Lunchtime can be tricky, especially when you’re dealing with picky eaters and busy schedules. Luckily, we’ve come up with three simple Valentine’s Day-inspired lunchboxes kids are bound to love.
This lunchbox doesn’t just say Valentine’s Day, it yells Valentine’s Day. To make the hot-dog hearts, slice the ends off diagonally and skewer with a wooden pick to hold in place. To create heart-shaped strawberries, cut them in half vertically and then cut the stems out by carving a triangle shape to create the look of a heart. Easy right? For a bit of crunch, we topped crackers with heart-shaped pieces of cheese, made with a small cookie cutter. For a veggie, we sliced a washed and peeled carrot into quarter-inch rings and again, using a small cookie cutter, cut out little carrot hearts. And last but not least, we made some super-easy dipped pretzels. Simply melt white chocolate chips in the microwave, dip the pretzels into the melted chocolate, place on wax paper and decorate with the sprinkles of your choice. Let them set at room temperature or pop the tray in the freezer to speed up drying time.
Opening up a lunchbox to find mini, heart-shaped pepperoni pizzas will make any kiddo smile. We rolled out Pillsbury Classic Pizza Crust, then using a large heart-shaped cookie cutter, cut out our mini pizzas and baking at 400° for 6 minutes. Remove from the oven and top with your favorite valentine-inspired foods! We cut our pepperoni into hearts, but any red toppings would be great (think: red pepper, cherry tomatoes or Canadian bacon!). Return to the oven, and bake until the cheese is fully melted. Plain old broccoli is, well, plain, so we adorned ours with red and white string to make a tasty bouquet. Using Fruit Roll-Ups, we cut out circles and folded them around little Valentine’s messages to create a personalized, love-filled bite. For a little something sweet, we included our favorite homemade Gluten-Free Valentine Chex Mix and a granola bar to snack on later.
If you’re looking for a lighter lunchbox that’s packed with flavor, this idea is for you. To make the protein-packed kabobs, cut one-inch, square pieces of thickly sliced provolone cheese and turkey. To make the cucumber hearts, simply wash and slice a cucumber and cut shapes with a heart-shaped cookie cutter. Top them off with a cherry tomato cut in half and skewer with a long toothpick. For the apple slices, cut a large apple into half-inch slices horizontally and remove the core using a heart-shaped cookie cutter. Tie some festive Valentine’s Day string around a few stalks of celery and add a pack of fruit snacks for a sweet, portion-controlled treat!