Leave it to Ellie Krieger, host of “Healthy Appetite,” to make sure every color on the fruit-and-veggie spectrum ends up in her 7-year-old daughter’s lunch. The recipe name, Rainbows and Butterflies Pasta Salad, comes from the multicolored vegetables and, of course, butterfly-shaped pasta. Krieger says: “Drop in a blueberry yogurt or blueberry punch so they’ll get all the colors.”
Jamie Oliver has fought to improve school lunches in his native Britain, and he follows his own advice when making “pack lunches” for his daughters.
Make lunch interesting with a salad bag: Take a plastic bag, decorate it with stickers and fill with veggies. Teach the kids to add the dressing to the bag, then shake it over their heads to toss the salad. They can mix it right at the table!
Freeze a fruit box (not from concentrate) to make a “lunch-box fridge” to keep food safe while it sits in the coatroom. By lunch, the drink is like a slushy.
The worst thing at lunch is a soggy sandwich. Try this: Spread butter edge to edge to “waterproof” the bread before adding the meat and fillings. Use funny cutters to shape the sandwiches.
As a father of three, Tyler Florence has plenty of tricks for getting kids to eat well, like a high-concept lunch box: He stacks the meal in an empty tennis-ball canister. Just chill a small can of all-natural ginger ale or a bottle of water and place it at the bottom of the tube, then add an apple or a bag of popcorn, and the sandwich. “Customize it with stickers, and you have a cool lunch container for a healthy meal,” he says.