If making your child’s school lunch boxes gives you a little anxiety, you’re not alone. It can be difficult to know exactly what to pack to keep them happy and fuelled for the second half of their school day. In addition, there’s the added worry of if you’re offering enough healthy and nutritious options.
A recent study suggests that fewer than two in 100 primary school children are eating a healthy packed lunch, which is an alarming statistic in the middle of an ongoing obesity crisis in the UK. However, many parents know how difficult it is to get their little one to enjoy (or even try!) nutritious items of food they’re not familiar with.
With so many boxes to tick, it’s completely understandable if you often find yourself worried and stuck for inspiration. To make matters a little easier, we’ve searched TikTok to find the most creative and motivating ‘mumfluencers’ to help inspire endless packed lunch ideas – just in time for the back-to-school season!
Followers: 5.7 million
Likes: 209.7 million
In the top spot is the app’s favourite self-proclaimed ‘bento box queen’, Jessica Woo. This fun mum’s TikTok page is full of quality content that demonstrates exactly what she does for her children’s school lunch boxes, providing so much inspiration for parents across the world.
Having sparked the viral phrase “making lunch for my kids”, Jessica’s creative ideas have included rainbow waffles in response to Pride Month; a Thanksgiving-inspired lunch featuring roast chicken, green beans, and mashed potato; and even a packed lunch based on the Netflix phenomenon ‘Squid Games’, with a sausage carved in the shape of a squid and cookies in the shape of a triangle, square, and circle.
#2 - @winnyhayes
Followers: 1.6 million
Likes: 42.3 million
Our research identified Winny Hayes as TikTok’s second most popular food content creator. This Atlanta mummy focuses on making fun and delicious meals that are perfect for her children’s lunch boxes – and perhaps perfect for yours, too! Give her page a follow to find out.
With Winny’s help, you can create healthy, filling meals like mac and cheese, Swedish meatballs, and fried rice and chicken dumplings. To ensure your child’s nutritional needs are being met, include some form of fruit and vegetables with every lunch meal, just like Winny does.
Followers: 1.4 million
Likes: 18.8 million
This page is motivated by mummy Michelle’s passion for creating fun lunches and yummy recipes to inspire other parents. Adalynn is a very lucky student! When the lunch bell rings at her school, she opens her bento box and is greeted by sandwiches cut into unicorns, pizzas in the form of stars, and heart-shaped fruit.
If you’d like to create the same great lunches for your own child, head over to her page and look at the type of recipes she demonstrates. Michelle also includes an Amazon link so you can purchase everything she uses to recreate Adalynn’s awesome lunch boxes for your children.
Followers: 469.5 thousand
Likes: 11 million
Tina, from New York City, is the creative genius behind TikTok’s @ross_ini page, a profile teeming with brilliant ideas that’ll help you tackle all future lunch box duties with enjoyment and determination! From a bento-style lunch box, her child enjoys an array of healthy, nutritious lunches lovingly made in response to certain themes.
An ordinary sandwich is transformed into Baby Yoda for Star Wars, a bunny rabbit for Easter, and a heart for Valentine’s Day using just a cookie cutter and edible marker pen. Though this requires a little more effort from you, a child is more likely to eat foods that are cut into fun shapes, so it might be worth the extra time if your little one is a little fussy.
#5 - @gabriellamariposa
Followers: 193.9 thousand
Likes: 5.4 million
If your child puts up a fight when it comes to trying new food, you need to follow Gabriella’s TikTok page. This famous ‘mumfluencer’ takes great joy in creating food that mirrors her children’s interests, such as Mario pizza slices, Minecraft sandwiches, and Fall Guys popcorn.
Experts say that an easy way to increase the fun factor of healthy foods is to involve the kids in the cooking process. You could let them physically help you create their lunches, or simply ask them what TV show or game they’re currently enjoying and then base their next lunch on that. In a similar way to the other ‘mumfluencers’, Gabriella uses cookie cutters, edible marker pens, and themed food picks to create her children’s exciting lunch.
What do all these ‘mumfluencers’ have in common?
If there’s one thing you can take from all the TikTok food content creators listed above, they put a little more time and effort into creating their children’s lunch boxes. We understand that not every mum, dad, or carer has the necessary time to create colourful, artistic lunches every single day, and that’s nothing to feel ashamed about.
These ‘mumfluencers’ publish their content to inspire other parents and serve suggestions for those struggling to think beyond putting a simple sandwich and fruit pot in their kid’s backpack. You don’t have to copy them like for like; identify which ideas you can put into action with the time and resources you have and go from there.
By watching their videos and jotting down some of their innovation, you should be able to start serving up school lunches that tick the seemingly endless boxes. Nutritious? Tick. Exciting? Tick. Filling? Tick. Healthy? Tick. Come on, new school year, we’re ready for you!