Fill in the blank:
Think outside the ____. Jack-in-the-_____. Tool _____.
Yes, we're talking boxes today. We're talking perhaps the most important box we deal with...the daily filling of it can impact mental capacities of those we hold most dear (okay, sure, that's a touch dramatic, I'll give you that, but I got your attention, eh?).
The lunchbox. The carrier of the kiddos' meal, the one that boosts their energy level til the end of the school each day. The one that probably, most likely, they don't eat as well because they are chatting or rushing to get out and run around the playground or studying for the spelling quiz coming up next period. Right, we really have no control over what they chow on in that cafeteria, but we can control what their choices are and stock that lunch box with yummy-rific options that (fingers and toes crossed) they will want to fill up their bellies.
To make that happen, you need some items -- some are tools, some are food -- that rock, that entice, that do the lunchbox booty-shake. I call them my lunch box all-stars.
-- Tortillas. A mere switcheroo of what that slice of turkey or cheese bumps a regular lunch up a few notches to kinds of awesome.
-- Cookie-cutters in the shape of their initials or a mere "H-I" or "I Heart U". Having a sandwich totally personalized makes even the most "over-it" kid bust out into a grin.
-- Mini-me food. Baby carrots, small boxes of raisins, miniature crackers...kids love things when they are "their size."
-- Crazy straws. Nothing makes them want to suck down that yogurt smoothie faster than a funky straw.
-- A go-to healthy crunch. Studies say the act of crunching makes us want to eat more of that item (why you just can't stop at one chip, I guess). Find an option that is healthy but crunchy your kiddo loves...can be anything from cucumber slices, to lettuce to a decently healthy chop choice (we love our SoyCrisps, which adds a punch of protein).
-- Popsicle sticks. Jazz up the very day by sending kabobs for lunch. A few Popsicle sticks are the perfect to hold mini squares of turkey or ham or cheese or even super-small PB&J sandwiches stacked together.
What are your lunchbox all-stars? Share your kids' faves to munch in the cafeteria!