There is a good reason why so many articles, Facebook groups and Pinterest boards are dedicated to kids’ lunchboxes – when they return home full of untouched goodies, it’s enough to frustrate even the most Zen parent. Yep, every day those lunchboxes are filled with not only food but our fervent hopes that one day they will return empty. While my kids have very definite ideas about what will take up temporary residence in their tummies, I’ve found that these simple things have edged me closer to the holy grail that is the empty lunchbox.
1. Turn your kids into cooks.
If you have time to prepare lunchboxes before the morning of kinder or school, try and get your kids involved in making the contents. Whether it’s rolling bliss balls in coconut, baking savoury muffins or stirring pikelet batter, giving your kids a role in preparing the food often makes them more likely to eat it (and will hopefully help them develop an appreciation of the effort it takes).
2. Cut things into shapes.
It is widely acknowledged by young ones that food actually tastes better when it’s in the shape of a circle, star or flower. Invest in some cookie cutters of various shapes and sizes and cut fruit, cheese or sandwiches into shapes. ‘Mickey Mouse melon’ and ‘star cheese’ are super popular lunchbox additions at our place where I frequently scoff the offcuts.