How to Pack a Healthy Lunch for a Picky Eater - The Produce Moms

Do you have a picky eater at home that makes packing a lunch a challenge? Many picky eaters are not a fan of fruits or veggies, so they often reject eating different produce items during lunch. However, DON’T GIVE UP! There ARE ways to pack a healthy lunch for your picky eater!

Here are 5  tips for packing a healthy lunch for the picky eater in your home…

How To Pack a Healthy Lunch for a Picky Eater

1. Let your kids choose their own favorite fruit & veggies

Take your kids to the grocery store & allow them to explore the produce department themselves. They will be more willing to try fruits and veggies they choose themselves, so go ahead and allow them this freedom. All produce is good produce, so approve of any of their choices.

Watch out for the urge to tell kids, “oh, you won’t like that”. Kids often like fruits and veggies that adults wouldn’t expect them to. And just because they didn’t like an item 2 years ago, doesn’t mean they won’t love it now.

2. Use cookie cutters to make fun shapes

Cookie cutters aren’t just for cookies!  Try cutting out some turnip stars, cucumber hearts, pineapple flowers, etc. for the lunch box.  The options are endless! Your kids will be much more likely to eat their daily servings of fruits and veggies when they are fun shapes.

3. Use stickers or draw funny faces on peels

Not all produce has to be pre-cut in the lunch box.  Find a cool sticker or use a toothpick to gently carve a funny face or write a nice message on the peeling of the fruit or veggie! I love to put funny faces on my sons’ banana peels before throwing them into their lunch boxes.

4. Sneak the veggies into recipes

For extra picky eaters who are particularly veggie-resistant, sometimes you just have to be sneaky! This extra measure will help ensure your child gets his or her daily servings of produce. There are lots of ways to sneak in fruits and veggies into recipes without your child ever knowing. Try Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese, Secret Ingredient Brownies, or Cauliflower Pizza Crust.

5. Dips, Dips, Dips

Pack a delicious dip that your child can use with fruits or veggies. Kids are often more willing to eat carrot sticks with ranch dressing or celery with peanut butter, for example. Dips are fun and yummy and it’s a great way to encourage children to eat produce.

BONUS TIP – Infuse Water with Fruits and Veggies

Pack infused water as your child’s lunch box drink. Fruit and veggie infused water will provide your child with some extra vitamins and antioxidants and it’s tasty too! Infusing water is easy. Learn how here. 

Need more tips? Here are 5 tricks to help children eat their veggies. 

Do you have a picky eater at home? How do you encourage him or her to eat a healthy lunch? Share your tips in the comments below!

How To Pack a Healthy Lunch for a Picky Eater

Lori Taylor

Author: Lori Taylor

Lori Taylor is the Founder & CEO of The Produce Moms, a lifestyle media brand and community of passionate fresh produce advocates with a mission to inspire everyone, especially children, to eat more fruits and vegetables. For ten years Lori sold fresh produce to over 300 grocery stores throughout the United States. Today, Lori and her team are fully focused on educating consumers about fresh produce, introducing them to produce brands, engaging the produce industry with consumers in inspiring conversations, and promoting public policy to protect and increase the availability of fresh produce at American schools. Her work has been featured on,, Huff Post, Real Simple Magazine, US Kids Magazines, GQ Magazine, Hallmark Channel as well as ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC affiliates throughout the US. Lori is the host of The Produce Moms Podcast, a seasoned Keynote Speaker, a recipient of many produce industry accolades (including Produce Business 40 Under 40, Vance Agribusiness 40 Under 40, and The Packer 25), and is currently writing her first book. Lori resides in Indianapolis, Indiana with her husband Chip, their two sons Joe & Mac, and their Great Dane.

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