With the school year right around the corner, chances are you’re looking for ways to give your kids’ sack lunches a makeover (or at least a little excitement) this year. You don’t need to buy extra ingredients to make these recipes – just a little imagination will do.
Dig the cookie cutters out of the back of the drawer to create shaped sandwiches that will have the other kids in the cafeteria asking, “What do you have in your lunch bag today?” Or reinvent the sandwich – on a stick. And it’s not just sandwiches that are being re-imagined: Your child will look forward to opening her lunch sack each day to see what surprises wait inside, from snacks that look like butterflies to homemade granola bars.
Cookie Cutter Sandwiches
Break out the baking bin to make these cookie cutter sandwiches from Raviolis for Lunch. A simple peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich can become a heart, star or any number of different shapes.
Regular sandwiches are so last school year! Update your child’s main lunch fare by using the same ingredients you might for ham and cheese, cubing them and putting them on a bamboo skewer. To get you started, here’s a recipe for sandwich kabobs from Eat, Drink, Love.
Homemade Chewy Granola Bar
Packed with oats, sunflower seeds, raisins, peanut butter and a few semi-sweet chocolate chips, these homemade chewy granola bars from Taste of Home are easy to make. The best part of these bars is that you can add in your own – or rather, your child’s – favorite mixin’, like Craisins, butterscotch chips and coconut.
Here’s a great way to reinvent the average lunchtime snacks: Make them into these butterfly snacks from Juggling with Kids. They’re simple to make. Just put grapes into one bag and fish crackers in another; then hold them together with a clothespin. But not just any clothespin – let your kids paint it up and glue on googly eyes and antennae made of pipe cleaners.
Pot ‘o Gold Snack Mix
Stir up some fun with Lucky Charms and Corn Chex cereals with this recipe for pot ‘o gold snack mix. Add in pretzels, peanuts and candy-coated chocolates to complete this kid-friendly treat that packs well, too.
Find plastic cups in different sizes at your local party store to put this fun snack together. To make these veggie cups from My Kids Eat Squid, you’ll also need ranch dressing, carrot sticks and pea pods. To assemble, squeeze some of the dressing into the bottom of the cup and then pack the veggies inside. Cover with aluminum foil before packing in your kids’ lunch bags.
This post was originally published in 2015 and is updated regularly.