It's time to start thinking about school lunches once again. Let's try something different this year, like giving them something healthy for lunch that they will actually eat.
We all know that most school lunches purchased in the cafeteria are less than nutritionally sound. Many offerings are high in fat and calories, so if you want your kids to eat a well balanced lunch, you have to step up to the plate and make their lunch interesting, fun and off-the-wall unique. Here are some ideas to make those sack lunches a hit.
Make a salad in a bag: Place salad fixin's in a zip-lock baggie and dressing in a small container. Show kids how to pour the dressing into the bag and then shake the salad, throw it up in the air a few times to coat. Don't forget to pack a fork.
Chicken nuggets for lunch: All kids love chicken nuggets, but lets give them a healthy twist by baking them instead of frying:
Heat oven to 375 degrees F.
4 boneless chicken breasts cut into nugget size pieces
2 c. corn flakes, crushed or panko crumbs (using a large ziplock bag makes this easy as pie)
1 stick butter/margarine melted
Spray baking sheet with cooking spray to prevent sticking. Dip nuggets, a few at a time into melted butter. Place coated nuggets into crumbs, and shake to coat. Place on baking sheet, and bake for 15-20 minutes, or till golden and crispy.
This makes enough nuggets for dinner for 4, and plenty of leftovers for lunck. Speaking of lunch, place several cold nuggets in a container, and add a small container of their favorite dipping sauce and voila! lunch.
Nothing is worse than a soggy sandwich. Prevent soggy sandwiches by buttering the bread beofre adding the meat. The butter creates a waterproof barrier that prevents moist meats from soggifying the bread.
Kids like rice cakes? Make mini rice cake sandwiches by coating two mini rice caske with peanut butter, add a banana slice(dip banana slices into lemon juice to prevent browning), and pressing lightly together. Yummy stuff.
Invest in a thermos for homemade soups, stews and leftover pasta dishes. Old Mom Tip: If you find a thermos they love, buy two. They are sure to lose one.
Kids love Pinwheels, so send some for lunch: Spread a flour tortilla with softened cream cheese(plain or flavored). Add a slice of deli ham, turkey or roast beef, and roll up. Slice into 1 inch slices. These are cute, nutritious and tasty.
Mini fruit kabobs: Skewer grapes, apple chunks, pineapple, etc... onto a toothpick. Place a few in a baggie for a fun dessert. Old Mom Tip: Don't give these to kids who will poke other kids with the toothpicks. Not all children are little angels like yours are.
Do your kids like cold leftovers? Send that cold pizza, spaghetti or chicken leg in their lunch. The idea is for them to eat. Who cares if it isn't exactly normal, right?
There you have it. School lunch doesn't have to be boring or plain. If it is, they will just trade it for a Twinkie, so gove them something they will want to eat themselves.