You Can’t Pick Your Friends…

by on September 5th, 2012
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Or is that you can’t pick your family? Yeah that’s it. In either case this was my thought of the day as I sent my toddler Trevor out the door with his lunch.

What on earth am I talking about? Picks, food picks that is! Today Trevor’s lunch included 2 bunny themed food picks. This is the first time I have used them in his lunch. I hope that he enjoys them responsibly! Trevor who is just shy of age 3 may think of them as toys (aka weapons) so I’m anxious to see how it went today. I hope he doesn’t use his picks to pick his friends! Fingers crossed!

Food picks are a great way to both decorate and organize your lunch container. Often called cocktail picks, appetizer picks or even cupcake picks there is a dizzying array available out there on the market. Head on over to those Amazon or Bento USA links over there on the side bar and search food picks. You’ll see what I am talking about! The good news? You can get any shape, color, size or theme you can think of. The bad news? You are going to have to determine whether it is appropriate to use them! So if you have little ones, like I do, you’ll have to judge whether they are old enough and whether their childcare provider will allow them. You’ll also have to determine whether or not your 10 year old will give away his mustache food picks to his friends to play with. Ha!

Wait, food picks aren’t just for kids! No! I use them all the time in my lunches for grown ups! Alright maybe not the bunny ones! As I said they not only decorate but they also organize! A food pick will keep a couple of olives from rolling around your lunch container! A food pick will allow you to make interesting kabobs! A food pick will hold your neatly wrapped sandwich roll-up together! It is a great item to have in your lunchbox tool kit!

So the moral of this post? Don’t pick your friends or family but do pick your lunch!




Trevor’s Bunny-Full lunch (full of bunnies and he’ll be a full bunny if he eats it all)!

  • 2 bunny sandwiches with a greek yogurt/peanut butter spread
  • Pretzels
  • Cheese stick quartered
  • 3 orange cherry tomatoes
  • and 4 grapes on 2 adorable bunny food picks

The lunches for the grown ups (in Easylunchboxes container) included:

  • Zucchini tots (I also added summer squash)
  • Cheese, pepperoni and crackers
  • Ham and black bean salad wrap
  • A strawberry with 3 blackberries
  • 4 purple peppers on a food pick
  • and 4 purple grapes on a food pick

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  • Enjoyed this post, sadly picks aren’t so readily available in the UK; I’m nervous about sending the few picks I’ve managed to get from Japan in school lunches, as they’re bound to get lost!

  • Some tips for getting your picks back: Teach them to “pack it in, pack it out” – have them bring EVERYTHING back. Scraps, garbage, wrappers and all! That way they don’t accidentally toss a stray pick (or their retainer!!) when dumping their garbage. This also lets you see what they’re eating – and what they’re not.

    Another reason picks are great is that they help keep your fingers clean! I hate getting food residue on my fingers (it’s a sensory issue) so I hate reaching my fingers into chunks or little pieces of fruit. Plus, since most schools don;t have the kids wash up first, you don’t really want them licking their fingers! Ewwww!

    Grace – try party supply stores. Cupcake topper picks, cocktail skewers, even drink stirrers (you’d want to use a toothpick or straw to poke a hole in the foods first.)

    I taught my daughter to respect her picks by only letting her have them supervised. Start out using them at home. If you don’t have a handy sibling available, invite a cousin or friend for lunch, so you can observe how they treat the picks with peers around. You can have them poke their fingers to see how sharp they are, and remind them that picks are only for poking “food, not friends.” My daughter has that as her mantra now, and was quite proud to police her friends at preschool when I brought fruit skewers for the class on our snack day.

    I also have her work on keeping the picks in the bento boxes, so they don’t get dropped or shuffled off the table or lost. She mostly eats in her car seat, and I sometimes find a lost pick in a crevasse somewhere, so we’re still working on that! But she can’t move or climb down and find it when dropped, so it’s possible she’d notice and retrieve if she were at a table.

    • Deb

      Great advice Ludicrous Mama! Trevor had picks 2 days in a row and both times they came home successfully. We have a fantastic daycare so that helps!

  • Thanks for all the great advice, I may just have to order some more so I don’t get stressed about them getting lost. (Any excuse to shop!)

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