Face it, eating a sandwich—whether it’s peanut butter and jelly or turkey and cheese—can get boring. Feeding children can be a challenge, but it doesn’t have to be. Get your child interested in what they’re eating by creating fun food shapes. At first glance, you may think it’s too hard to recreate these fun ideas, but if you follow the step-by-step directions from these creative chefs you’ll discover it’s much easier than it looks. Or perhaps you’re not feeling overly crafty—rest assured we have other out-of-the box ideas that aren’t as involved, and that your children will love.

Owl Sandwich

Via Sheknows

To recreate this cute owl, you’ll need a circle cookie cutter to create the its shape and a marshmallow cut in half for the eyes. If you don’t have a food marker on hand, place M&Ms, raisins, or a chocolate chip on top of each marshmallow and adhere them with a dab of peanut butter. If you have a child with a nut allergy, use a dab of cream cheese instead.

Bird Pineapple Snack

Via Kix Cereal

A slice of pineapple, a handful of Kix, and pretzels are the main ingredients for this bird-shaped treat. The blogger calls for black currants for the bird’s eyes, however, you can opt for M&Ms or raisins instead. This cute snack allows you to squeeze fruits and veggies into your child’s meal.

Spider Sandwiches

Via Welchs

Lunches don’t always need to be cutesy. These spooky spider PB&J sandwiches are the perfect lunch for any kiddo who loves creepy crawlers. Cut sandwiches into a circle, use pretzel sticks for legs, and chocolate chips for eyes. If you don’t have chocolate chips on hand, opt for raisins or M&Ms.

Bento Box Lunches

Via What Lisa Cooks

If you’re not into animal replicas, then try other lunch options that are less artistic and more out of the box. WhatLisaCooks offers dozens of alternatives to sandwiches. Lisa proves that the possibilities available with a bento box are endless. English muffin pizzas, quesadillas, corn dog muffins, tacos, pancakes, and much more are featured. Having different menu options, each day, will keep your child engaged and interested in lunch.

Wrap Lunch Alternative

Via Super Healthy Kids

A wrap is another alternative instead of the traditional sandwich. Tortillas are convenient and can be used to branch out of the regular lunch meat routine. The great thing about a wrap is the contents are tightly wrapped inside without a big mess. Make it a veggie or fruit wrap—there a number of options to choose from.

Smoothie and Lunchbox

Via One Good Thing by Jillee

Move over juice box, thanks to plastic freezer jars, your kiddos can enjoy a tasty smoothie with their eats. OneGoodThingbyJillee.com offers a recipe for a peach-banana-strawberry smoothie. If you’re not a fan, feel free to make a different smoothie blend and serve them up in easy-to-use jars.

When packing your kid’s lunch, keep in mind the power of a clever printable. From love notes to jokes, there are a ton of options that parents can choose from. A few of our favorites are:

  • Capturing Joy with Kristen Duke showcases a free printable of humorous jokes. “Why did the banana go to the doctor? Because he wasn’t peeling well.” LOL!
  • Is your little one a superhero fan? If you answered yes, visit Timeout with Mom for printouts featuring just about every child’s favorite heroes.
  • Perhaps you want to send a note that expresses a term of endearment? Reasons to Skip the Housework offers lunchbox love notes that are completely free.

For more lunch inspiration, visit K12’s Pinterest board.

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