Depending upon where you live, your child may or may not have access to school-provided lunches. When this is the case, you need sure-fire ways to make school lunches fun for your students. The following gives you ideas you can use to make school lunches tempting and nutritious.

Most parents know how important good nutrition is to give their children all the help they can in school. Certain foods can help raise your child’s grades, give them an added push for athletics, and help them maintain a healthy weight. So, even though you want their lunches to be nutritious, finding ways to make them fun will give your child something to look forward to each day.

Ask your child what they want in their lunch bag. Obviously they’ll ask for some items which you’d prefer they did not eat too much of, but you may want to allow them to have some of their favorite things.

Put a note in your child’s lunch bag or box to let them know you’re thinking of them. The note doesn’t have to be mushy so they’ll be embarrassed by it if their friends read it. In fact, the note could be a secret message between the two of you; no one else has to know what it means. Encourage them if they’re struggling with a subject or if they have a test they’ve studied really hard for.

Choosing a cool lunch box can help your child enjoy lunch a little more. Using snack-size zip top bags can encourage your child to eat smaller portions. Be sure to get the printed snack-size bags during the holidays to brighten up your child’s lunch.

Does your child love yogurt or cheese but you’re hesitant to put them in their lunch because you’re concerned about food safety? Buying a cold pack is one option; you can also freeze your child’s juice box (100% juice only) and allow it to thaw before they eat. This will enable your child to have the items they like and you can rest assured they won’t get sick.

Most children love to dip their foods. They may love to dunk their carrot sticks into ranch-style dressing. Apples can be dipped in caramel sauce. Even chicken pieces can be dipped into a sauce of their choice.

Make a big deal over holidays or family celebrations. Pack a piece of birthday cake or cupcake if their birthday falls during the school week. For St. Patrick’s Day, focus on green foods. When Easter gets closer, pack cookies shaped like bunnies or lambs.

Give your child rolled-up sandwiches, or pinwheels, rather than regular sandwiches. Purchase some flour tortillas, spread their favorite condiments on it, and then layer it with the meats and vegetables. Roll it up tightly and wrap it in plastic wrap. Before you pack your child’s lunch, slice the rolls into one-inch to two-inch wide slices.

You can try some of these sure-fire ways to make school lunches fun for your children. And listen to your child to find out about what their ideas are for making school lunches more fun.