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Getting Ready for the Lunch Bunch

Bento boxes are a great way to pack a variety of fresh food.

Looking for a fun way to send the little ones back to school? Drop the PBJ and chips and send your children back to school with a wider variety of lunches.


There are more options than that little carton of milk from the cafeteria. Yoghurt manufacturers have gone to great lengths to make their product more child friendly. Squeezable cups and tubes of fruit flavored product. Try freezing yoghurt tubes and placing them in the lunchbox before school. They are designed to thaw by lunch. Make sliced cheese more fun by cutting out fun shapes with cookie cutters before packing the slice in the lunch box.


An apple a day may keep the doctor away, but there are more options than apple slices for today’s picky eaters. Try freezing chunks of watermelon and packing them in a small reusable container. Blackberries, black grapes or blueberries offer higher antioxidant nutrients and pack well in small, reusable containers.


If you are looking for a fun way to serve your child more vegetables, try packing them in a small Bento Box. Fill the smaller containers of the box with a variety of fresh vegetables such as mini carrots, sugar snap peas and fresh broccoli “trees.” Fill one of the bento containers with a low fat dipping sauce.


There are more to sandwiches than just bologna and peanut butter and jelly. Try stuffing a pita pocket with shredded chicken and a tablespoon of barbecue sauce for a quick chicken BBQ sandwich. Put pepperoni and cream cheese on a thin bagel for a spicy alternative to a sub sandwich. Cut ham and cheese into small squares and pack with crackers. Your child can build her own cracker sandwich.

Green Alternative

Pack your child’s lunch in small plastic reusable containers. There are more on the market now than ever before and they come in a wide variety of sizes and shapes. While you get your child used to bringing the containers home and placing them in the sink for washing, use inexpensive reusable containers. Once you have gotten your child in the habit you can move up to the more expensive dishes.

About the author: Shellie Braeuner is an award-winning children’s book author and parenting expert. Her most recent publication, The Great Dog Wash (a rhyming picture book about dogs), won the first Cheerios Spoonfuls of Stories New Author contest and was published by Simon and Schuster in 2009. Learn more about Shellie on her website.

{ 1 comment… add one }
  • Lena July 5, 2013, 2:01 am

    I used to walk – a lot – with my son! Every morning, before we left, I’d always prepare a packed lunch to keep us going for the day. I used hermetic food containers (eg Tupperware) as they don’t leak.
    That way, I could take along things like cheesy pasta, chicken and veg patties, buckwheat porridge and loads more!
    We managed to have a healthy lunch no matter where we were.

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