Having to think of what lunch to prepare for your kids to school is a nightmare to a lot of parents, especially when your kids are picky eaters. You would either spend the day at home pondering ways to make your kids eat celery or tomatoes, or fretting about your kids would not touch the food and starve for the whole afternoon. To cast aside these worries and enjoy your own time, make your kids eat their lunch by adding creative elements and garnishing with their favourite seasonings!

Lunch meals have to be healthy, nutritious and yummy… but most importantly, your kids have to love it.

From nutritious and unique take on cold options to crowd-pleasing lunch ideas, these fresh lunch recipes which would make your kids eat and keep them fueled all day the nutritious way!

1. Mrs Incredible Elastigirl Burger
Picky level: ★★★★★

Mrs Incredible Elastigirl Burger
Image from Share Food

Who doesn’t love the Incredibles? It is definitely a heroic film with ideal cartoons in every little kid’s (or even adults’) dreams . Even if your kids have not watched the film before, they will also be impressed by the fancy appearance of the rice burger. Thai Riceberry rice is used to make the rice “buns”, it contains higher nutritional value and provides a great source of Vitamin B, dietary minerals, antioxidants and fibre for your kids! Favourite bacon, cheese and meat patty with nutritious purple rice, it’s surely a nice option for picky kids!

Tip: Replace the beef patty with vegetable patty to add sodium and proteins. Add lettuce and tomatoes for potassium and Vitamin C.

2. Bolognese Rocket Rice Pizza
Picky level: ★★★★

Bolognese Rocket Rice Pizza
Image from Share Food

Create a bit of fun for your kids by adding adorable patterns with different combinations of ingredients. Or simply buy some modes with different shapes to make the food look more interesting to eat! Cheese and chicken bolognese are baked and placed on top of the rocket-shaped rice. This Rice Pizza dish has all the characteristics of a pizza but is healthy and nutritious as it has fibre from the rice, protein from the chicken and vegetables from the capsicum.

Tip: Sneak in more vegetables into the bolognese or change the type of rice to brown to boost their fibre intake.

3. Angry Birds Bento (Tomato and Cheese Rice Balls)
Picky level: ★★★★

Angry Birds Bento (Tomato and Cheese Rice Balls)
Image from Recipes Recipes

Lunch time at school is a highlight in any kid’s day: It’s a chance to hang out with friends and dig into some tasty food. Never worry that your kids won’t touch the food when they see some adorable Angry Birds rice balls in their lunch boxes. Small is always better for picky eaters, kid do not want the need to take in a large amount of rice. Moreover, they are more likely to finish bite sized rice balls as they are easier to eat.

Tip: Put on face features on the nutritious food that your kids do not like to eat. Add fruits of different colours to raise its attractiveness.

4. Chick Bento (Egg Yolk Rice Ball)
Picky level: ★★★

Chick Bento (Egg Yolk Rice Ball)
Image from Bento Days

This is the easiest bento lunch box you can make for your kids. You can just find the ingredients in your fridge for the basic version, no special ingredients are needed. Make your bento a colourful one by including different vegetables with contrasting colours such as broccoli and cherry tomato. Not only do you get different nutrients from various fruit and veggies, the vibrant and natural colours of these fresh ingredients add to the attractiveness of your bento. If your kids are super picky, put some bacon, meatball or wings to spice up the flavour.

Tip: Cut vegetables into small pieces and stuff into the rice balls to increase nutrition value. Mix cheese with the egg yolk to make the rice balls more savoury.

5. Teriyaki Chicken Katsu Onigirazu
Picky level: ★★★★

Onigirazu is a rice ball that is not squeezed tightly into the traditional shape, like round or triangle. Onigirazu has been always a school lunch favourite. Kids love all the ingredients that are stuffed in one rice ball/sandwich which is portable and fits in their small hands. The kids have been working hard at school and now it’s time to show your appreciation by rewarding them with a savoury meal made with love!

Tip: Customize this recipe with your kids’ favorite lunchmeat, cheese, spreads and veggies! 

6. Chicken Yakitori Don
Picky level: ★★★

Chicken Yakitori Don
Image from Apple of My Eye

Let’s face it: mornings are hectic. Packing a healthy lunch for your kids can add to the frustration. Chicken Yakitori Don is an easier lunch prep which can be done within 30 min. Start your rice cooker before you move on to making this and, by the time your rice is done, your chicken will be good to go. Easy enough for a weeknight and fancy enough for company!

Tip: Garnish with seaweed seasoning and sesame seeds to add texture and flavour to the rice. For picky eaters who do not like chicken, pork or beef are good substitutes too.