School has been part of your everyday routine for the past month now and already the kids are crying about their "boring" lunch choices. What if your schedule is too busy to spend time being creative with your child’s lunches? What are you supposed to do?

Here are just a few questions I hear all the time from my family and friends. How can I create healthy yet exciting lunch the kids can't want to eat? How do I keep their lunches from spoiling? Every mom wants to send healthy, interesting lunches that are the envy of all the other kids. Here is a list of choices that will help in the coming weeks.

I remember how mortified I was when my son's teacher told me that my son had stopped eating his lunch while at school. I felt like the 'worst mother of the year'! At the time, the Internet wasn't at my fingertips, so I, asked other mothers, looked in recipe books and created these 12 ways to make my son's lunches exciting.

Tip 1. New twist on the old standby - A twist on the old stand-by, peanut butter and jam: (check with your child's school to be sure these sandwiches are not on an allergy warning list.) Make a pb&j sandwich exciting by using cookie cutters. Cut the sandwich into dinosaurs, rabbits or shapes. Your kids can help out and together you can create fun names for the "new" pb&j sandwich. i.e. Harry the Hungry Dinosaur or Peanut the Rabbit.

Tip 2. Be creative with texture - Add a little diced carrots or celery or even pickle to tuna with mayo. The kids will love the added crunch.

Tip 3. Experiment with spreads - Instead of butter or mayo, test out the many flavors of spreadable cream cheese. This will add a new taste and zing to the sandwich.

Tip 4. Add in some fruit to the sandwich - Slice an apple and include it in a tuna or chicken salad sandwich. This will add a sweet flavor and a crunch as a contrast to the soft tuna or chicken.

Tip 5. Switch out different types of bread - Have you tried raisin bread, whole wheat bread, rye bread, sour dough bread, croissant or a bagel? They can go a long way to jazz up those mundane sandwiches.

Tip 6. Why not a wrap - Any sandwich can be made into a wrap. Tortilla shells or pita pockets are a fun way to change the look and taste of any sandwich. Make it the night before and keep it in the refrigerator. Keeping the wrap cool will help to keep it wrapped tightly and manageable for your kids. Making lunches the night before will give you time to be more creative and save on rushing in the morning.

Tip 7. Allow your child to build his/her own sandwich - Send along the ingredients for a sandwich. Include the bread with either butter or mayo spread on it, meat or tuna salad and let your child construct their own sandwich at lunchtime.

Tip 8. Switch it up a little - Lunch doesn't always have to be sandwiches. Slice up summer sausage, cheese, pickle and crackers. The kids will have fun munching each item or making a tower to see if it will fit in their mouth!

Tip 9. Send in the snack foods -Send along peanut butter and celery sticks with raisins, apples and caramel sauce, carrot sticks and dip even cut up melon and dip, even popcorn. Offer a variety of snacks and change it everyday. The same menu everyday can become boring very quickly.

Tip 10. Tempt with small amounts of treats - Use candy and bake goodies as a treat. Surprise the kids with either, once or twice a week. It will keep them guessing as to what will be in their lunch box.

11. Splurge on a purchased lunch -- If your budget will allow and the school has a cafeteria, let your kids buy lunch once a week as a treat.

Tip 12. Listen to your kids - Pay attention when your kids request something different in their lunch. Talk to them about what they like and dislike. Getting the kids involved in shopping and making their own lunches will ensure that they will like what is in the lunch box.

Your children are never too young to begin to get involve in the budgeting and the shopping process. They will learn to become educated consumers.

Keeping food from spoiling until lunchtime is a concern. This can be solved with an insulated lunch box or bag. A lunch box freezer pack is a great idea too. They are just like the larger freezer packs to put in a cooler; they are just the right size to put into a lunch box. Even freezing a juice box will keep the food cool until lunchtime and the juice box will be ready to drink. Remind the kids to recycle the juice box!

There are multitudes of creative ways to make lunches. If you find these school lunch tips useful I would love to hear about it on our blog. We sometimes fall into a rut and stay with the familiar. Learning to experiment with change is an important part of growing up. Get your kids involved in their lunch making and they will be invested in the process. This will keep the creative juices flowing and keep their lunches from becoming "boring"!

What about you? Do you have any standbys that always work to perk up your child's appetite? Visit our blog and leave a comment so we can all collaborate and raise the standard of school lunches for all our kids.

Author's Bio: 

Hi my name is Kathryn Kessler. I am a children's picture book author. My first published book is titled, Marvin Discovers Snow, and with this book I created MarvinDiscovers. At MarvinDiscovers I share my passion for families connecting with their children on a creative level. I am passionate about the precious time families spend together discovering the world through their children’s eyes. I have raised two wonderful young men who are leading their own successful lives and I am a grandmother to a beautiful little girl. I know what it takes to raise children in the busy world of schedules, practices and homework. I have just started to write articles for families on everyday family topics. These articles have been posted at I invite you to discover my website, and I look forward to sharing my passion with you.