Packing a school lunch for my daughter too often involves standing in front of the open refrigerator, hoping that the blast of cold air hitting my face will magically fire up my brain so I can whip up something from the various bits of meat, cheese and veggies lurking on the shelves. If I were a bit more organized, I’d look for that inspiration online, where parents can find recipes, ideas and even photos to help kick-start the lunch-making process.
Here are four sites to check out:
Lunch in A Box
In her blog, a mom from San Francisco shares her passion for lunches inspired by Japanese bento boxes, home-cooked meals packed attractively in small containers. The recipes are unusual, drawing on flavours from various countries, and she offers plenty of ideas on how to put together an interesting lunch that will appeal to kids of different ages. Bento box lunches are gaining in popularity and the site includes many links to Bento-related and other food sites.
Healthy Lunches To Go
Created by the Dieticians of Canada, this site will convince most parents that creating a healthy and tasty midday meal doesn’t have to be stress-inducing. You’ll find tips and recipes as well as a worksheet to be completed with a child, demonstrating how to put together lunches that include items from all the major food groups.
Subtitled “healthy recipes for the speed of life,” this site not only offers lunch ideas and tips, but also helpful articles on food safety, choosing a lunch box and cooking with kids.
This company sells a Bento-inspired lunch box, but what really impresses me is that its website includes a vast gallery of photos of lunches submitted by readers. While the photos don’t include recipe information, the pictures can provide a little visual inspiration. You can also sign up for a weekly newsletter that includes menus and lunch tips.