Monday, January 30, 2012

School Lunches - Part 4: Fun with Fruit

Packing fruit in with the kids' lunches is a given, but that doesn't mean I can't try to be a little creative with it!

Here are a few things I've done:

Idea #1: Kabobs. This is a great way to use up the 'scraps' you may have in the fridge. And they look so fun and colourful. A great switch from the eternal apple slices.

Idea #2: Variety! This is a biggie. Just changing what fruit they get every day is a big help in getting them to eat it. I totally understand. I don't want to eat the same food four days a week either. So when I go grocery shopping, I try to get as much of the seasonal fruit as I can. Maybe one day, the kids will have a little container of grapes, the next slices of kiwi, the next some melon balls, and the next a pear. Variety is a big deal.

Idea #3: Slice them up differently. Just having it look different than it always does can inspire kids (and grown-ups!) to eat more of it.

Two ways to pack strawberries: whole, or sliced.

Orange wedges, orange circles.

Idea #4: The magic banana! This is so fun. I actually read this in a book of kids magic tricks and thought it would be great to do in their lunches. Take your regular banana, and a clean pin. Poke the pin through the peel, and sweep it back and forth a few times to cut across the banana, without letting it poke out the other side. Repeat at 1" intervals all along the fruit. Then when your kids peel the banana, it will be sliced and they will wonder how you did it.

Idea #5: Dippers. I don't like to do this too often, since dips are generally sweet extras, but once in a while it is fun to include a fruit dip for them. A few of my favorites are:

Honey - Lemon:

1 carton (6 oz) lemon yogurt
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese
1 tablespoon honey

Combine in a blender until smooth. Serve with sliced fruit. Store extra in refrigerator. (but there won't be any extra!)


1 jar (7.5 oz) marshmallow fluff
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese

Combine until smooth. Hint - have the cream cheese quite soft before you make this. Serve with sliced fruit. Store extras in refrigerator. (but again, you probably won't have any left!)

For a no-work required, (and healthier) dip, just include a small container of yogurt and they can dip with that too. And since I'm not a huge fan of the chocolate-hazelnut spreads, I've never included that, but I'm sure there are kids who would love to dip in a little cup of that! And hey, as long as they're eating the fruit, right?

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