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9 clever ways to say I love you in your kids' (or hubby's) lunchbox
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Because food is always a wonderful way to say how much you care. Because food is always a wonderful way to say how much you care. - photo by Emily Cummings
You always say I love you before your kiddos run off to school, but just in case they need a (tasty) reminder mid-afternoon, weve got you covered. Let the lunch youve packed give them a little emotional pick-me-up in the afternoon. A few of these ideas take a little planning, but others only need a sharpie and a steady hand. Pack an extra loving surprise inside a lunchbox this week and bask in rave reviews.

Who doesn't love cupcakes?

Remember those little snack cupcakes you used to fight over in the lunchroom? You know, the ones with the swirly pattern on the top? With a steady hand, you can write almost anything on top of the homemade version.I love you never tasted so good!

http://www.thecandidappetite.com/2015/02/04/chocolate-strawberry-filled-cupcakes/

Send a little egg-stra love along

A couple of hard-boiled eggs are a quick way to make carrots and apple wedges into a protein-rich lunch. If your kids are into peeling the eggs themselves, write a little message right on the egg shell for them to discover later on. Or, if you'd like to pack in an extra surprise, try this hidden heart technique.

http://www.annathered.com/2010/09/29/how-to-make-a-heart-shaped-egg/

Secret messages

Some clever parent has come up with quite the lunch trick. To add some suspense and surprise into the lunchroom routine, shallowly carve an I love you! note with a toothpick or knife right into the banana peel. By 12:00, your code will have turned slightly brown, revealing the hidden message.

http://cometogetherkids.blogspot.com/2011/07/magic-message-bananas.html

Wrapped with love

Bring a little New York deli into a lunchpail by wrapping a sandwich in some wax paper. An extra minute in the morning will help make lunchtime really special, and the wax paper makes a great surface to scrawl out a little note, dotted with hearts. Learn how the pros do it here.

I've got love all "fig-gured out

Pack up a little pouch of nostalgia and make some homemade fig newtons to send some homemade love along. Spend a Sunday whipping up a batch, and send some for an afternoon snack (and a clever food pun).

https://food52.com/recipes/25450-fig-keplers

Hearts too cute to eat

Pasta isn't just tube-shaped anymore. You can order heart-shaped pasta online, making lunchtime a breeze. Your kids will love eating up a pasta salad chock-full of love. (And we all know how good pasta salad is, even without a recipe). If pasta salad isn't your lunchtime jam, a cookie cutter makes a PB&J sandwich into a heart in no time.

http://www.momtastic.com/food/171517-the-heart-sandwich-for-the-lunchbox/

A picture says a thousand words

A couple extra minutes in the morning paid off big time for this dad. Take a leaf out of his book and doodle on the sandwich bags you send your sandwiches in. Adding in a few encouraging messages to go along with the colorful drawings is sure to dazzle.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/ggggenji/dad-illustrates-his-kids-sandwich-bags-makes-your-9mo9

Muffin love

Send along a hearty muffin instead of a granola bar (and say I love you at the same time). This cute blog shows us how to make cupcakes or muffins in the shape of a heart. Write out a post-it note with youre my stud muffin and you are set.

http://www.52kitchenadventures.com/2014/02/03/make-heart-shaped-cupcakes/

I cannoli love you

Pancakes may be a breakfast food, and cannolis most likely arent a part of your regular lunchtime routine, so a cannoli pancake is a treat in and of itself. Make lunchtime the absolute best by rolling up a couple of these sweet treats next lunchtime.

http://www.spachethespatula.com/cannoli-pancakes/

There's always a little more room inside that lunchbox for a bit more love. Scoot over the juice boxes and send along one of these darling and delicious ways to say "I love you" this week.