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 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.