There's just one more month left in the summer, so make the most of it with these awesome lunch ideas.
As the summer days wind down, your kids might be feeling the back-to-school blues. While you're counting down the days before the first day of school with a smile, your kids are probably clinging to every last second of daytime left in their vacation.
One way you can make sure they have the best summer ever before they grudgingly head back to school is by making lunchtime special. After all, they'll soon be eating midday meals in a crowded cafeteria, so home-cooked lunches eaten outdoors will be a great summer memory.
1. Change locations
Getting sick of having meals in the kitchen or dining room? Well, the kids probably are, too. Making lunchtime fun may this simple: have a backyard picnic or lunch at the park. Set up a picnic blanket and make their summertime favorites for a fun time without much fuss. If you have young ones, have a Teddy Bear Picnic
in the backyard!
2. Take advantage of seasonal produce
Summer is a great time to teach kids about fruits and vegetables. Since many farmers' markets open early, take your kiddos with you and let them talk to the farmers, pick out their own produce and ask questions about what they see. You may even find that exposing your children to this kind of environment can pique their interest in healthy fruits and veggies, which is obviously a good thing. Afterward, you can go home and use your goods to make awesome dishes like this Tomato Summer Vegetable Tart (recipe featured below)
or Mini Fruit Pizzas
3. Invite a friend over
Letting the little ones invite a friend or two over for lunch is a great way to ease them back into the school spirit, because they might realize just how much they missed being around their pals. Even better, you could make arrangements with neighborhood moms to swap lunch days, giving you a chance to send your kids off for the afternoon, and maybe even catch up on "you time" when they chow down with their buddies.
4. Explore cuisines from around the world
Get the kids back into the learning groove in a way that's so fun they won't even notice they're being schooled. Pick a different country or region and get your kiddos involved in learning about the culture, language, currency and – of course – food of that area. You can make these simple, yummy Mexican Tortas
when studying our neighbors to the south, or Beef Tataki
when learning about Japan. Presenting new foods in a way that's fun and informative may make your kids ready to dig into the back-to-school spirit when the time comes.
5. Let them get their hands dirty
Teaching your kids the basics of cooking is something that they'll remember forever. Get the kids in the kitchen with you and let 'em help with meal prep. Depending on their age and motor skills, they can do tasks like clean fruits and veggies and measure out ingredients. As they get older, you can charge them with shredding items like carrots and cheese, and teach them how to properly cut and chop different items. And, of course, baking is always a favorite! Something simple, like these Summer Sunshine Cookies
, makes it all fun and no work.