One of the best ways to get kids eating more real food is to make it colorful, creative, and fun. This draws their attention to want to eat their lunch and causes a similar affect on the brain to how they respond to the fun packaging of highly processed foods. It just looks fun! However, I don’t have time to cut out cute shapes for the fruits, and make their sandwich a pretty heart, etc., especially when packing a lunch box. (Well, MOST days I don’t have time for that, but occasionally, I like to surprise them.)

Instead, you can use colorful and fun liners, molds, and containers to make lunch more exciting for them! You’re already going to use most of these items in their lunch, so why not spice it up by getting attractive ones! If you think about it, we really are trying to sell them on real food and for a very important cause. The items listed below are inexpensive, simple changes that can be made to spice up the fun of eating real food.

 

1.) Muffin liners

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We use these muffin liners often for:

  • cooking and freezing muffins
  • snack bowls
  • lunchbox container to hold cut up vegetables, grapes, etc.

They wash easily in the dishwasher and are a great way to add in a splash of color.

Find these colorful cups HERE

 

2.) Popsicle molds

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These have been a fun way for us to make homemade popsicles. They are made of silicone, which allows the popsicle to be pushed up like a push pop. We also use them to hold yogurt or apple sauce in lunches. So simple to just throw in and the kids think they’re fun…not to mention the cool comments they get from their friends. I have yet to see these leak…

You can find these push-pop molds HERE…

 

3.) Lunch box of their choice

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Getting a lunchbox that your kids find attractive will also enhance the experience for them. I prefer this size and shape (totally personal preference). I find that my food containers fit inside them more comfortably.

Whatever you do, just make sure the lunchbox fits the containers well! This year, we’re struggling with the containers (as seen below) being too tight in the lunchbox (first year to experience this…did we miss the memo about manufacturers making smaller lunchboxes?!)

Anyway, you can find colorful ones HERE! Once you find the lunchbox link, you’ll be able to see many variety of styles.

 

4.) Happy Lunch box containers

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LOVE these containers! Seriously. Lids come off easily for kids, are leak-proof, and dishwasher safe. We’ve had ours for years and no troubles. Indestructible! And, an awesome option for the price! If I had to pack my lunch for work, I would use these too.

Find your perfect lunch containers HERE!

 

5.) Lunch box love notes

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Love notes add a nice touch to your kid’s lunch. Not only do they have love notes, but they have trivia questions and jokes too. Some are blank for you to add your own special message. My experience has been that my son really enjoys them, and Katie has been okay with them. So, it will really depend on the kid as to the level of liking. They encourage expressing love to your kids, which I really like.

Find your love notes HERE…

 

6.) Mason jars

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Mason Jars are probably a no-brainer item in most kitchen, but have you used the pint jars in your lunch boxes? We use these for:

  • soups
  • yogurt parfaits
  • syrups
  • and anything that needs a sealed lid to not leak

One of the grossest things about school lunch boxes is a leaky lunchbox…Pyrex and Tupperware is not leak-proof. Mason jars for the win (and isn’t plastic which isn’t always the best for storing food)!

Find the mason jars HERE…

 

7.) Ice packs

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Have I mentioned before how my son goes to a school with no air conditioner? No joke. AND, its has been hotter than 100 degrees in his classroom. Please pinch me because it feel like I am living in the early 19th century. Anyway, his lunch gets hot…can you imagine!? Though, I know your lunches will never get that warm, ice packs are a must for when there is refrigerated food items…’cause who wants a warm salad or sandwich?

Find the ice packs we like HERE!

 

One of the realities of packing real-food school lunches is that other kids may comment on either how awesome they are or how gross they look. Unfortunately, from having lunch with my kids on occasion, it appears they are one of the only ones in their cafeteria with a box filled with real food. So, they definitely have had comments on both ends of the spectrum. If you’ve had this happen too, teach your kids to respond confidently, “It may look gross to you, but it tastes awesome!”. 🙂

I hope some of these items are helpful in your school lunches as they’ve been in ours!

If you’re not interested in any of these lunch box must-haves, then you may like other things I really enjoy using!

Find my favorite things I use HERE

One of my favorite parts of the day, is hearing from you!

Please comment below your thoughts, and whatever else you find to be lunch box must-haves for us all to check out.

Also, the items listed above go to my Amazon store. I get a penny off the purchase if bought there…but is really unimportant to me as to where you buy it. It’s just an easy way for me to show people the things I love using and exactly where to get them. 🙂

-Laura

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