Through the years, friends and clients have asked me to help them with their inevitable lunchbox ruts.
The fact of the matter is kids get tired of eating the same stuff for lunch, and as a consequence, they eat less causing their energy levels to hit the floor throughout the day.
Definitely not a win for us or them.
I have found that most kids get excited about a variety of colors, textures, and flavors in their lunchboxes.
All three of the lunchbox options listed here can be made 2-3 days ahead of time, just make sure to put a portion cup top on anything crunchy (to prevent sogginess) and gooey (to prevent spillage). These small but filling boxes are also great for adults, so make an extra one for yourself and get ready to be your family’s lunchbox hero!
I love Trader Joe’s for their selection of fun lunchbox foods, all the foods listed here were bought at TJ’s. However, if you do not have Trader Joe’s near, you can find comparable items at most supermarkets.
It is important to set yourself up before you start. Buy all the food you need for a week’s worth of lunches, as well as all the containers you will need. I love the reusable (and won’t make you cry if your kids lose them) Glad 25 oz. square containers (they come in a pack of 5). Also, to keep the foods separated and fresh, buy 2 oz. portion cup containers. All the containers are available at major grocers.
Box 1: The European
TJ’s Spanish cheese sampler: Iberico, Cabra Al Vino, Manchego (my kid’s fave)
TJ’s Gourmet Deli Selection of Calabrese Salami, Del Duca Prosciutto and Capocollo
TJ’s The Original Mortadella (with pistachio nuts)
TJ’s Citterio Permium Italian Style Salame Sticks
TJ’s Champagne grapes (super tiny and crazy sweet)
TJ’s 12 Grain mini snack crackers
TJ’s mini 70% Dark Chocolate Bars
Box 2: The Vegetarian
TJ’s Edamame Hummus (love it for its mellowness)
TJ’s Woven Wheats Wafer Crackers
TJ’s Carmel Popcorn
TJ’s Spinach Tortellini
Box 3: The Asian
(also vegetarian but you can substitute with any meat dumplings)
TJ’s Thai Vegetable Gyoza
TJ’s Lightly Salted Edamame (frozen)
TJ’s Freeze Dried Mango (unsweetened and unsulfured)
TJ’s Seed and Bean Medley (pumpkin seeds, corn, chickpeas, Fava beans, edamame and dried peas)
These are so easy to eat, simply take off the lid and - yum! No packaging to rip, no bags to unzip. Share your own variations of this with us and let's turn the lunchbox rut into a lunchbox rave!
I believe cooking and eating should not be a source of anxiety in your life. It is the simplest of pleasures and should, at its core, remain simple.