Action13

Creativity can make healthy lunches fun

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

One of your biggest tasks this week is probably getting your kids lunch boxes filled with good healthy food. That can be a chore, but it doesn't have to be.

There are so great ways to make the lunch-making process easy. It's not only a great way to get your kids on the right nutrition path, but it's a lot cheaper than buying it everyday.

With two of her three kids in preschool, working mom Jill Jarvis manages to make homemade and cute school lunches for her little ones.

"I am not a good artist at all, but with a few little gadgets, I'm able to make some fun lunches for my kids and they really like it," she said.

Some of the things she creates are rice balls, cute cut-out sandwiches and fun-shaped veggies.

"It's really not that hard to do," Jarvis said.

First things first. Jarvis says cute counts, so find supplies that can help you make it easy.

"I get them all at the dollar store or just Amazon. They are all just a few dollars each, not expensive at all," she said.

Jarvis found tiny vegetable cutters and easy-to-use sandwich cutters on amazon.com. She also found food coloring pens and egg molds.

"It just makes it more fun to eat. So a carrot shaped like a flower, it's just better than a plain old carrot," Jarvis said.

Next, Jarvis says spend a few dollars on reusable containers or reusable bags. We found a bento box for $15 on Amazon and lunch skins for $9 for a set of two.

Jarvis says over the course of a year, buying reusable will save you money.

"We have so many school days and two kids taking lunches. I really hate to throw out all the lunch bags," Jarvis said.

Another tip to making the lunch making process easy: Get your kids involved.

"Helping with dinners is not always safe but helping with lunch boxes is easy," Jarvis said.

Jarvis lets her kids us food color markers to create their own sandwich art.

If your kids are tired of another sandwich, think outside the bread by making rice balls. But don't make just any rice ball; make a dyed rice ball in the shape of an animal. Jarvis found the edible eyes in the cake-decorating section at the grocery store.

"Then take whatever you want, but we often take edamame, which is soybeans, and the kids like eating them," she said.

Jarvis finishes off the bento box with fresh fruit.

Another idea that scores big points is a tortilla wrap. But to make it cute, cut in sections and use food picks to decorate. Egg molds are another way to impress your kids; it makes eating lunch a lot more fun.

So if you were inspired by Jarvis and her creative lunches, head to her website called bigkidsmallcity.com.

Find Patricia on Facebook at ABC13PatriciaLopez or on Twitter at @patricialopez13

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