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5 Creative school lunches

Kori Ellis is an editor and writer based in San Antonio, TX, where she lives with her husband and four children. At SheKnows, she writes about parenting, fashion, beauty and other lifestyle topics. Additionally, Kori has been published i...

Make lunch fun

When packing your child's lunch, it doesn't have to be the same boring thing day after day. Everyone gets tired of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, potato chips and a juice box. Get creative with your child's school lunches -- your kids will be more likely to eat them.

1

Shape up

Young kids are more likely to eat something when it's in a different shape. When packing your child's lunch, cut the sandwich bread into fun shapes with large cookie cutters. You can also give them melon balls, instead of an apple, or cucumber squares instead of slices. Use your imagination to present foods in out-of-the-ordinary ways and shapes.

2Mystery meals

Wrap each item in your child's lunch box or bag in aluminum foil so they can't see what's inside. Leave a Post-It note on each item with a hint about what's inside the wrapper. Have your child guess each item before opening the foil. When they come home after school, you can ask them what all the foods had in common. For example, you can pack items that all begin with the letter "A," all come from a foreign country, etc. to make things interesting.

3Build a mini-sub

A hot dog bun can become a mini submarine sandwich with the right toppings. Stack on your child's favorite lean deli meats, along with plenty of veggies. Add a slice of cheese and then slip packages of condiments into their lunch bag to add to their "sub" right before eating.

4Make your own pizza

Kids love pizza. When making your child's lunch, include bagel halves or toasted English muffins to create the mini pizza "crusts." Pack tomato sauce, shredded cheese, strips of chicken, olives, onions and other veggies in individual plastic containers. Your kids will love assembling and eating their own mini pizzas during their lunch hour.

5The little dipper

Children love to play with their food. Encourage them to dip veggies, whole grain crackers and pita wedges into dips that you can pack into little containers. Hummus is perfect for dipping. You can also make a yummy dip with equal parts peanut butter and cream cheese. It might sound disgusting, but it's actually delicious -- and ideal for dipping crackers or celery. This dip recipe below is also a favorite among kids.

Cheese and apple dip

Chunky Cheese and Apple Dip

Get creative with your dip ideas. This chunky dip is fabulous for dipping anything from raw veggies to pretzels. Kids of all ages love this slightly sweet, cheesy dip.

Check out this Chunky cheese and apple dip recipe >>

Be creative when it comes to sandwiches. Cream cheese and raisins on pumpernickel bread or peanut butter spread between two rice cakes are far more interesting lunch options for kids than a ham and cheese sandwich on plain white bread.

More lunch ideas for kids

Create a weekly school lunch menu
Healthy brown bag lunches
Cheap, healthy lunches for kids

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