With ‘back to school’ almost here, parents are always on the lookout for easy ways to make their child’s lunchbox more exciting and healthier at the same time. From simple sandwiches to sweet desserts, Snikiddy Snacks® co-founder Mary Schulman offers these five lunchbox ideas designed for kids to celebrate healthy eating on school days.

5 Lunchbox Ideas to Celebrate Healthy Eating

By Mary Schulman

1. Team up with your child in making lunch boxes healthier. Giving them choices allows them to grow up and take charge and ownership of what’s packed into their lunch boxes. I love to ask, “What would you rather have for lunch tomorrow… red peppers, carrots or cucumbers? Not a tough choice for them! (Many of us already use this strategy at bedtime: “Would you rather go to bed at 8:30 or 8:45?” Again let them make the choices, it’s so empowering!

2. Use eco-friendly bags instead of the plastics. More than 20 million plastic sandwich bags go into U.S. landfills daily. There are now dozens of companies that make eco-friendly lunch box sets, containers, and cloth alternatives to lunch baggies that can be re-used over and over again without the waste. Be sure that you also explain to your kids how packing healthy lunch boxes in eco-friendly ways also helps plants and animals be healthier, too.

3. Wean your child from lunch box sugar. Rather than packing a juice box filled with sugar, fill a thermos with 1/2 juice and 1/2 water. As the school year goes on, reduce the amount of sugar in the mix, and before they know it, just a splash of sugary juice will do.

4. Create ‘Fun Bites’ using healthier bread. Use different cookie cutter shapes to cut their whole wheat bread sandwiches into fun shapes. My favorite this year was a snowman that I put currants on for buttons and eyes and a cucumber ring around his neck for the scarf. (Other great shapes are cars, busses, and hearts.)

5. Skip the cookies and candy. Make a mix of nuts and add just enough chocolate chips to satisfy their sweet tooth. They will love this dessert and will get some Omega 3’s in the mix.

About Snikiddy

Founded in 2006 by Janet Owings and Mary Schulman, (a mother/daughter team) with a passion for children’s health, Snikiddy produces Snikiddy Snacks® – great tasting, family-friendly snacks including Cheese Puffs and Baked Fries available in a variety of flavors and developed for kids and families. Made with the highest quality, simple and wholesome ingredients including real cheese and potatoes, Snikiddy Snacks® are perfect for lunchboxes, after school, and on-the-go snacks. They are available in Sharing Packs®, which contain four to five servings per container and leading varieties are available in Multi-Packs (bag of 6 snack packs) and/or individual snack packs. Snikiddy Snacks® are sold in natural and conventional grocery stores across the country and Toys“R”Us, as well as online through Amazon.com and PeaPod.com. Founded in Bethesda, Md., the company also operates out of Boulder, Colo. For more information, visit www.snikiddy.com.

*Images and tips provided by Snikiddy Snacks®.*