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Facing Lunch

Of all the meals I prepare at my house, lunch can really drag me down. Dinners are usually planned in advance and breakfast is served by request from the kiddos.

But lunch. Oh, lunch.

Like all families, we have standard fare that we seem to rotate through on repeat – cheese tortillas, PB&J (sunflower butter for my peanut allergic little dude), grilled cheese, mac and cheese. But sometimes I just can’t handle flipping one more quesadilla. And from the look in my kids’ eyes when I offer it up, they can’t either. So we get creative.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my 5+ years as a mama of young children it’s that routine is good but changing the routine is good for the soul. Some days we’ll head outside and dine on a blanket in the front yard.  Or in the living room. Other days we load up a muffin tin with 12 varieties of odds and ends for a muffin tin lunch. But the hands-down favorite way to mix up our lunch routine in my house is the face lunch.

(raw okra, goldfish crackers, raisins, banana)

The face lunch is beautiful and brilliant for a multitude of reasons. First and foremost, the unveiling of it must be a surprise. Which means no kids in the kitchen while mama is making it.  I don’t need to tell you how lovely that is do I? In my mind that alone is reason enough to make them everyday!

(halved grapes, rice balls, a pecan, shaved turkey)

Beyond the bliss of 5 uninterrupted minutes of midday solititude, face lunches are the perfect way to encourage your picky eater to try something that they might otherwise turn their nose up at. (No pun intended! Okay, maybe a little…) For example, the stem on that pumpkin up there is a piece of raw okra cut in half. My five year old asked what it was, gave it a thorough inspection, and then ate it before she touched anything else. And can you blame her? I mean, it looks so fun! And there’s only one on her plate which is much less daunting than being asked to eat an entire mound of green beans or brussel sprouts. We can all handle one right?

(banana, corn on the cob, PB&J quarters, strawberries)

And face lunches are perfect for those days when the pantry is bare and your voice echoes inside the cold, empty confines of your fridge. Leftovers and random samplings of fruits and veggies are the perfect additions. You don’t need much of any one thing and foods that normally don’t sound appealing together instantly become  the perfect match when they work together to create an adorable little face.

So get out of your rut and give a face lunch a try today. Get creative, have fun, and make your kiddos smile while you’re at it!

Is there a meal that drags you down at your house? How do you get out of your rut? Creative Mamas want to know!

Erin Cobb

Erin has been a mama for five years, a blogger for four, and a professional photographer for 3. She hopes to be all of those things for at least another 50. She’s passionate about her family, her friends, bright colors and shooting jpeg (what?!). Those are the things that feed her soul but Erin says writing about them feels like the dessert. Erin makes her home and runs her business in Huntsville, Alabama.

About Erin


Erin has been a mama for six years, a blogger for five, and professional photographer for four. She hopes to be all of those things for at least another 50. She’s passionate about her family, her friends, bright colors and shooting jpeg (what?!). Erin is also the creative force behind the highly acclaimed Clean Color video editing tutorial. Those are the things that feed her soul but Erin says writing about them feels like the dessert. Erin makes her home and runs her business in Huntsville, Alabama.

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  • http://www.rookiemoms.com RookieMom Whitneyw

    I love this! My kids do too when I remember to do it, so this post was a great reminder!

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  • http://www.geoffandmelissa.blogspot.com Melissa G.

    Love this! I have a picky eater in my house but he would love this!

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  • http://www.lifeasyouliveit.wordpress.com stacey

    thank you thank you! i LOVE it!

  • http://www.theprairiehen.blogspot.com The Prairie Hen

    Lunch can often be boring at our house because I use up all my inspired cooking with supper. Evening is when my hubby is home and adult praise is often more forthcoming than it’s younger childish version.

    Thanks for the tips… they should shape-up our lunches!

    Get it?
    Shape…

    Ohhhhh, forget it!

    Love,
    Boring Machine in NE

  • http://lifeineden.wordpress.com Life in Eden

    I didn’t overcome any picky-ness today — but it definitely made lunch more fun. The 7-year-old loved that I made everything into a flower. Alas! No pictures, as it is all eaten up. :)

  • http://deannag.typepad.com Deanna

    Thanks for the inspiration. Have you seen these?
    http://www.uncommongoods.com/search.html/find/?q=face+plate

  • http://erincobb.com/thepigbear erin cobb

    Be sure to share your creativity with us if you girls take the challenge and snap some pictures!

  • Jennifer Fantoni

    I love this idea as well! I have found success using a bento box for my son’s lunch. It works much the same way–little bits of different foods. Combine that with fun shapes and he will try almost anything! I need to try this face idea–he would love the PBJ eyes! Thanks a bunch Erin!

  • http://romeoandmaeblog.com Jennifer O. (aka Romeo and Mae)

    Omg, what a cute idea, I really never would have thought of doing that!

  • http://lindey.blogs.com lindey

    erin, you’re brilliant :o) and fun!

  • Lorena Mora

    I love this idea, I have one picky eater and one good eater. I’m going to have to try it and see how it goes, plus it seems fun. I think tomorrow on my day off will be the first face lunch!

  • Mara

    Great idea! thanks so much for sharing!

  • Jennifer

    Where were you when my picky eaters were little?! :)

  • http://www.angiewarren.com Angie

    These are the CUTEST things ever Erin. My kids would love them! I see a facefull of dinner in our future :)

  • http://www.staceywoodsphoto.com Stacey Woods

    I love this idea!! I’ve got two picky eaters at home and this couldn’t have come at a better time. (Although I’ll keep holding my breath that they’ll eat raw okra.) ;) I know this could easily work for breakfast or lunch too. Thanks so much, Erin!!

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  • http://www.mykidscallmemom.blogspot.com Jamie M.

    I always struggle with lunch, but this looks like so much fun. My kiddos would love it, we are going to give it a try thanks for the inspiration!!