2022 Lunchbox Trends: How to Level Up Your Lunch

photo of a lunchbox meal for kids

If your lunchbox-packing routine has lost its magic, it’s time to stop cutting off the crusts and take your school lunch game to the next level. One way to keep your kids on their toes is sneaking in a fun surprise. These lunchbox twists are sure to make your kids smile, giving them a boost of energy to fuel the rest of their day.

Get in Shape

You don’t have to be a Pinterest superstar to turn a sandwich from ordinary into extraordinary. A simple cookie cutter transforms a standard square into a flower, a star, or a gingerbread man. Take it up another notch by swapping in French toast for a twist on everyday sliced bread. Think about a surprise filling inside your shaped sandwiches, such as strawberry jam with ham and provolone (think Monte Cristo), or rainbow sprinkles dusted over peanut butter and jelly. Slices of cheese, watermelon, honeydew, cantaloupe, and cucumber are also easy to cut into shapes.

Hide a Message

Finding a message in an unexpected place is always a fun surprise. For instance, you can use a knife or toothpick to etch “I’m thinking of you!” into the peel of a banana, apple, or cantaloupe. A non-edible fruit peel is also a great place to decorate with a temporary tattoo, such as your kid’s favorite cartoon character. Try drawing a heart or smiley face on a sandwich using sprinkles, a food-safe marker or adding googly eyes or stickers to your child’s juice box or sandwich bag to instantly brighten their day.

Think Outside the Breadbox

If the sandwich routine is getting stale, leave the bread on the shelf. Anything is fun to eat on a stick, so why not surprise your kids with lunch kabobs? Alternate chunks of salami, tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella for an Italian theme, or make a BLT club by adding fresh avocado and turkey slices to bacon, lettuce, and tomato. Pinwheel sandwiches using wraps or tortillas also provide endless flavor options, such as turkey and apple with grated cheddar, or try a southwestern style with cream cheese, salsa, and black beans. You can even skip rolling the tortilla and make a quesadilla.

Eat Your Colors

We eat with our eyes first, and so do our kids. When something is beautiful to look at, it’s more exciting. Surprise your child by incorporating their favorite color into their lunch. Try switching up foods that come in multiple colors for their lesser-seen alternatives, such as purple carrots, blood-red oranges, blue corn chips, or green pesto pasta. Let your inner artist shine and make it a complete color story by sticking to one shade for a monochrome lunch or mixing complementary colors.


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Written by Nicole Paskowsky

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