This post is sponsored by Sun-Maid, but all opinions are my own.
It’s a new world we are living now and we’re all adapting the best way we possibly can. When it comes to school, so much is up in the air right now, but one thing is not uncertain though, childhood is always in session and our kids are going to need lunch! Well, if your kid is anything like mine, they will need breakfast, a snack, a second snack, lunch, a third snack… you get the idea!
My 3-year-old boy would start preschool this year, but it was postponed for 2021 so he will be homeschooled for now. And even though we will be mostly home, I want to keep a schedule and follow a routine, just like he would have if he was going to school.
One of the things I have in mind, is to make lunchtime planning easy and fun. I know it can become a little boring at times, so planning ahead for what you are doing each day of the week can be one of the keys to success. Being organized and creative can make this task more interesting for parents to put together something that the kids will actually eat.
Before you go grocery shopping for the week, brainstorm some lunch ideas. The key to not feeling overwhelmed during back-to-school is to plan ahead as much as you can. Begin with the foods your kid already loves and use them as your base. Then get creative and have some fun!
Here are some tips to keep your lunchbox making fun, easy and filled with love – because remember childhood is always in session:
Buy a chalkboard or bulletin board.
You can display it in the kitchen with the week’s lunchbox menu, use it to brainstorm meals or to keep a list of items you need or cross off items as you start to run out.
Try shopping for the week by category.
For example, make sure you have on your list all the essentials like protein, dairy, fruits, veggies and grains this way you can make sure your kid is getting a well-balanced lunch every day of the week.
Always include fun “treats”.
Sun-Maid Yogurt Covered Raisins have been a favorite of ours. These Yogurt Covered Raisins are a twist on Sun-Maid’s classic California Sun-Dried Raisins which is perfect for snacks and tastes so good. I always have them handy for lunches or whatever other occasion where we need a portable and better for you snack. In fact, Sun-Maid raisins have been a household staple for as long as I can remember. My mom used to put those red little boxes of raisins in my lunchbox when I was a little girl! My boy loves the Sun-Maid Strawberry & Vanilla Yogurt Covered Raisins. He always asks for a sweet treat after lunch and I feel confident providing these since they are nutritious and made with whole fruit. I like to add different flavors of Yogurt Covered Raisins to my shopping list so that I have a variety to choose from when putting together his lunchbox. Sun-Maid Yogurt Covered Raisins are available in chocolate peanut butter and PB&J varieties, in addition to chocolate, vanilla and strawberry vanilla.
Get your child involved.
The more you encourage them to be involved the more they are likely to eat what you packed. Have a few things they can help put into their lunches when you’re packing them. I like to use plastic cookie cutters and let him cut the cheese for example. I also let him decorate his sandwich using Sun-Maid Yogurt Covered Raisins.
Pick a fun theme.
Sometimes it’s fun to pick a theme for lunch, but lets be honest though, it can be hard to come up with new ideas every time. Pinterest can always be a great source for finding inspirations. I look for easy and simple to make and I stick to once a week themed lunchbox. Little kids tend to get very excited when they see something fun to eat. Cookie cutters, animal faces, and treats like Yogurt Covered Raisins will do the trick.
I thought it would be fun to share one of our themed lunchbox idea for you to use as an inspiration to kick off the school year. Remember, no matter what back to school looks like this year, childhood is always in session!
The themed day lunchbox is definitely a hit!
I picked the theme: shapes and faces and tried to work on some fun and easy to make ideas.
Here we used Sun-Maid Yogurt Covered Raisins to make the face of the peanut butter and jelly whole wheat sandwich teddy bear.
Get a Bento Lunchbox
Children love to have “lunch at home” when it is served in a lunchbox rather than a typical plate. Unpacking and choosing what to eat first is a delight and having it packed in a lunchbox that is easily accessible gives the child some autonomy over their hunger needs. The Bento lunchbox allow you to pack a healthy, perfectly portioned, exciting and wholesome meals. The secret is to have lots of color, food they love, and a fun surprise.
Here I included some veggies ( carrots in a heart shape), proteína ( cute little boilled egg face), crackers and cheddar cheese in teddy bear format ( we used cookie cutters) and some delicious Yogurt Covered Raisins in various flavors.
Take it outside.
Once a week, make lunch even more special by taking your kid to eat in your backyard or on your front porch. I let his little brother join him!
Back to school may look a little different for many of us this year. It may not be typical, but we have to try and make it a special time for our children. What’s your favorite way to pack your kid’s lunch? Tell me about all of your tips and tricks in the comments below!