Lunchbox Notes and Food Ideas Your Kids Will Love
Lunchtime can be one of the best times of your child’s day. Not only do they get to open up a bag or box filled with food, but they also get a little piece of home.
You’re likely tired of sending the same old peanut butter and jelly sandwich with packaged snacks. It’s equally likely that your kids are tired of eating them. Make lunchtime extra special with some of the fun notes and food ideas below.
Write an Ongoing Story
Lunchtime is a special time to connect with your child even when you aren’t physically with them. Instead of the usual sticky note with a smiley face you might normally put into your kid's lunchbox, try to come up with an ongoing story.
Holiday Themed Food
The holidays are a great time to add a little sparkle to your child’s lunch. You can make sandwiches in the shape of snowmen over winter or heart-shaped pizzas for Valentine’s Day. You can make mummy-wrapped hot dogs for Halloween dye their milk green for St. Patrick’s Day.
Give lunch a little twist with pizza roll-ups. This is a fun take on pizza that offers a little something different than cold leftovers. To make pizza roll-ups, you can also use a variety of toppings and ingredients. You can even sneak in a vegetable.
Personal notes are a fun way to share a special moment with your child while you are apart. These notes are something your child will look forward to and remember forever. While you don’t need to spend hours crafting them, just a few minutes on a piece of paper will go a long way.
Breakfast for Lunch
Who doesn’t love breakfast at unexpected times? Kids, in general, seem to always finish their breakfast foods yet can never manage to eat all of their carrots. If you have a picky eater who thrives at breakfast, this approach can be a great way to get them to eat more as well.
Tell a Joke
Kids love to laugh, whether it’s at TV shows, silly faces or just plain goofiness. Give your kid some extra smiles at lunchtime with a little joke inside their lunchbox. A quick search online can yield a month’s worth of jokes.
PB&J Banana Dog
For a fun take on a hot dog, try a peanut butter and jelly banana dog. This whimsical childhood favorite takes the classic peanut butter and jelly and combines it with a favorite kid’s dinner food. If your little one loves bananas, peanut butter and jelly, this is sure to be a fan favorite.
Bento boxes make even an average lunch feel a little elevated. A bento box has different compartments of varying sizes to keep all of your child’s lunch items separate. If you have a kid that would rather snack than eat a meal, a this Japanese-inspired approach might just do the trick.
Stickers can make any lunch feel special. Your kid won’t expect a fun roll of stickers in their lunch bag with their sandwich, and they can use them right there at lunch or save them for later in the day.
Add Some Color
If you really want to surprise your little one, give them something fun and colorful to do at lunch. A rolled-up from a coloring book or mini coloring pad with smaller pages and some crayons are all you need.
Ants on a Log
You probably remember ants on a log from when you were a kid. This classic kid snack is an oldie but a goodie. To make this treat, you cut a piece of celery sideways like a log. Scoop some peanut butter into the inside and line up a few raisins like they’re ants.
Many kids love milk in all its forms. Classic white milk is not only delicious, but also a great source of vitamin D and minerals. Even if your child can’t have dairy, there are plenty of non-dairy milk to choose from such as oat milk, soy milk or almond milk that can work for this treat.
Make Your Own Parfait
Meals that encourage kids to make something for themselves are always fun. Your little one will enjoy being their own chef. A parfait is an easy meal to make using a couple of containers and a cooler for the fruit and yogurt.
If your kid loves pizza but you want them to eat something healthy, make a fruit pizza for lunch. Fruit pizza can be cut into triangles like a pizza and served with a variety of different fruits on top. Add an ice pack to their lunch bag to keep the pizza cool and you’re all set.
Make a Drawing
If you want to do something besides a note, consider giving your kid a fun drawing instead. A drawing is a cute way of conveying a little message to your kid while you are apart, and it makes for a sweet connection between the two of you. Unlike notes, a drawing also works for children who haven’t started reading yet.
If you have an older child or a kid who enjoys puzzles and riddles, step up your note game with something to put together or solve. A riddle is a fun way to give your puzzle lover a little mid-day surprise.
Write a Poem
If you like to play with words or are just good at searching online, you can add some sweet poetry to your child’s lunchbox. A poem can be as simple as two lines that rhyme or something longer.
Pizza is always a crowd-pleaser. Kids love pizza and it is an easy way to give kids the delicious dinner they love during a stressful school day. You can make mini pizzas using small pizza crusts, bagels or English muffins. Add some vegetables to the top for a healthy (or healthier) bonus.
Food on a Stick
There is something about a stick that makes food taste better. If you have an older child who won’t harm themselves with a stick, this is a fun way to serve even regular lunch items. You can use a stick to serve their main course, a snack or even a dessert.
Cookie Cutter Sandwiches
To add some whimsy to your sandwiches, use a cookie cutter with different shapes. Your kid probably doesn’t like the crust anyway, so make it easier on yourself and add in a nice little surprise. The nice thing is you can do this with almost any type of sandwich.
Energy bites make for a great kid’s lunch. These protein-packed little gems are full of healthy foods that not only taste great but are also secretly nutritious. One of the best things about making energy bites is that you can throw them in lunches as well.
Add a Dip
Kids usually like to dip their food. Even as adults, adding a dip to a meal can make it taste that much better. If you want to spice up your child’s lunch, consider adding a dipping sauce to their favorite meal.
Quesadillas are a great lunchbox surprise. For something zesty and savory, add cheese to your favorite tortilla and serve it with a side of salsa in your child’s lunchbox. Add some tomatoes, avocado, black beans, chips, rice or corn.
Use a Thermos
A thermos is one of those nostalgic lunchbox items that not everyone uses today. If you want to surprise your kid, get a thermos featuring a character they love. These thermoses are great for keeping cold and hot food at exactly the right temperature.
Undercover Healthy Muffins
Muffins are a quick snack to throw into your child’s lunchbox. Muffins can almost look like cupcakes but undercover muffins will always contain a fruit or vegetable of your choice for some secret nutrition. The best part about making muffins is that you’ll have anywhere from 12 to 36 bakes at once.
A smoothie is a great way to pack a little nutrition into your child’s lunch. Your kids will enjoy a cold, sweet treat, and you’ll be happy knowing you snuck in some vegetables, too. You can keep a smoothie cold using an insulated metal cup, thermos or an ice pack.
Think of a McDonald's happy meal when you brainstorm ideas for this tip. A surprise toy is like a homemade happy meal that your little one can look forward to at lunchtime. A small toy is a fun way to make your child smile.
Meat and Cheese Platter
Kids love little snacks. If you’re having a hard time getting your child to eat full meals, try to make food look a little more like a snack at lunchtime. A meat and cheese array with fruit and some veggies is like a lunch disguised as an appetizer.
Mini Chicken and Waffles
Making anything miniature instantly makes a lunch cuter. You can quickly make mini waffles using pre-made batter if you have the right size waffle maker. You can also buy mini waffles frozen from the store for an easier way to prepare this meal.
Taco Tuesday is a fun theme that your child will look forward to each and every week. Every Tuesday, pack some variation of a taco in their lunchbox. You can serve everything separately and have them assemble their meal at school or pre-make it and wrap the taco(s) in tin foil to keep them warm.