Life with children can be hectic, and if you have a household with at least one of them, it can be busy in the mornings. What’s more, the struggle becomes especially trying if you have a nine-to-five job that you need to get ready for and have to pack lunches for your children. No matter what, their health is a priority. That is why your kids’ meals should be nutritious.

Packing their lunch yourself is good for them not only because you oversee what goes into their body. In the long run, you save money as well because if you didn’t already know, meal prepping is cheaper than store-bought foods and snacks.

There’s also the issue of kids not liking their packed lunches, and it can be disheartening. If you’re a parent struggling with creating creative lunches for your kids, read on below to get ideas.

Make Food Neat and Eye-Catching
Although breakfast and lunch are not too far apart, there’s nothing appealing about opening your lunch box and finding that everything is mixed up unappealingly. You know this feeling; you were a kid once. This is one of the primary reasons kids won’t eat their lunch. No one wants to eat unappetizing sludge.

Still, children need food and their nutrition. Consider investing in good-quality bento box containers and other food holders to make food more appetizing and whole for lunch.

Variety Is Good
Another reason kids don’t eat their packed lunch may be because they’re tired of having to eat the same food too often. Variety is always good because it helps whet the appetite and make lunch more fun. It can be a bit of an effort on your part as you prepare a variety of meals and snacks for your children, but it can be done with careful planning.

You can also add sweets and candies in their lunch box. If you want something new every month, consider buying subscription boxes for Japanese candy, and because it gets delivered to your doorstep every month, you won’t likely forget. What’s more is that boxes like this have extra goodies and little toys that kids of all ages can enjoy.

Show Them Your Love
Handwritten notes for the lunch box is cliché, but it’s still one of the most thoughtful and sweetest gestures parents can give to their children. The downside to doing it every day is that you won’t always have time for it in the mornings, realistically speaking.

If you want to be consistent, consider preprinting the lunch box notes instead. You can personalize them accordingly, of course.

Organic and Reusable Are In
While plastic sandwich bags and Ziplocs are more convenient, they’re harmful to the environment. This is a great way to introduce your kids to the importance of being environmentally conscious. If you need to pack fruits, sandwiches, or cookies and a reusable lunch box is too bulky, consider making DIY reusable sandwich and snack bags.

Use Cookie Cutters
It takes a lot of effort to produce a bento box, but Japanese moms have shared that cookie cutters are very useful for making food more appealing. Instead of cutting veggies, fruits, and even sandwiches the ordinary way, use cookie cutters to turn them into fun little shapes. It may take a little bit of effort in the mornings, but knowing that your kids will be delighted when they open their lunch box is worth it.

Bento box making is an art in itself, and it can be really fun to learn. If you’re interested to know more so you can do more for your kids’ lunches, here are some easy ideas and recipes you can do.

Their Favorite Foods with a Twist
Pizza, hamburgers, PB&J, mac and cheese—these are only some of the tried and tested foods that your kids will not say no to. If you have picky eaters in your hands, it can be tricky and sometimes frustrating to feed them without resorting to their favorites. Ready-made and store-bought are convenient and the way to go for busy parents, but you can make your kids’ go-to foods healthier if you make them yourself.

You can sneak a vegetable or two in there, and your kid probably won’t notice save for a slightly different taste. If you don’t like the sneaky way, you can slowly introduce fruits and veggies to your kids instead. If that doesn’t work, there’s no shame in smuggling the good stuff in their diet. Take a look at this informative article to learn how to put veggies into your kids’ food.

Prep Ahead
The secret to creatively packing your kids’ lunch all boils down to preparing ahead. It doesn’t have to be a super hectic morning; you can make food ahead in bulk. Freezing can help make the food last for days to weeks and can help cut down your prep time in the morning.

How do you keep your kids’ lunch creative and healthy daily? Share your secrets in the comments below.