Ways to make sure your kids eat their packed lunch


My boys have always been picky eaters, they never liked vegetables (still don't) and refused to even look at fruit. So when I scrolled through Pinterest hoping to find inspiration for my picky eaters I thought I would find hundreds of useful pages. Unfortunately the "picky eaters" that Pinterest seems to cater for are those that will happily eat fruit and vegetables and for me that just doesn't work. If I put carrot in LP's lunchbox he would laugh at me. I've always had to struggle with getting both BP and LP to eat their packed lunch and over the years, they're 14 and 9 now, I've learned a few ways to make sure they eat their lunch.

Food is for eating, and good food is to be enjoyed... I think food is, actually, very beautiful in itself.

Delia Smith

The lunch box

The lunchbox is the first they see when they sit down to eat, so it's got to be something they're going to like. We've gone through phases of having Marvel character bags, simple plastic containers, and even just a regular bag. The lunchboxes he likes most are the ones with small compartments for each of his different things. If he can have his sandwiches separate from his snacks he's happy. That's why he loves his new Petit-Fernand lunchbox.

This box is great, you can personalise it by adding your child's name on the front and choose which pictures to have on the front, there's anything from unicorns to skateboards. The lunchbox has separate compartments as well as an ice pack that you put in the freezer and it clips into place underneath one of the compartments and keeps everything nice and cold. The compartments can be removed if you need more space so you can have all of the bottom of the lunchbox for your sandwiches or wraps and then use the compartments on top for the snacks. The lid fits into place easily with four clippable flaps so even your younger kids won't have any trouble getting into their lunchbox. It's sturdy too, it could withstand kicks from rushing children's shoes or bangs against the wall as your child heads into school.

Ways To Make Sure Your Kids Eat Their Packed Lunch | Give them a new, fun lunchbox like this one from Petit Fernand.
LP loves his new lunchbox and water bottle.

Both LP and I love the Petit-Fernand lunchbox and the fact that you can also grab a water bottle that can keep drinks hot or cold for hours, and stick-on name labels that will just stick into your child's clothes, while you're buying the lunch box was a winner for me. 

The food

Choosing the right food is key to making sure your kids eat their picked lunch. If they enjoy fruit and vegetables then great, you can create a colourful lunch for them and make them smile. But when you have truly picky eaters it's a little more difficult. 

Ways To Make Sure Your Kids Eat Their Packed Lunch | A sliced ham sandwich, that has lots of slices on it - perhaps LP would enjoy it?
If this was all different slices of ham LP would probably enjoy it!

LP likes sliced ham - that's a win. He won't eat sliced chicken, corned beef, sliced pork, eggs, and so many other things that if I listed them I'd be here all day. So giving him food that he will actually eat proves rather difficult. Ham is versatile, so that's good. And LP does like brown bread, in fact he prefers it to white - a very unusual choice for a picky eater. Ham sandwiches are something he has often, but they're getting boring apparently and so I need to think of ways to spice them up, like maybe using cookie cutters to create interesting shaped sandwiches rather than the boring rectangle ones - I liked these Disney inspired lunches.

I also liked the look of these rainbow sandwiches but there's no way I could use vegetables on LP's sandwiches. It would have to be ham, possibly jam, and I don't know what else! There's also the possibility of ditching sandwiches altogether. Wraps, bagels, even cheesy biscuits could be on the cards if LP agrees he would eat them. That's one to try out in the future. 

Then there's the hot lunch option - we've tried this with LP and it was very successful for a while. Pasta, rice, even soup, were some of the things he was taking to school and he even impressed his friends with his lunches, but that seems to have abated now and he's lost interest.

Write notes

This might sound silly but LP used to love taking a lunchbox to school because I'd hide little notes in his lunchbox. I'd write little poems or draw a small character to make him smile. It was a great way of showing him I was thinking about him during the day and even if he was having a tough day at school he could smile at lunch time. 

My children are the reason I laugh, smile and want to get up every morning. 

Gena Lee Nolin

Why not try a joke or two they could share with their friends?


Hiding treats they don't know about in the lunchbox is another way to make sure they eat. LP was always good when he found a treat in his lunchbox, he'd eat his sandwiches first because he knew that's what I'd say and he would tell me so when he got home from school. 

The treats don't have to be chocolate either, that's easy, but why not bake some flapjacks and include them in the lunch box. Breakfast bars are a good quick fix, or even breadsticks and a little chocolate spread?

Ways To Make Sure Your Kids Eat Their Packed Lunch | Secret treats are a great way to get them to eat - yes, it's bribery but it does work!
Have you tried to home baked treats in their lunchboxes yet?

When it comes to making sure your kids will eat their packed lunch it's never going to be easy, especially if you have picky eaters. It's trial and error, and just when you think you've found a winning combination they'll change their mind about what they like. But you can keep battling and you will win occasionally. 

Ways To Make Sure Your Kids Eat Their Packed Lunch | Looking for ideas to get your kids to eat? Try these top tips and your kids will be coming home with an empty packed lunch before you know it. Click now or pin to read later.

Why not try a new lunch idea tomorrow?

What unique tips have you used to get your kids to eat their packed lunch?

If you enjoyed this post you'll like You are supermum! or if you're looking for ways to get a little time for you during half term check out How to get that hot coffee even if the kids are at home.

Stop by Facebook and tell me how you make your kids' lunches interesting.

Keep the kids busy while you plan their lunches with this Halloween Activity Booklet.

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