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Getting Eli to eat lunch has always been a tricky endeavour, so the realisation that we are going to have to start coming up with healthy lunchbox ideas from September when he starts at preschool, has been met with mutual feelings of dread.
Somewhere along the line he decided that ‘lunch’ equated to jam sandwiches, cheese, and grapes. It didn’t matter if you gave him something else, he would eat what was offered and then ask when it was lunchtime as he hadn’t had the jam sandwiches, cheese and grapes!
So, we have been putting our thinking caps on over how we can send him with something that is healthy, that he will eat, and that is not the same thing every single day. It’s not an easy concept.
Scouring the internet I came across lots of creative ideas for Bento-style lunchboxes. If you haven’t come across these before they are basically the idea that you use the food in the lunch box inventively, to fit a certain theme. If you want to spend several hours staring at food which looks too nice to eat then type it into an internet search…go on…
Luckily I have hit upon an idea which *so far* seems to have worked and has got Eli eating a number of things he wouldn’t previously touch. It has allowed us to feel a bit more confident about not being there in September to hover over him and make sure he eats what has been put into his lunchbox and, best of all, it takes hardly any extra time to do and it only utilises things which most parents are likely to already have: cookie cutters
A recent trip to Tesco allowed me to really put the theory to the test; that Eli will eat anything as long as it is cut into an interesting shape. For the purpose of this post, I have placed the items onto a plate but they would all easily fit into a lunchbox; I’ve even included a juice drink as well in the form of Capri Sun. The 200ml pouches are the ideal size for lunchboxes and with no artificial flavours, colours or preserves, there’s added peace of mind too. It’s on offer as well in Tesco at the moment…which was an excellent added bonus.
It took us a while to find the Capri Sun, strangely, as it wasn’t on the aisle I would have expected but tucked away in a mini-aisle at the bottom of the supermarket. We managed to turn it into a fun game though, seeing who could be the first to find it.
The great thing about this idea is that you can buy cookie cutters in literally almost any design, we have hearts and stars and princess ones for Meg and we were given the transport ones I used for Eli as a Christmas present a few years ago. So, whatever your children are into, there is bound to be cookie cutters which work.
It didn’t take any extra time either, although next time I might ensure my cheese isn’t so crumbly! But it would be easy enough to do first thing in the morning, without having to get up any earlier or plan far in advance.
…and although he wouldn’t look at the camera, I now have evidence that it works. Here is Eli eating, and enjoying, his tractor watermelon.
Something I never thought I’d say…I am actually quite looking forward to getting creative with Eli’s lunchboxes and have already got a few more ideas up my sleeve!
How do you plan your children’s lunches to ensure they get eaten?
Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Collective Bias.