Make Lunchtime Fun With These 12 Tips

After waking up extra early to prep and pack a nutritious and tasty lunch for your kids every day, there is nothing more disheartening than to learn they've traded it away for a second dessert, or even worse, thrown it out. With these 12 lunch hacks, you can ensure your kid has a lunch they'll actually eat when you aren't around!

1. Skinny Pizza Wrap: The traditional ham and cheese sandwich can get pretty dull day after day, so surprise your kids with a new entree! This Skinny Pizza Wrap is tasty, healthy and perfect for packing. You'll probably want to make one for yourself while you're at it. Get the full recipe here.

skinny pizza wrap

2. Use cookie cutters. Stamp slices of fruit, bites of sandwiches and anything else you can think of! A fun-shaped food has a better chance of being eaten! Plus, small hands will have an easier time grabbing it! Try something like this puzzle piece sandwich cutter.

puzzle sandwich
(Photo: Uncommon Goods)

3. PB&J Sushi: Another fun way to serve up your sandwich is with sushi rolls! It's easy to make and simple to pack. Your kids will have more fun eating these rolls than they will bartering them away. Click here to be taken to the recipe.

4. Let the kids help. If you enlist the kids in the lunch-packing duty, there's a good chance they'll be more excited about what's inside! Have them build the sandwich they want and you can take care of the crusts.

pack lunch
(Photo: She Knows)

>> Send your kids to the lunch room in style. They'll love these lunch boxes!

5. Ditch the traditional. You probably don't want to eat a simple sandwich everyday. Change it up! Try sending them with some tasty vegetarian chili or leftover 3-cheese penne in a thermos. It's much more interesting than plain peanut butter and there's a good change they'll want to eat it!

skinny vegetarian mexican chili

6. Optimize your breakfast leftovers. Don't toss out the extra pancakes! Pack them up and send them off to school with your kids! They'll love eating a mid-day pancake, just don't forget a small side of syrup and some fruit to go along with it. These Cinnamon Toast Pancakes would be perfect!

Cinnamon Toast Pancakes

7. Skewer it. Make lunch on a stick! You can do this with fruit, bites of sandwich and more! You can check out these ideas from Skinnytaste, or throw together whatever you've got in the fridge.

ham and cheese popsicles
(Photo: Skinny Taste)

8. Mini Banana Bread Muffins: Pack a baggie of mini muffins! They'll see a treat and you can feel good about sending them off with a healthy but filling snack! Plus, you can top the muffins with anything you want, tailoring it to what you know your child will eat, whether that means raisins, almonds or chocolate! You can get the recipe here.

mini banana bread muffins

9. Chicken Quesadillas: A simple chicken and cheese quesadilla is a great sandwich alternative! It will taste just fine cold and you can even send along some homemade 5-Minute guacamole! You can even make these Chicken Fajita Quesadillas for dinner and send leftovers the next day.

Fajita Quesadilla

10. Make it dip-able. Send them a large serving of peanut butter or hummus and make every aspect of their lunch that day dip-able! Everything tastes better when it's smothered!

peanut butter lunch
(Photo: The Pantry Project)

>> Back to school means back to germs. Get your kids excited about washing their hands!


11. Pasta Salad: Pasta salads are great for packing because they don't require heating up. Make enough for the whole family to pack and dish it up into reusable containers! We recommend our Skinny Pasta Salad recipe because it's got the traditional pasta salad taste with way less calories!

skinny pasta salad

12. Create your own Lunchable®: Lunchables® are more valuable than currency at the lunch table. Be the cool mom and pack your kid a DIY lunch. Think cracker sandwiches of ham and cheese, mini pizza crusts with sauce and cheese, or tortillas with lunch meat and veggies so they can make their own wrap! Check out more ideas from Easy Lunch Boxes.

(Photo: Crazy? Maybe!)