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Solving the School Lunch Dilemma: Tips and Ideas for Picky Eaters! 🥪🥕


One of the most common challenges faced by parents is getting their picky eaters to eat healthy, balanced meals at school. With so many options available to kids these days, it can be difficult to know what to pack for lunch that will be both nutritious and appealing to your child. Get ready to solve the school lunch dilemma with our helpful tips and ideas for packing healthy and quick meals for picky eaters. Discover 30 easy and delicious lunch ideas to make mealtime fun and enjoyable for your child.

Solving the School Lunch Dilemma: Tips and Ideas for Picky Eaters!

Involve your child in the lunch-making process

One of the best ways to get your child excited about their lunch is to involve them in the process of making it. This can be as simple as letting them pick out their own lunchbox or allowing them to choose the items they want to pack. You can also ask them to help with the preparation, such as washing and cutting fruits and vegetables or spreading peanut butter on bread. By involving your child in the process, they will feel more invested in the meal and be more likely to eat it.

Make it fun

Another way to make lunch more appealing to picky eaters is to make it fun. This can be achieved by using fun-shaped cookie cutters to cut sandwiches and fruits into fun shapes, or by using food decorating tools to make the meal look more interesting.

Offer a variety of options

Picky eaters often have specific foods that they like and dislike, so it is important to offer a variety of options. This can be achieved by packing a mix of different fruits and vegetables, as well as a variety of proteins, such as turkey, chicken, or tofu. You can also pack different types of bread, such as whole wheat, rye or pita, to add some variety to the lunch.

Make the lunch visually appealing

When packing lunch for picky eaters, it's important to make the lunch visually appealing. One way to do this is to include a variety of colors in the lunch presentation. For example, you can include different colored fruits and vegetables, such as red tomatoes, orange carrots, and green lettuce. This not only makes the lunch more visually appealing, but it also ensures that the lunch is balanced and nutritious.

You can also use colorful containers or lunch boxes to make the lunch more attractive. It's also helpful to involve the picky eaters in the lunch-packing process, as they may be more likely to eat something that they have helped to prepare.

Pack a dip or sauce to add flavor

Many picky eaters can be hesitant to try new foods or may find certain foods to be bland. A dip or sauce can be a great way to add flavor and excitement to plain foods, such as carrots, celery, or crackers. For example, you can pack a container of ranch dressing for veggies, or a container of peanut butter for crackers. This not only makes the lunch more appealing, but it also encourages picky eaters to try new foods and expand their palate. You can also include a small container of their favorite sauce for dipping to make sure that they have something they enjoy.

Incorporate healthy snacks

In addition to a main course, it's also a good idea to pack some healthy snacks for your child to enjoy during the day. This can include things like fresh fruits, raw veggies, and hummus, yogurt, or cheese. These snacks will provide your child with additional nutrients and help keep them full throughout the day.

Keep it simple

Finally, it's important to keep it simple when it comes to packing lunch for picky eaters. Avoid complicated recipes and try to stick to simple, easy-to-eat foods that your child is already familiar with. This will make the meal less intimidating and more likely to be eaten.

Solving the School Lunch Dilemma: Tips and Ideas for Picky Eaters!


Also, see our list of 30 healthy and quick lunch ideas for picky eaters:

  1. Turkey and cheese roll-ups

  2. Ham and cheese pinwheels

  3. Peanut butter and jelly sandwich cut into fun shapes

  4. Chicken salad sandwich

  5. Tuna salad sandwich

  6. Grilled cheese sandwich

  7. Quesadilla with chicken and cheese

  8. Yogurt parfait with granola and fruit

  9. Hard-boiled eggs

  10. Cottage cheese with fruit

  11. Apple slices with peanut butter

  12. Baby carrots with ranch dip

  13. Cherry tomatoes with mozzarella cheese and basil

  14. Celery with cream cheese and raisins

  15. Cucumber and cream cheese roll-ups

  16. Peanut butter and banana sandwich

  17. Turkey and avocado wrap

  18. Greek yogurt with honey and berries

  19. Tofu and veggie stir-fry

  20. Baked sweet potato with butter and cinnamon

  21. Quinoa salad with veggies and feta cheese

  22. Lentil and vegetable soup

  23. Turkey and cheese lettuce wraps

  24. Egg salad sandwich

  25. Chicken and veggie skewers

  26. Beef kabobs

  27. Turkey and cheese quesadilla

  28. Grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup

  29. Chicken and cheese melt in a pita

  30. Roast beef Sandwich and cheese crackers

Packing a healthy and balanced lunch for a picky eater can be a challenge, but it's not impossible. By involving your child in the process, making it fun and visually appealing, offering a variety of options, incorporating healthy snacks and keeping it simple, you can ensure that your child has a nutritious and delicious lunch at school. Remember to always be patient and keep experimenting with different foods, eventually, your child will find something they like.


Solving the School Lunch Dilemma: Tips and Ideas for Picky Eaters!


Angela M. Cantoni - Editor and Founder of FUN WITH KIDS IN LA



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