Preparing lunchboxes for fussy eaters can be a challenging task. However, with a little creativity and some helpful tips, you can make lunchtime enjoyable and ensure your child receives a nutritious meal. In this blog post, we will share five lunchbox ideas that are not only tasty and appealing but also incorporate some top tips to help you navigate the world of fussy eaters. Let’s dive in!
1. Chicken, Hummus, and Red Pepper Wrap with Carrot, Banana Stars, and Chia Seed Pudding:
Wrap up lunchtime boredom with this delicious and nutritious wrap. Spread a layer of hummus on a whole wheat tortilla, add slices of grilled chicken, and top with strips of red pepper. Roll it up and cut into bite-sized pieces for easy handling. Accompany this wrap with fun-shaped carrot and banana stars, and a side of chia seed pudding for added fibre and omega-3 fatty acids.
Top Tip: Make the food fun by using cookie cutters to create interesting shapes. Kids are more likely to eat food that looks appealing and exciting.
2. Animal Sandwiches:
Bring a touch of creativity to lunchtime with animal-shaped sandwiches. Use a variety of cookie cutters to transform regular sandwiches into playful animal creations. Switch it up with different bread, fish/meats/beans, and add some sliced cheese, and salad for extra flavour and nutrients. Your little ones will be delighted by these adorable edible friends.
Top Tip: Changing up the presentation can make familiar foods more enticing and enjoyable. Explore different shapes, colours, and arrangements to keep things interesting.
3. Veggie Pasta Salad (Hot/Cold):
Introduce some variety and colour to the lunchbox with a tasty veggie pasta salad. Cook pasta of your choice, such as bowties or spirals, and toss it with a medley of colourful vegetables like cherry tomatoes, cucumber slices, and steamed broccoli florets. Add a light dressing or vinaigrette for extra flavour. This dish can be served hot or cold, making it versatile for any preference.
Top Tip: Offer a selection of safe foods that your child enjoys alongside new foods. This way, they have options they feel comfortable with while still being exposed to new flavours and textures.
4. Mini Quiches, Pop chips, Kiwi Stars, and Clementine:
Bring a bite-sized delight to the lunchbox with mini quiches. Prepare a batch of mini quiches with your child’s favourite fillings, such as spinach, cheese, and diced ham. These can be made ahead of time and refrigerated for easy packing. Pair the quiches with crispy pop chips, kiwi stars for a burst of vitamin C, and a sweet clementine for a refreshing treat.
Top Tip: Incorporate hot meals in a thermos to provide warmth and variety. Soups, stews, or pasta dishes can be heated and packed to offer a warm lunch option.
5. Bento Box Fun:
Create a balanced and visually appealing lunch with a bento box. Fill different compartments with a mixture of fruits, veggies, proteins, and carbs. Include bite-sized fruits like grapes and berries, crunchy veggie sticks with a dip, protein like turkey or chicken slices, and a serving of whole grain crackers or mini sandwiches. The variety of flavours and textures will keep your fussy eater engaged and satisfied.
Top Tip: Encourage your child’s involvement in choosing and packing their lunch. This empowers them and increases their interest in the food they are eating.
With these five lunchbox ideas and helpful tips, you can make mealtimes exciting and enjoyable for your fussy eaters. Remember to make the food fun, change up the presentation, offer safe foods alongside new ones, incorporate hot meals, and explore the possibilities of bento box lunches. By combining creativity, nutrition, and variety, you’ll turn lunchtime into a positive and satisfying experience for your child.
Want more help with the contents of your box and understand how to engage your child with making and eating what is in the lunchbox. Check out Nutrition4kidsNI and join our fussy eating masterclass.
For more lunchbox ideas visit our blogs to help you create nutritious and appealing meals. Make lunchtime a success and watch your fussy eater enjoy their meals with delight!
Written by Dr Kirsty Porter & Lily Murray