Tips to Battle Boring Lunches

Traci Paige Johnson

How can we get out of a lunch-packing rut? Try these three solutions!


Up mealtime fun by giving lunch box fare a silly theme. Three your child will love: Serve only circle-shaped foods, like grapes, salami, or round cheese slices and crackers; keep everything the same hue—think orange juice, baby carrots, red pepper hummus, and cheddar cheese; or try a pirate theme by cutting foods into small pieces that your child can spear with a toothpick sword (don’t forget a chocolate coin for dessert!).


You know how some hotels slip room service menu cards under your door asking you to check off your breakfast selections? Make your own—for lunch! Include a few choices your child likes for each meal category (like mains, sides, desserts, and beverages) and let her build a customized meal by checking off an item in each category.


Punch up the lunch note routine with a thought-provoking riddle, joke, or brainteaser, then discuss the answer at dinnertime. (If you have multiple kids, you can write the same riddle for everyone.) Kick things off with the riddle below, and find tons more by searching “riddles” at or go to the Fun Stuff page at

Traci Paige Johnson, a mom of three, is the co-creator of Blue’s Clues and Super WHY! (and the voice of Blue’s bark). She also launched a children’s media company, yummico, making “delicious media that’s good and good for you.”