I do a feature on Instagram called Lily’s Lunch. The truth behind those lovely lunch photos is that it took me years to crack Lily’s lunch code. It’s a little heartbreaking to share that I couldn’t figure out why she wouldn’t eat her lunch at school, but after much trial and error, I finally got it right.
Each morning, I would pack up what I thought was a perfect lunch and send her off to school. It was usually some standard combination of a sandwich, fruit, veggies, and maybe some chips. Each afternoon, Lily would return home and by the loud thud of the lunch box hitting the kitchen counter, I knew it hadn’t been touched. The cycle was on repeat in my house: pack up lunch in the morning, unpack untouched lunch in the afternoon, try again the next day. It was frustrating for both of us.
What was going on with her? Was she not hungry at lunch? Was she too busy socializing to eat? Was she distracted by the fun on the playground? Would she prefer I order hot lunch for her?
Finally, it came to light that Lily was hungry. She wasn’t too busy socializing and she didn’t want hot lunch. She wanted food that she enjoyed and she just didn’t like what I was packing. Turns out, Lily doesn’t care for food like sandwiches, chicken nuggets, and macaroni and cheese. We went through a lot of options to find what she would eat for lunch. Finally, we found a formula that works for her. As you can see by the photos, Lily loves Asian food.
The other game changer was finding the right lunch box. I get a lot of inquiries off of my Instagram posts about what kind of lunch box I use for Lily. I use lunch boxes from both PlanetBox and LunchBots. They offer bento box like lunch boxes in stainless steel. Perfect for the kid who doesn’t like their food to touch the other food in the box (cough, Lily).
My first approach to serving food is that we eat with our eyes first. These compartmentalized lunch boxes present food in such an appealing way. Even if it’s just a dish of raspberries, they look so much more appetizing than if they are squished into a little plastic container. Oh, and bonus: these lunch boxes are super easy to clean.
Check out the great options (and sizes) from Lunchbots and Planetbox here: