Some of my favorite memories are waiting for the surprise in my lunch every weekday at school. From the moment my mother handed me my Fraggle Rock lunch box until I opened it at lunch time, I would think about the treat that I was in store for. And there were always a few kids who wanted to sit at my table at lunch because my mother always brought something for me to share. Those special lunches made it a lot easier for me to adjust to fourth grade at a new school. And now, I want to do the same for my daughter. Special lunches remind your child that you love them at lunch time. And they can also draw positive attention and can give your child the extra confidence of feeling loved and secure that will help them become more social.
Leave a Note
Even if you don’t have time to make your kid lunch in the morning, you can still make them feel special. Adding a little love note with your kid’s lunch money or in their backpack is quick and easy. You can use something as simple as a scrap piece of paper, or you can head to your local school supply and pick up some heart shaped or colorful notepads. You can even include some stickers for a little something special.
Simply write ‘I love you’, or congratulate them on something they’ve accomplished: like an ‘A’ on a test, or the points they scored in the game. I loved horses as a child, and sometimes my mother would put in little factoids about them. Anything is possible.
I still hate the crusts on my sandwich. And some days, when my mother was cutting them off she would shape my sandwich into fun shapes. Hearts were my favorite. But some times she would cut them into circles, stars, or even round cat faces with pointy ears and toothpicks as whiskers! Again, the only limit is your imagination. You can even include several small shaped sandwiches (cookie cutters work well) with different ingredients in each one. They make great lunch trade bait.
No kid is more popular at lunch than the kid whose mom brought McDonalds. It is instant celebrity. Especially if said mom has checked with their son or daughter’s friends to see if it is ok to surprise them with McDonalds too. Its not the healthiest meal in the world but a few french fries once in a blue can’t hurt. And the beaming smile on your kid’s face will more than make up for the guilt of a junk food treat.
Muffin Tin Lunches
These are a great alternative to a typical brown bag lunch. Find a muffin container that holds six (anything more might be too big to carry). Then, go nuts. Fill each of the muffin compartments with a different goodie. You can put carrots in one and peanut butter in another. The sky is the limit. You can even throw a muffin in there. And it is a great set-up for sharing. If you make sure your child has a healthy breakfast and dinner, you can let them splurge on a few yummy goodies for lunch that will bring the other kids around. Check out Blissfully Domestic or Tangled and True for some great ideas.
If you’re feelin adventurous, bento boxes are the best way to add pizazz to your kid’s lunch everyday. ‘O-bento’ is simply Japanese for a tightly packed lunch. There are many different types of bento boxes, and they can be very simple but they are great outlets for creative shapes, foods, and flavors.
Your child will be the center of attention at lunch when she opens her bento box and reveals hello kitty shaped slices of ham, or caterpillar arranged sushi rolls (there’s no reason why you can’t cook or season the fish or try some other substitute). She might even start a trend at her school. Air and Angels and flickr are two of the many sites that will tell you all you need to know to make great bento boxes.