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Spice It Up

Fighting Lunchtime Boredom

By spring, children may begin to resort to unhealthy lunchtime eating habits out of boredom with the same old tuna sandwiches in their lunchbox or pasta meal on the hot lunch line. Sharing a few healthy yet interesting lunch ideas can inspire them to pack a more nutritious as well as more interesting lunch.

Take Charge

Getting involved in lunch preparation can make a child more invested in and excited about the meal. Encourage children to:

  • Research healthy lunch options and create a menu for their lunches for the week, considering nutrition and budget.
  • Go grocery shopping with their families, helping to choose healthy foods that they’d be interested in eating at lunchtime.
  • Pack their own lunches, with supervision when younger.


Shape Shifters

Families can consider simply changing how food is presented to make the same old meal a little more appetizing.

  • Use cookie cutters to cut sandwiches into fun shapes, like hearts or dinosaurs or even shapes from Star Wars or Minecraft.
  • Try putting various healthy meats and cheese on a stick, like a kabob, broken up with veggies or fruits.
  • Use mini cookie cutters to cut up watermelon, cantaloupe, apples or other fruits.
  • Use a vegetable peeler to cut ribbons of carrots or cucumbers.


Make Your Own

Sometimes just putting it together on the spot can make it more interesting.

  • Taco: tortilla, shredded cheese, shredded chicken or other meat, avocado slices, lettuce, salsa and a side of tortilla chips or rice.
  • Pizza: pita or bagel, small container of tomato sauce, shredded mozzarella cheese, pepperoni or other meat, and veggies.
  • Sub: French roll, deli meat, sliced cheese, veggies, pickles and condiments.


Changing up lunch habits can help motivate children to eat a more nutritious lunch. For more resources on nutrition, including posters and books, visit MacGill.com and search nutrition and check out our The Beat Goes On: Teaching Kids about Heart Health, Childhood Obesity: Carrying the Weight of the Pandemic and Scale It Down: Weight Assessment Equipment blog posts.

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