As a parent, I've come to realize that picky eating is practically a rite of passage for all little kids. 😅 I mean, I was so good at rejecting my poor mom's sandwiches (with brie and lettuce nonetheless!) that I turned into a stealthy trash-tosser before even hitting the classroom. Now, facing the challenge of packing lunchboxes for my own two mini experts in critique, I admit, it's still a touch daunting. One manic morning, I stood before vacant bento boxes and peered into my pantry like it was a culinary abyss, pondering, “What do my kids even eat?" 🤔
According to experts Marnie Hanel and Jen Stevenson (authors of several lovely cookbooks for kids), you don't need a meticulously organized lunchbox with a PhD in ingredient selection to win over tiny taste buds. 🍏🥪
It's all about speaking your kids favorite language: PLAY!
Here are five playful strategies to turn lunchtime into a delightful edible adventure:
🔻🧀 Make it about shapes: Harness your knife skills or utilize cookie cutters to craft a captivating medley of fruits and veggies that's not just nutritious but also visually enticing – after all, kids eat with their eyes. Ps. we are very self-aware we are biased on the shapes front.
👀🍇 Add personality: A sandwich with a cheerful smile made out of red peppers goes a long way, as any parent of a toddler will attest. For an even easier touch, consider edible googly eyes – which can add a touch of personality to hard-boiled eggs, rice cakes, cheese slices and all sorts of fruits and veggies. Trust us, even baby carrots will be greeted with enthusiasm.
🌈🥦 Rainbow Delight: Regardless of whether you are the person who organizes their books by rainbow hues or not (no judgment!), this simple technique actually does work like a charm on little kids since it not only makes your food visually appealing but dare I say sparks creative pantry ideas. Whether it's a "Green Day" or “Red Day” lunchbox day, it’s a win-win.
✏️🐝 Bee You!!: Doodle a charming drawing or leave a playful pun-filled note for your kids. This small gesture yields substantial returns, effortlessly adding a thoughtful touch to your child's lunch.