Stick it, stack it, roll it or dip it. Yes, I’m referring to food.

Tony the Tiger Circle Slash

Why do you think billions of dollars a year are spent marketing to kids? It works! Actually, as Tony the High-Fructose-Corn-Syrup-addled Tiger would say “It works GRRRReat!” Sometimes a little too great. But instead of cursing Kelloggs for so many blue-in-the-face tantrums in the cereal aisle, let’s take a page out of their marketing plan and put some healthy food in our kids’ tummies.

What works? Engaging packaging, food that’s fun and a surprise inside. Let’s start with packaging. My fave? Cool bento boxes at iloveobento.com and madebyoots.com. Pair these with chopstick girl at perpetualkid.com or a superhero action figure spoon at coolstuffexpress.com and you’re on your way. Next up, food that’s fun to eat. Remember, kids like to stick it, stack it, roll it or dip it.

– Stick it Think fruit or veggie kabobs. Give kids the healthy ingredients, they stick them. Try I lovebento.com for kid-friendly (and adorable) skewers.

– Stack it You supply the materials, they supply the labor. Cookie cutters transform a plain sandwich into a work of art. I found cute ones at fancyflours.com or kitchengifts.com

– Roll it Kids love rolling their own burritos, wraps, even sushi especially when you let them have fun combining unexpected ingredients.

– Dip it Veggies or fruit cut into small strips make “fries” perfect for dipping in hummus, tapenade, guacamole or yogurt.

Finally, the surprise. Fun stickers, erasers, even a note from Mom will brighten their day and keep them looking forward to tomorrow’s lunch. Enjoy!

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