Among the toughest battles of parenthood is encouraging your kids to eat healthy. It’s no secret that fruits and vegetables aren’t often the most appetizing of the health-conscious snacks, but their nutritional values are crucial in creating a beneficial diet for your child.

So how can we make fruits and veggies more desirable to kids? It’s actually much easier than one might think. The secret lies in the presentation.

Lunchbox Art

If you pack a bagged lunch the same way every day, those sliced apples your kids refuse to eat are always going to remain browning at the bottom of the bag. Instead of serving up a wilting PB&J or some carrots in a plastic baggie, try buying a lunch box with divided sections, and make some delicious lunchbox art!

What You Need:

* 6 Strawberries

* 1 Banana

* 1 Cucumber

* Two Slices of Whole Wheat Bread

* Two Leaves of Kale (can be substituted with other healthy greens!)

* One Slice of Deli Lunch Meat

* Strawberry Yogurt

* Teddy Grahams

* One Heart-Shaped Cutout

Step One: The first thing you are going to do is make your fruit salad. You’ll need your banana and your six strawberries. Using a small knife, you are going to remove the green stems of the strawberries by cutting a triangle shape out of the top. The goal is to make the strawberries appear heart shaped. Next, slice your banana into banana wheels and then, using a similar method to how you cut the strawberries, cut the bananas into hearts. Toss the heart shaped fruits together and you’ve got your first side dish!

Step Two: Here you will need your cucumber, kale leaves, deli meat, and bread. Slice your cucumber into wheels, just like you did with the bananas, and then slice them into small hearts and place to the side. For your sandwich, stack your bread slices on top of one another and use your heart-shaped cutout to remove the crust and create your lunchtime centerpiece. Add your lunch meat, kale leaves, and cucumbers to your sandwich to polish off the heart-shaped finale!

Step Three: Next, spoon a few sizable dollops of strawberry yogurt into a small, tupperware container, and decorate with four or five teddy grahams.

Step Four: Grab a tin lunch box and place the items in each desired section. When you’re finished, add a happy note to the inside. Voila!

Bonus Recipe: Afterschool Snack

Instead of offering up a cup of the same boring applesauce they’re used to, try making frozen applesauce bites instead!

What You Need:

* Measuring Spoons

* Unsweetened Applesauce

* Baking Tray

* Wax Paper

Cover a baking tray with wax paper and drop tablespoons of applesauce across the sheet. Once finished, clear a spot in the freezer for the baking tray, and let droplets solidify until completely frozen. This delicious treat will be twice as appetizing for your kids when frozen!

For more lunch ideas, click here!

Ashley Howard is an intern with Boston Parents Paper.