How Jenny Mollen Gets Crafty With Her Kids' Lunches

Holy cow! Summer has flown by, and we're already talking back to school and what to feed the kids for lunch. That's right, while our kids are picking out the perfect first day of school outfit that screams "I'm cool" without trying too hard, parents are stressing out over what to pack in those lunch boxes and brown bags. According to a Hello Fresh survey, 59% of parents are triggered with stress at the thought of having to make lunch to send with their child to school. Why? Not enough time to do so seems to be the biggest obstacle, with 40% citing this limitation. In fact, the survey found that parents can only send their kids to school with a homemade lunch three times a week.

School lunches can be tough, and parents don't want to turn to prepackaged foods like Oreos, Cheetos, and Lunchables to fill the void — at least not all five school days. The survey further discovered that 57% of parents want those lunch boxes filled with healthy foods, with 83% ensuring their kids are getting plenty of veggies and fruits. So, what's a stressed out parent to do? Enter Jenny Mollen, actress, author, wife to "American Pie" Jason Biggs, and mom (via The Sun). Mollen recently revealed to US Weekly how she gets crafty with her kids' lunches, and if you are among those who stress, you may want to take note.

Make it fun

According to US Weekly, Jenny Mollen said, "I approach lunch-making like it's a paint-by-numbers project." She went on further to explain, "I am a full believer in pushing boundaries with kids' lunches. Even picky eaters can be compelled to try new things." What tricks does she have in her kitchen to make this happen?

From turning traditional PB&Js into "Linzer torte-looking" entrees to keeping things healthy with a variety of fruits and vegetables and fashioning Babybel cheese into ninjas, Mollen uses her creativity to keep her kids' attention and satiate their appetites so their minds and bodies are fueled to learn. The celebrity author definitely understands the stresses parents feel, which is why the mom of two has penned a book that will be available at online retailers and traditional bookstores on September 13 called "Dictator Lunches: Inspired Meals That Will Compel Even the Toughest of Tyrants Children." Mollen shares all of her best mom advice for creating engaging foods to tuck in Ziploc bags and plastic lunch containers, including items referred to as "Strawberry Actresses," "Cucumber Penguins," and "Rice Pandas."

Do Mollen's kids always eat everything she packs for them? She confessed to Parade that her son Sid doesn't, but she said, "My goal isn't to stuff him like a foie gras goose, it's just to expose him to things and, truth be told, to entertain him."