Making School Lunches Fun!

Making School Lunches Fun!

Chris Stephens

New school bag? Check. New supplies? Check. New lunch box? Check. List of lunches you'd pack every day? Ah, it does sound a bit overwhelming, doesn't it?

It's back-to-school season already. What is more exciting than sending kids back to school and having a good chunk of time for yourself. But at the same time, planning a whole load of lunches, you would be packing for them is another form of nightmare.

The pandemic had one thing sorted out. When schools were online, you didn’t have to worry about preparing something new every day just so your child wouldn't bring home a lunch box as full as you sent it with them. Just setting those little rascals on a desk, getting through the day of online school, and maybe fend for themselves for lunch. In some ways, life was simple and kept us from thinking too much about what to make next.

 

But when it comes to taking lunch to school, kids tend to compare with their fellow classmates and friends. I have seen some kids who complain to their mothers about how their lunch did not look as fancy as their friends. And if the food items repeat the next day, that's the end of the world.

That results in them not touching their food at all.

Let's face it, keeping up with your kids' lunch requirements takes a lot of work. There are so many variables and factors to consider that it becomes overwhelming. When we were young, I swear my parents did a better job making sure we had lunch packed and ready for every day of the school, and it was not a fancy and cool-to-show-off kind of lunch. It was simple and nutritious enough. I don’t remember being as picky as these little monsters these days. It was always “eat what you got” for us. But everything changed. More like the world spinned on a different pin in order to have this big change in this generation of kids. 

Making lunch itself becomes a task when it comes to keeping all these elements in your mind. However, parents try to keep it simple yet healthy for on-the-go lunch boxes. It still gets into the automotic process sometimes. We get tired thinking about it every single day. What could be the better variation of your daily food or what is the new way of presenting it so lunch won’t look too boring to eat. Some smart elementary kids demand money to replace their lunch boxes, so they won’t be eating their daily boring food anymore.

What do even parents do at this point?

Trial and Error is one way to go for parents who want to go for healthy replacements.

There are tons of recipes available on the internet to get started with that trial and error project. Besides that, you can find a lot of 5-minute lunch recipes. What is more important in this is to be able to keep it healthy while making it stylish enough. Let’s cut the whole boring part out with that sharp knife of yours.

Talking about stylish, getting a good cookie cutter is a game changer at this time. Use that cookie cutter to shape those veggies. Make adorable characters out of it. Change the shape of that healthy sandwich you are packing up for your kindergartner. Make it impressive with looks and healthy with ingredients.

Not just that, but putting more than two different things in a lunch box is another way to go. Don't just stick to putting one or two things. Make it a mini feast for them. Scramble up more food to add variety. Style it up with some cherry tomatoes and cucumbers on a skewer. Slide in some strawberries or watermelon slices, even orange pieces. The more, the healthier.

Let's look at how we can make healthy lunch for kids

  • Try to include at least three or more food groups
  • Make one food group protein to help keep them full for rest of the day
  • Avoid sugary drinks like soda, juice, lemonade, etc.
  • Serve foods in an age-appropriate way (cut up v. whole) and in age-appropriate serving sizes
  • Include different colors to make the meal more appealing and exciting
  • Limit high sugar and sodium foods to keep them healthy
  • Serve a variety of foods instead of the same ones to encourage them to try new foods
  • Like healthy versions of school lunch food – pizza, nachos, and burritos – so your kid doesn't feel left out
  • Full of nutrient-dense foods to boost learning that can be made allergy-friendly – Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free or Nut-Free

With a little knowledge and effort, making school lunches should be easy. Here are our favorite lunch boxes, tips on making packing school lunches easier, and allergy substitutions for gluten, dairy and nut-free lunches. Great for daycare, preschool or elementary school-aged kids

Here come our favorite Uncle Dan's Ranch dips and salad dressing that could save your day and give your children the nutrition they need to survive their school day.

Parents trust Uncle Dan's with their whole hearts.

Why? You already know the answer. To make your food tasty and healthy simultaneously, you would need only a little Uncle Dan's touch to it.

Now how to get those quick recipes done with some of Uncle Dan's delicious and wholesome dips to eat with.

Curd sandwich – Pair it up with some nuts and Uncle Dan's Zesty Ranch Dip and oranges See the recipe

Is your child more of a Salad type of kid? Well, we got you covered on that too. Here are some fun salad recipes that go well with Uncle Dan's Original Southern Classic Ranch Salad Dressing 

Mexican Pasta Salad with Uncle Dan's Southern Classic Ranch Salad Dressing & Pair it up with cut-up fruits See the recipe

How about a cold lunch? If your child nags about their hot lunch becoming soggy by the time lunch ticks, cold lunch is a way to go.

Coming up with cold lunch ideas can feel really daunting—and like peanut butter is jelly should not be the only option! Good news, though—there are many options beyond sandwiches that you can pack to be served cold or at room temperature at daycare, preschool, big kid school, and camp.

Let us give you a little inspiration. These cold lunch ideas are your go-to for packing snacks for any occasion. You can get your hands on Freezable Lunch Boxes for better serving. 

Cobb Salad Wraps and Uncle Dan's Country Dill Dip See the recipe

With holidays being around the corner, Dip and Salad Dressings become almost the most essential ingredients. To make tasty appetizers during Christmas or full-course meals at Thanksgiving. Winter holidays are the times Uncle Dan's becomes vital to be on your restocking list. 

What is this long wait for then? Get your hands on Uncle Dan's Country Dill Dip, Zesty Dip and Salad dressing HERE. 

Read more →