for your child’s interest!
The wonderful thing about these shape cutters is they don’t waste any sandwich! Traditional cutters will leave a lot of “leftovers” that don’t fit into the design, but these use all of the bread so you have very little waste. They are BPA-free, dishwasher safe, and come in a convenient case to keep clean in-between uses.
Have a child that despises crust?? We all do. Help make all that crust cutting easier by using one of these adorable sandwich cutters from Epicurean. Shaped like a whale or a bird, they turn this annoying chore into something a bit more fun.
Ergonomically designed, they are easy to use. They are dishwasher safe, heat resistant up to 350 degrees and made of nonporous wood. The beveled edges cut through sandwiches or toast with ease, but also can be used for play dough, which your kids would love!
2. Sandwich Faces
You will only need the ingredients that you are using within your sandwich or sides (fruit, vegetables) to create a sandwich face. Or, you can make a sandwich that they love and add accents to the top of it. Either way, they are cute and delicious! We have included some photos and recipes to illustrate some easy ways of using food to create the faces. Remember, fill the sandwich with whatever you choose and then decorate with the fun ideas below!
- several spinach leaves
- one cherry tomato
- 2 black olive slices
- a small piece of turkey pepperoni (or you can also substitute a red pepper slice for the mouth)
This is a very simple but cute design. You will open the bagel and place the spinach leaves so they hang out of the bagel like hair. Put the bagel half back on the sandwich and place the olive slices as the eyes and the cherry tomato in the hole of the bagel. Then you will make a slice at the bottom of the bagel half so it creates a mouth. Push the piece of turkey pepperoni inside this slit until it feels secure. It looks like the sandwich is sticking its tongue out at you!
I Hear You!
- 2 pieces of bread
- slice of cheese
- 2 small pretzels
- a cherry (we used a cherry tomato in ours!)
- a piece of celery
- 2 olive slices
This is a kooky sandwich with ears! It makes this sandwich look over-the-top silly! You will take the piece of cheese and cut it in strips to put on the inside of the sandwich for hair. Once this is done, you will use the olives for eyes, the cherry half for a nose, the piece of celery for the mouth and the pretzels for the ears.
- 2 pieces of bread
- a green grape cut in half
- piece of cheese
It is a little early, but this would be a perfect sandwich for Halloween. It mimics a monster and your child will scream with delight! This is a very simple design. You will cut the sandwich in half horizontally. Once that is done, you will want to take a piece of cheese and cut this in half, then make a zig-zag cut in the center. Place these pieces of cheese on the horizontal cuts of the sandwich. Cut a green grape in half for the eyes. You have a scary monster!
3. Fruit Skewers
Okay, so skewers or toothpicks at school are probably a no-no, but make fruit “skewers” with small Popsicle sticks instead. You can either thread the plain fruit on them or cut them into shapes beforehand (like the heart strawberry). Use all of their favorite fruits to have color or add in some cheese on the stick as well.
4. Muffin Wrappers
Your local grocery or craft store will carry fun and colorful muffin wrappers to use to make cupcakes and muffins but you can use them to make a lunch box colorful as well! If you are using Tupperware or Bento-type lunch box, put them in as separators for the different food groups on your child’s lunch. You can also go with seasonal and holiday prints during those special times of year!
5. A Loving Note
Nothing will make your child feel more special than a note from his Mom or Dad. Take time the night before and jot down a little hello or tell your child what made you proud of them that day. You can even wish them luck on the quiz or test they have coming up! It will put a smile on their face to know that you are always thinking of them, even when you are not there.
Now that you have all the “ingredients” for a fun lunch box, go ahead and have a great time creating them! Your son or daughter will be so surprised when they open up their lunch box and see what special items you have waiting for them. We would love to know how they turn out!