6 Ways to Make Summer Lunches Cool!

By Julianna Gilleo, MS, RDN, Publisher Macaroni Kid Hunterdon, NJ June 14, 2024
Image Credit: Kenishirotie from Getty Images via Canva

Now that the kids are home from school for the summer, we are going to be planning more lunches. Having a lunch, with lean protein, whole grains, and fruits and vegetables can help keep your child stay healthy all summer long. But kids can be SO PICKY about what they eat! How can you make sure your child eats the lunch you make for them? Check out these 6 tips on how you can make the COOLEST lunches for your Macaroni Kids! 

1. Get Silly! 

For younger children cutting sandwiches, fruits, and vegetables into fun shapes like stars, hearts, dinosaurs or even shapes can help entice kids and keep them entertained. Use cookie cutters for sandwiches and smaller ones for vegetables and fruits.

2. Box It! 

Plates at home? Lunch Boxes for Camp? No need to brown bag it anymore! Check out bento boxes and sectioned containers. These are perfect (and colorful!) for separating sandwiches, cut up fruit and vegetables. Most come with fun-shaped cups for holding fruit or dressings and some even come with built in ice packs (perfect for those hot summer days!).

3. Make Plans! 

Menu planning is power—Use a white board or calendar and give your kids a list of foods options for the week. Pick a variety of sandwiches, fruits, and vegetables that you have available and let them put their own menu together. Include at least 5 things on your list that are their favorites and another 5 that you want them to eat. You can even let them help make it! 

4. Take a Dip! 

What kid doesn’t like to dip? Ranch dressing is always popular but you can also try adding a small container of hummus, cottage cheese,
yogurt, or salsa to their lunch so they have healthy dips for their fruit and veggies!

5. Finger Food Fun!  

Cheese sticks or cut up fruit/vegetables make it easy for kids to eat healthy foods. Try rolling up tortillas with turkey and cheese, or make thinly sliced apples and peanut butter and slice into 1 inch pieces. 

6. Surprise!

Once in a while add a fun treat for the end of lunch. Try a cookie, snack sized piece of candy, fruit snacks, or a popsicle on those hot days.