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Back-To-School Lunches Even The Pickiest Eaters Will Love

The idea of packing back-to-school lunches when you have a picky eater could be enough to make you want to throw in the towel before school even begins. If you have ever found yourself begging or trying to force your child to eat something - anything! - this blog is for you. Having a picky eater is stressful, but we have some tools and tricks to make it a little easier on you this back-to-school season - because, let’s face it, you have enough on your plate, even if your kid’s plate is empty.

Shape Shifting:

Let’s face it - food tastes better when it’s cut into cute shapes. Even as adults, we eat with our eyes first. There’s absolutely no harm in making meal time a little whimsical and fun, especially if you have a picky eater on your hands. If there are certain foods (like *ahem*, veggies) that your child is particularly averse to, introducing these foods in small doses by cutting them into tiny, fun shapes can make your child more comfortable trying them.

sandwich cutters for kids

For this tip, try a set of fun food picks, animal cut-outs, or funky designs like this one or this one to make your child’s lunch a little more palatable and they’ll likely be more willing to try it.

vegetable cutters for kids

Social Distancing:

No, not that kind. Some kids don’t like their foods to touch! If that’s the challenge you’re bumping into with your picky eater, a bento lunchbox is about to become your new best friend. This one comes in over 20 colors!

blue lunch box

Most bento boxes contain sections of varying sizes, so you can even incorporate smaller amounts of food your child doesn’t love to get them accustomed - exposure really is key! There is nothing wrong with including your child’s favorite “safe foods” in the larger compartment and gradually adding in a new or challenging food in the smaller section. Over time, your child might be more willing to give these new foods a go. Bento boxes are also great for portion sizes and ensuring your child gets a well balanced meal - try putting something different in each section. Variety is the spice of life, after all.

unicorn fork and spoon for kids

Putting the Fun in Functional:

Incorporating play into mealtime can help inspire picky eaters to branch out into new food territory. Simple utensils like these (and these) can help make mealtime a little more festive, exciting, and fun for our more picky, sometimes obstinate, eaters.

yellow firefighter fork and spoon set for kids

Colorful and GREEN:

Try sprucing up your picky eater’s lunch box (or bento box!) with some colorful, reusable cups - this is a dual-winner for those social distancing eaters, too. Not only are these cups cute, but they are also super eco-friendly. These cups are bright, fun, reusable, and BPA-free. It’s a win for the planet, as well as your wallet.

colorful cupcake baking cup liners

More Cooks in the Kitchen:

Studies have shown that kids who help make their own food are more likely to eat the meals they helped prepare. Helping prepare their own food, and giving them the option to choose (from a list of grown up-determined options) what they want to eat, helps children feel more confident, empowered, and secure.

Have your kids help decide what they’re going to have for lunch and let them help you prepare it. That way, when it’s time to eat, they will not be unpleasantly surprised by what’s in their lunch box. They might even look forward to eating it! We love this tiktok as an example of letting your child help make their own meal.

Another fun thing you can do is make homemade versions of your kid’s favorite “snack food” like these homemade fruit roll-ups (with secret veggies snuck in!). This compromise ensures your child is eating a food they are familiar with (and like!), and you know that hey are getting some nutrients as well.

We think even the pickiest of eaters will warm up to their school lunches in no time with these tips. Mealtime doesn’t have to be stressful. This year, make your picky eater the ace of (lunch) plates.

At VIP Nannies, we pride ourselves on providing you with highly qualified and caring childcare staff to help you raise a well-rounded family. Today’s busy life means that parents require extra assistance to support children and take care of them. With over a decade of experience vetting the best childcare providers for families throughout the US, VIP sets the bar high. We’re committed to finding you the best fit promptly and seamlessly. Contact us now for a nanny that matches your needs.

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