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Thursday, August 17, 2017

Back-to-School Blues Busters: 10 Ways to Brighten Your Child's Lunch Box

Photo by Melissa (Flickr)

Back-to-school season is bittersweet for me. While I want my girls to get a good education, I also miss them, and they miss me! I've decided this year to use their lunch boxes to remind them of my love, encouragement, and support. I've found 10 unique ways to brighten my girls' lunch boxes and break through the back-to school blues.

Prep Lunches Together

We can't be together during the school day, so my girls and I prep their lunches together the night before. They already know how to cook and often create unique sandwiches, soups, and snacks for their lunch boxes. As we work together, we also laugh and talk. When they open their lunch boxes the next day, I know they will remember our prep time and smile then, too.

Write a Note

On a banana, neon paper, or sandwich bag, write a note for your child. I sometimes draw a simple heart or write a longer note telling them something I appreciate about them, something they're good at doing, or a recent moment when I caught them doing something good for someone else. This fun reminder that I'm thinking of them usually makes them smile.

Create a Puzzle

My younger daughter's newest obsession is word searches, so I've started creating small ones for her lunch box. Crosswords, sudoku, or other puzzles are also fun ways give your child a smile break in the middle of the school day.

Tell a Joke

At the library this summer, we found a fun kids' joke book. We spent hours laughing together as we read through that book, which shows me that they will appreciate a joke in their lunch boxes.

Share a Photo or Memento of a Fun Time

Recalling shared memories bonds us as a family. That's why I like to pack a photo or small memento like a painted pebble from our recent vacation or a feather from our latest craft project in my girls' lunch boxes. They'll be encouraged and remember that they're loved whenever they see these reminders of fun times.

Insert a Sticker

While shopping for school supplies, I found a few fun, inspirational, and cute stickers. They're perfect gifts for lunch boxes. I know my younger daughter laughs at the cartoon stickers I bought for her, and my older daughter likes her emoji stickers.

Cut Food Into Cute Shapes

Fun foods brighten anyone's day. Sometimes, I decorate their sandwiches to look like faces or use cookie cutters to create shaped cheese, fruit, or cookies.

Write an Inspirational Quote

It's natural for parents to want their children to feel happy all of the time, but kids sometimes feel sad, discouraged, or tired. I've found that inspirational quotes reminds my girls that they can succeed and that I love them and support them as they persevere!

Give Them a Survey

I may not be able to shadow my girls while they're at school, but I can use a fun survey to get feedback about their day. It asks questions about who they sat with at lunch, the best part of their day, and what they didn't like about the day. I can even customize it with my own questions and designs.

Send an Invitation

I value one-on-one time with my girls, which is harder to find when school's in session. Sometimes, I send an invitation in their lunch box and invite them on a special date. We may grab an ice cream cone, visit the park, or walk around the mall. The thought of special mom time always helps my girls smile as they anticipate fun time together.

Since my kids started the school year, these ideas have been helping me to make them smile at lunch time. What other ways do you brighten your child's lunch box?

Find more about the author: Kim Hart

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