Wrap it up
Tortillas are a fun alternative to bread. You can fill them with whatever you’d put on a sandwich. Roll them up tightly and either leave them whole of cut them into spirals. Try peanut butter, honey and banana inside a whole wheat tortilla.
Make your own Lunchables
Slice your favorite deli meats and cheeses into cracker size pieces. Add crackers and a piece of fruit. You can use leftover chicken, steak or kielbasa slices in place of the lunch meat.
Use a pita, pizza crust (either store-bought or homemade), tortilla or hamburger roll to make your own pizza. Top it with sauce, cheese and anything else you need to use up in your fridge. I love to make mine with pesto, feta and leftover veggies.
Put a hearty, protein filled dip in a container. Turkey chili, hummus or black bean dip are good options. Throw in veggie slices and tortilla chips for dipping and pack lots of extra napkins for this one!
Make use of leftovers
Some leftovers taste fine cold. Leftover slices of grilled chicken or steak are great lunch starters. Add yogurt, baby carrots and whole grain crackers to complete the meal.
Use the thermos
In the age of reusable water bottles and juice boxes, most thermoses go unused. If your child’s lunchbox didn’t come with one, they’re inexpensive. Fill a thermos with soup or macaroni and cheese. Having a hot lunch to look forward to feels like a treat.
Food on a stick
This is a fun way to use up leftovers. Put chunks of meat, cheese, veggies or bread cubes on the stick, and include honey mustard for dipping.
Start with plain leftover pasta, then add in either leftover meat or slices of deli meat. Throw in whatever fruits, vegetables or cheese look appealing, along with some salad dressing. Toss it together for a delicious meal.
Use your fingers
Kids love being encourages to eat with their fingers! Fill individual baggies with rolled up ham slices, chunks of cheese, grapes, a hard-boiled egg, Teddy Grahams and celery sticks.
Start with a container of lettuce of baby spinach. Add in baggies of other toppings such as additional veggies, fruits, meats, cheeses or nuts. Include a small container of dressing. Your child can add the other ingredients to the lettuce bowl at lunch time, put the lid back on and shake it up to distribute the dressing.