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17 August 2010

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Christian

Cute lunches are a great idea. I don't know how I feel about using it to "motivate" a child to eat. But if it works. I think every kid should have a cute lunch every now and again. Think of the memories it will give them and how special they will feel knowing someone went to so much effort to make them a special lunch. (that might not be noticed till they are an adult, but it's still a nice feeling remembering back that mom or dad went the extra mie).

lexi

i love the bento boxes--so cute! i also ditto the cookie cutters. they're quick and easy. when my girls were little and bringing their lunch, i used mini cookie cutters and cut the sandwiches into as many as possible--mini rabbits, ducks, people, planes, stars etc. they loved to pick the shape sometimes, and be suprised other times. they also liked "dipping" lunches. pizza sauce or a favorite dressing with pita pieces and veggies. the hot dog octopus on a bed of ramen seaweed was always a hit. and while we never did it for lunch, they also love frozen peas and corn (still frozen) like another commenter!! i also think letting them help pick goes a long way, as well as adding a special note every day, too!

Greg Bulmash

I'll agree with Whitney's comment about toothpicks, but be careful with skewers in school lunches. You don't want to put anything that can remotely be considered a weapon in your kid's lunch.

I'm being completely serious. It may sound silly, but "zero tolerance" often equals "zero thought" and "zero common sense" on the part of teachers and administrators, and every other week it seems there's a news item about some kid who was strip-searched for Tylenol, suspended for hugging, or expelled for drawing a picture of a gun.

I know your boy isn't old enough for that yet, Suzonne, but it's not that far off.

Whitney @ WhiskerGraphics.com

Toothpicks, my friend. Cut up food and toothpicks. May not be near as cute as those bento box lunches, but it's super quick and easy. And who doesn't love food on a stick., ven if the stick is itty bitty?

Skewers may be fun too. The wooden kind from Cost Plus would work nicely.

Aimee

I'm not a parent, but I adore bento box lunches. They are so much fun, and I can imagine how happy I would have been to open up my lunch sack as a kid and find something like that inside.

Wendy

We have bento boxes that we use. The kids enjoy eating their lunches from the boxes since the food is usually diced, shaped or cut into smaller sizes or made into different shapes. I don't get *quite* as elaborate as the sites you mentioned but just the slightest change to the simplest foods is pretty appetizing to any child. :) My favorite to send in is healthy home-made Lunchables.

Kathy

Cookie Cutters are great to perk up sandwiches. My kids loved the foot cutter and I have seen dino cutters at the supermarket. They may not use the crust but they usually interlock to avoid waste.

Greg Bulmash

Also, my boys like any food that has been molded into the shape of a ball.

Often when we get Mexican take out, their kids meal comes with rice. Before we sit down, I use clean hands, a little water, and good grip strength to compress and mold small handfulls of rice into compact rice balls.

I'll sometimes do it with hamburger buns when we get McDonalds, taking a piece of hamburger patty, embedding it in a piece of bun, and turning it into a burger ball.

Started it with my oldest when he was a toddler and my youngest is continuing the tradition of shouting "Bahh" and gobbling any food I've molded into the shape of a ball.

teresa granath

Suzonne

One of the things that I found that helped with lunches is to let the kids pick out things at the grocery store and to help make the lunch too. We just did this at Trader Joe's the other day. Each child got to pick out a lunch box item. I don't know what to tell you about cute food though as I have never really done that, it seems like so much waste (crust, etc) and I want my kids to eat that part of the sandwich too. :) Although, I have had great success with "cup meals" where we put a bunch of tiny cups on a tray and they get to fill them with what they want, shredded cheese, diced ham, sunflower seeds, grapes, raisins, diced apples, baby carrots, FROZEN peas (yes, my kids eat them straight from the freezer and love them), etc. My kids are older now so we no longer do the "cup meals" but they were a big hit! :) Oh, and they still eat frozen peas. . .

Greg Bulmash

Quesadilla angels. Cut the folded over quesadilla (half circle) into three pie wedge shapes, then flip the two outer pieces over and angle them upward and tuck under, so the center wedge is the body and the two outer wedges are the wings. You can use a half piece of fruit, slice of tomato, round tortilla chip to make the head. Takes 30 seconds longer than just cutting the quesadilla.

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I'm a professional magazine stylist and crafter, wife and mother and I live and create in New Orleans. I write about all the facets of my creative life here, both personal and professional, though like most Southerners, I reserve the right to digress.

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