Lunch-box genius and mom Hee Jee Lee shares her top strategies for packing a lunch that pops for our debut Insta Eats column.

By Hee Jee Lee
October 04, 2019
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pink sandwich rolls in lunchbox
Courtesy of Hee Jee Lee
| Credit: Courtesy of Hee Jee Lee

When I started making lunches for my 3-year-old, Maia, one of my main goals was to get her to eat more veggies. I discovered that “pretty” meals excite Maia and encourage her to get acquainted with unfamiliar foods. Plus, creating fun lunches keeps me from getting bored too! Here are a few of my favorite lunch-box tricks I've discovered along the way.

Go brighter.

I include foods that are naturally vibrant and pair contrasting colors, like pink beet hummus (pictured in the wraps above) and green pesto, to make the meal more visually appealing. If food looks bland, I’ll often add a natural dye like powdered dragon fruit, which turns it pink!

Start simple.

In the beginning, I simply used a cookie cutter to make fun shapes with veggies that I wanted Maia to sample. You don’t need to go all out to make it beautiful.

Transform their greens.

When there’s produce that my daughter absolutely won’t eat, I put it into baked goods—like spinach muffins—or blend it into a smoothie.

pink sandwich box with pretty lunch
Credit: Courtesy of Hee Jee Lee

Add a wow to sammies.

Sandwich stamps make basic, crustless bread a lot more interesting with super-little effort.

Be organized while being cute.

Sometimes it’s hard for kids to eat from bento boxes with dividers because they have a difficult time grabbing things from the small, rigid cubes. Instead, I use colorful silicone baking cups in a stainless-steel container. I also rely on simple parchment paper or lettuce leaves to prevent foods from touching.

Follow Hee Jee Lee on Instagram for more fun kid-friendly food inspiration.

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