Pretty as a picture lunch box ideas

If your child’s lunchbox continually comes home untouched, here are some ways to make it look more appealing to hopefully coax them to eat it.

The saying goes that “We eat first with our eyes” and that can be particularly true when it comes to children. Kids tend to like food that looks appealing.  

But before you roll your eyes, it’s not about spending hours creating something to rival a cooking-show, it’s about making small tweaks to hopefully make your lunchbox creations more appealing to their eyes – and tummies.

Variety is the spice of a kid’s life

Studies suggest that children love variety and different choices when it comes to food – in fact, their preference is for a plate with at least seven different items on it. This love of variety is a good thing, because a varied diet is also good for their health. From a child’s perspective, seeing a variety of foods on their plate or in their lunchbox can help to encourage a feeling of ownership and, hopefully, hunger. 

Kids can experience food overload

Large portions of a single item can be overwhelming to children: they can perceive it as a big expectation or simply something that will take too long to eat (and let’s face it, they’d rather play). 

To help avoid this, try offering smaller amounts of more items, and spacing them out so your child sees it as an achievable amount. You might be surprised at the visual difference that half a sandwich (instead of a whole one) plus extra nutritious snacks can make, hopefully resulting in an empty lunchbox at the day’s end.

Colour is important

While you might think you’re offering your child a range of colours on their plate or in their lunchbox, they might be seeing it differently. 

Research suggests that adults like three colours dished up, whereas children prefer six colours. When in doubt, add another colour (or three) to your child’s lunchbox: think a green apple, carrot sticks with a little hummus, a mandarin, or sultanas in a colourful box. 
Boy eating apple

Encourage your child to help 

Most kids love having control over their food and, when presented with some options, will make great choices. Getting your child involved in serving up their lunch or packing their lunchbox can help them put it together in a way they find appealing. And once they feel they’ve taken ownership of their food, they might be more willing to give it a try. 

Have some fun

Turning their lunchbox into a game of “What fun you’ll find inside” may appeal to your child, so it’s time to get your craftiness into action. If you’re not a natural at making food look fun, turn to Pinterest (search “fun food kids”) for ideas ranging from simple grape caterpillars to intricate giraffe-shaped sandwiches.

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