Lunchbox Ideas for Fussy Eaters

All parents worry from time to time about whether their child is eating enough of their lunch at school, but parents of fussy eaters worry more than most. Despite the best efforts of school staff, some children get good at hiding their uneaten food or swapping the contents of their packed lunch with a friend. Try these lunchbox suggestions, which should appeal to even the fussiest eaters.

Build Your Own Sandwich

Some days, you child tells you they only like cheese sandwiches, and then on others they insist they will only eat ham. Use a bento style lunchbox (one divided into multiple compartments) to provide them with a deconstructed sandwich. Place the bread and fillings (such as sliced cheese, ham, cucumber slices, and tomatoes) in the box, then it’s up to your child to put whichever fillings they fancy into the bread at lunchtime. Giving your child some choice, and letting them build their own lunch, will make them feel more involved in decisions about what they’re eating and so they’re more likely to finish the sandwich. Keep talking with them, to see if their preferred fillings change so that you can switch up what you’re putting in the lunchbox.

Favorite Dinner Leftovers

Get your child to write a list of five favorite dinners, remember to encourage them to include a few healthier options. Then, when you’re making one of their favorite dinners in the evening, make a little extra so they can take the leftovers to school the next day. Often, fussy children fear eating foods that are unknown to them. If they know you’ve put the leftovers in their lunchbox, they will feel happier, knowing exactly what flavors and textures to expect at lunchtime.

Homemade Treat

Let your child know that you will agree to them having one treat in their lunchbox, but only if they help you make it. Whether they opt for a cupcake, chocolate chip cookie or candy, if you’ve spent time making it together, they will feel excited to eat their own creation at lunchtime. If they are really struggling to eat the rest of their lunch, gently encourage them by telling them you can do more baking and cooking together at home if you see that they are consistently finishing their lunch. Most children will love to feel grown up by helping with the cooking at home, so this will be a big incentive for most children to eat what you’ve packed for them.