7 Signs It’s Time to Mix Up Your Kid's Lunch Box


It’s easy to get in a lunchbox rut when you pack your child’s lunch day in and day out. But, just imagine how your child feels getting the same old sandwich, yogurt and apple every day. Depending on your kid's personality, he or she may never tell you how bored they are with what you’re packing in their lunch bag. Thankfully, you don’t have to be a mind reader to know when it’s time to mix things up. The following seven signs are the perfect indicators your kids lunch box menu needs a complete overhaul.

1. Uneaten Leftovers Keep Making Their Way Home.

Don’t chalk this up to a poor appetite! If the same leftovers keep showing up in your child’s lunchbox, it’s time to find a fun and healthy alternative for those foods. For example, swap out the same old boring apple for a mixed fruit salad that includes a medley of fresh, in-season fruits.

2. Your Child Asks to Buy Lunch More Often.

Your child’s interest in buying lunch from the school cafeteria may have more to do with the variety on the school lunch menu than with their preference for school lunch. Ask your child what some of their favorite school lunches are to get an idea of ways you can change things up in their lunch box.

3. You Buy in Bulk to Save Money.

It’s hard to pass up a good supermarket deal, but buying in bulk limits your ability to add variety to your child’s lunch bag. In the end, stocking up to save a few dollars could actually backfire and leave you with a pantry full of snacks your child is no longer interested in eating. Instead, let your child pick a new item each week to take for lunch.

4. Sandwiches Again?

Even if you try to switch up the type of sandwiches you pack, it’s easy for your child to get burned out on sandwiches five days a week. Pick two days of the week to branch out and experiment with quick and easy alternatives like wraps, pinwheels, muffins, quesadillas and pasta salad.

5. Your Child Asks to Go Grocery Shopping.

If your child shows an increased interest in going to the grocery store with you, he or she may be looking for an opportunity to pick out something new for lunch. Take the hint and get them involved in helping you pick out a few nutritious items for their lunch box.

6. Your Child Grows Silent When You Ask, “Did You Like Your Lunch Today?”

Pay close attention to your child’s response the next time you ask them if they liked their lunch. An aloof answer may be a sign of the dissatisfaction he or she doesn’t want to express outright. Ask them if there is something else they might enjoy eating more during lunch.

7. Your Child is Super Hungry After School

It’s normal for your child to want a snack after school, but if you notice he or she is still hungry even after an afternoon snack that may indicate they are not eating all of the lunch you pack for them. Talk to your child about whether you are packing enough food to get them through the school day.

By paying attention to these seven signs, you can help ensure your child looks forward to opening their lunch bag each day.

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