You may pride yourself on being a creative cook, but just because your food looks Pinterest-worthy (and you’ve got an Insta feed to prove it) doesn’t always mean it’s perfect for packing in your preschooler’s lunch. Yeah, those locally foraged morels seared with an accompaniment of organic couscous and whipped lemon zest foam are pretty rad when you have your pretentious boss over for dinner, but they’re not for your kiddo. Not to worry — there are plenty of ways to prep your little’s meals without resorting to PB & Js again. Pack a kid-friendly culinary punch with these pint-sized lunch ideas.
1. Vegetarian Wrap With Provolone and Roasted Red Pepper Hummus: Sandwiches are sooo 2007. Your preschooler isn’t feeling the flat stack; she wants something more. So we say, roll it up! Grab a flatbread, tortilla, or pita and put whatever your kid craves inside of it. Follow this healthy/yummy recipe, or come up with your own completely creative concoction. (via Rachel Cooks)
2. Crackers and Cream Cheese Bento Box: Your preschooler kind of freaks when one food touches another. Hey, that’s okay. A bento box is the perfect solution to the separation issue. Fit the crackers into one side and cream cheese into yet another. Amazing! Nothing touches. You did it. You solved the lunch touch quandary and just became the mama of the year. (via Twin Dragonfly Designs)
3. Pac-Man Bento Box: Cucumbers suck. At least, that’s what your preschooler thinks. She’d rather eat dirt on her salad than add on more green things. Magically transform her regular ol’ food into a Pac-Man-themed lunch. She’ll love these adorable eats. (via Happiness is Homemade)
4. Lunch Box Kabobs: Cool kabobs are a super-fun meal-time treat! Try these easy lunch box fillers for your little one’s next meal. That little stick that spears your preschooler’s foods makes her whole lunch just that much cooler. Keep in mind, safety is absolutely essential here. Use blunt-tipped skewers and make sure your child understands how to eat food from a stick. Add on anything your child wants. This can include sliced fruits (add in a yogurt dip), veggies, cheese cubes, or chilled grilled chicken. (via It Is a Keeper)
5. Marbled Rainbow Toast: Your very visual preschooler is all about her colors. Create a rainbow in her lunchbox with all kinds of hues. Group red cherry tomatoes and red peppers, yellow peppers and squash bites, green beans and peas, blueberries, purple grape slices, and pink watermelon to create a rainbow-rific meal. Organize the munchies in a ROYGBIV (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet) pattern. Or you could get super-creative and make rainbow toast that you add fruit and nut butter to! (via A Beautiful Mess)
7. Tomato and Fried Provolone Sandwich: Hmm. Packing your preschooler a pizza for lunch isn’t the healthiest of options. Instead of going with the grease, make your own upgraded version. This open-faced tomato sandwich is kind of like pizza, but possibly even better. (via Smitten Kitchen)
8. Pumpkin Flax Granola: Switch things up and serve a batch of breakfast for lunch! Instead of a sandwich, pack up a thermos filled with yogurt and homemade granola. Add sides of sliced fruit, raisins, or mini muffins. (via Natasha’s Kitchen)
What’s your preschooler’s go-to snack? Share your child’s pick and tweet us @BritandCo!