Congrats, mamas. We’ve made it through September! Which means that, by now, we’re pretty well into the ol’ school routine. We’ve gotten used to the morning and evening to-dos, we’re pros at getting out of the house on time (well, at least on most days), and things are just rocking and rolling for the most part.
But just like any routine and its awesomeness, if you go too long doing the same ol’ same ol’ you start to get bored.
The first sign of this from my daughter was when she came home with a lunch box full of uneaten food. Normally girlfriend is a great eater, so this was odd.
I immediately went through the mama checklist: Are you sick? Tired? Did you store a bunch of fruit snacks in your backpack without me knowing?
Nope, she was fine. Just totally bored with the food that I’d packed for her.
And who could blame her? Even if I rotate my own lunch between a few different things, after a couple weeks, it gets boring. Why would her lunch experience be any different?
So, I decided to freshen things up a bit. And, on behalf of our ongoing work with Capri Sun (love their products and we have a big exciting all-natural ingredient announcement from them below!), I’m sharing what’s working for my family with you guys so that you can do the same! Bye-bye, lunch box boredom.
7 Ways to Freshen Up That Lunch Box Now That the Back-to-School Rush Is Over
1. Use your imagination. I’m not overly crafty to be honest, but posts like this do inspire me to at least cut Gwen’s sandwich into a fun shape or to chop veggies in a new way so that they can become more than just a veggie.
2. Throw in new fruits and veggies. Speaking of veggies, when’s the last time you gave your kiddo more than the usual fruit or veggie standby that they normally eat? I’ve found that even some of the fruits and veggies Gwen won’t try at home, she will try at school — and even like them! If you normally stick to baby carrots and peas, try some jicama sticks, red pepper strips or baby tomatoes. The more color the better, in my book.
3. Mix up their beverage. Who doesn’t like a little fruit flavor in their lunch? Liven things up with one of Capri Sun’s new products that are all made with all-natural ingredients and have no high-fructose corn syrup, added sugar*, artificial colors, flavors or preservatives: Capri Sun Fruit Refreshers (a blend of fruit juice and water), Capri Sun Organic (certified USDA Organic fruit drink blend), Capri Sun 100% Juice (with 3/4 cup of fruit juice per pouch) and Capri Sun Fruit & Veggie Blends (previously known as Super V, these are fruit juice plus vegetable juice — with a half cup of fruit and veggie juice per pouch).
4. Try it on a stick. It’s the state fair mentality: everything tastes better (and is more fun) when eaten off a stick. Try making fruit skewers, putting chicken fingers on a stick or even popping cubes of cheese on one. They’ll love biting them off.
5. Draw. I can’t really draw very well, but I can make a wicked smiley face. And my daughter loves it when I draw one on the peel of her banana or orange or a resealable bag. It’s quick and easy for me — and she always finds it funny.
6. Include some stickers or notes. This doesn’t have to be elaborate, but I’ve found that a new package of stickers can go a long way in making lunchtime extra fun for Gwen. And while she can’t read, I can put a “note” of hearts and stars (her fave shapes) that she’ll totally and absolutely enjoy as a special note from mommy.
7. Clean out the lunch box really well. It’s been a month, so that lunchbox is probably in need of not just a wipe down, but a good scrubbing. After all, nobody wants a stinky or sticky lunch bag!
Bonus tip! Have them help you pack their lunch the night before. Gwen isn’t quite old enough to do this — any time she sees her lunch box she screams “mine, mine!” and then wants to eat, BUT, I can’t wait until she can help have a say in what goes into her meal … and then, you know, wait to actually eat it until lunchtime. Hehe.
The one thing she does love to pick out though? Her next Capri Sun! She loves all the varieties, but the Capri Sun Fruit & Veggie Blends are the current rage these days. I love that she loves it — and I also feel good about giving it to her. A total win-win!
What new item will you put in your kiddo’s lunch box this week? —Jenn
*Not a low-calorie beverage.